Illinois conceived and foaled two-year-old pacing colts were in action on Saturday night (October 20) at Balmoral Park as a harness racing field of seven youngsters met in the $12,700 Crete Stake. This affair turned into a showcase for John & Mary Krasnican's up and coming star Big Brad as the youngster set a new track record for a 2yo pacing colt rolling to a four-length victory in a blazing 1:51.1.
The previous mark of 1:51.2 had been set back in 2002 by the great.
After settling in fourth for driver Robert Smolin the son of-One Sure Thing made a power sweep to the front after watching Ready (Casey Leonard) zip through splits of 27.2 & 56.2.
"I really just wanted to ease my way to the front but he (Big Brad) was having none of that tonight," Smolin explained. "Once I pulled him out of that hole he just took off with me."
Getting immediate pressure from a first over Murvey Vinny (Josh Sutton) Smolin and Big Brad kept that rival at bay as they sped by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:23.1.
"I knew we were going a pretty good clip but when I looked over at the infield timer and saw 1:23.1 I was a little surprised," said Smolin. "I was trying to grab on to him but he was not about to let that first over horse by him."
After disposing of that challenge the Bob Phillips trainee then sped home in 28.0, leaving his rivals in his wake while getting only wheel disk urging from his pilot. Ready came back to finish second while Greg And Flex (Dave Magee) was third.
In the winner's circle Smolin continued to sing the praises of the newest member of the Balmoral Park record book.
"He's only had seven lifetime starts now and those have all come in the past two months," said a beaming Smolin. "He's still learning not to wait on horses when he makes the lead which is why I popped the wheel disk a couple of times tonight. Obviously he's learning his lessons pretty well and I sure hope he continues to progress like this."
The 3-5 favorite in the race returned $3.20, $2.40 & $2.10 while running his career record to 3-1-3 in 7 starts with earnings of $53,620.
Big Brad and driver Robert Smolin etched their names into the Balmoral Park record books on Saturday night winning the $12,700 Crete Stake in 1:51.1 to become the fastest 2yo pacing colt in Balmoral history.
by Tom KELLEY