Arcola overcame a variety of obstacles in route to a very impressive five-length triumph in Tuesday’s (June 7) $10,000 Fox Valley Evita Stake for state-bred sophomore trotting fillies.
A stormy night, a sloppy track and a miscue at the top of the stretch could not slow down Arcola, owned by Turndorf Racing, on Tuesday at Balmoral Park.
After going winless in her first three starts of the year, last seasons division champion displayed the grit and determination that helped propel her to almost $200,000 in earnings as a freshman, as she trotted to a new life mark of 1.57 over a sloppy racetrack.
Allowed to settle in third at the pylons after leaving from the inside starting spot driver Tim Tetrick was perfectly content to let the speedy His Mssse Ja (John Roberts) and a hard leaving Kan Fancy (Andy Miller) battle for control through an opening quarter in 29.4 seconds.
The tepid early pace set driver Dave Magee and Orpha Lou, the 8-5 favourite of the betting public, into motion as they pulled from fourth on the backside and quickly charged to the top.
His Mssse Ja was wrangled back into second by her pilot while Kan Fancy continued to save ground in third.
With the back half of the field struggling to keep up Tetrick had clear sailing as he eased Arcola to the outside while sitting in fourth and she was gobbling up ground in a hurry as the field hit the half-mile mark in 57s.
The battle really heated up on the far turn as Orpha Lou and Arcola battled neck and neck around the bend.
The two fillies were separated by only a head as they hit the three-quarter-mile station in 1.27.1.
Just as the field straightened for home it appeared that disaster had struck for Arcola as she went off stride momentarily.
Tetrick never panicked though, showing the skills that have brought him national recognition, as he masterfully gathered up the daughter ofand put her back on course for the stretch drive.
With her legs back under her the Roger Welch trainee then set sail for home quickly opening up her advantage as she skimmed over the sloppy going with long powerful strides.
The remainder of the field seemed to be trotting in quicksand as they tried to match strides with last year’s champ and the issue was never in doubt throughout the final eighth of a mile.
His Mssse Ja came back along the pylons to finish second while Pa-High (John D Finn) wound up third some six lengths behind the winner.
The win was the ninth in 19 career starts for Arcola who also has seven seconds and one third to her credit with earnings of $207,857.
Despite being the morning line favourite, Arcola rewarded her backers with mutuels of $9.40, $3.80 & $2.80.
Courtesy Of Tom Kelley, Publicity Director, Balmoral Park