The prestigious American National stake series gets under way Tuesday evening (July 12) with a couple of $14,000 elimination races for two-year-old pacing fillies at Balmoral Park.
The first five finishers in the fourth and eighth race divisions will return for the $90,000 Final to be raced on Tuesday night, July 19.
The freshmen filly-pacing stake is the first of 10 American Nationals to be held for the eighth consecutive season at Balmoral Park. The history of the American Nationals goes all the way back to 1947. They were conducted at old Sportsman’s Park for 50 years—through 1997—before the demise of the Cicero, IL track and then relocated to Balmoral Park a year later.
The heavy 7-5-morning line favorite in Tuesday’s first American National elimination is recent Hanover stake winner Halle Go Lightly (Dale Hiteman), a dominating 1:54.2 winner here a week ago while debuting for the Joe Seekman Stable.
Thefilly could turn out to be quite a $13,000 yearling bargain buy for Suttons Bay Racing (MI) and James Jesk (IL). She already has earned purchase price in her first two lifetime starts and she has two has two half-sisters—Lyons Sure Sign and Trade Sign—currently racing with nearly $600,000 banked in their careers.
Halle Go Lightly will leave from post five in the first seven-horse division where she’ll be challenged by Shirleys Lass (15-1, Pat Berry), Lady N Diamonds (7-2, Joe Anderson), C C Stacy (5-1, Tony Morgan), Kelli Rivndel 12-1, John Roberts), Spanish Rosey (8-1, Brent Holland) and Rylee N Ryan (4-1, Dave Magee).
Lady N Diamonds comes off a third place finish in a July 5 Pennsylvania Sire Stake raced on a sloppy racing surface at The Meadows. Trainer Stephen Waller has called upon the services Joe Anderson to drive her for Mimade Stable of Lexington, KY.
Unlike the first American National elimination, the second has no clear-cut favorite. The early favoritism is divided between The Meadowlands invader Winback Rita (3-1, Eric Ledford), the July 5 second Hanover division winner Three Men Dreamin (7-2, Dale Hiteman) and Allen Harris’ Brush The Sand (4-1, Dave Miller), and Meant To Persist (9-2, Andy Miller). The very competitive eighth race is completed with In Paradise (12-1m Mike Oosting), Model A (8-1, DT Ackerman), Brissonette Hanover (6-1, Pat Berry) and Daybreak Gal (8-1, Tim Tetrick).
Meant To Persist is the lone Illinois bred filly in the race. This daughter ofraised some eyebrows when she won her July 6 debut at Hawthorne with a torrid :25.1 last quarter, making up 10 lengths in the stretch in her 1:58.4 victory for trainer Erv Miller, who shares possession of the $54,000 Cottonwood Farm yearling purchase with long-time Chicago (IL) owner Ron Michelon.
Winbak Rita, a daughter of Bettor’s Delight, is a 4-5 beaten favorite in a $46,075 division of the Debutante stakes raced on June 19 at The Big M. The Brian Magie Jr. trained filly finished fourth but beaten only two and one-half lengths in the 1:56.2 mile raced on a “good” strip.
Three Men Dreamin followed her stablemate Hale Go Lightly’s success by winning the July 5 second Hanover stake division in 1:56.1 with Dale Hiteman at her lines.
Balmoral Park Publicity Department