Trainer Roger Welch will send out both of last week’s elimination winners, Victor’s Pursuit and Arcola, as a field of 10 sophomore filly trotters square off in Saturday’s (November 5) $250,000 American National Filly Trot at Balmoral Park.
Robert Rietveld & Paul Gibson’s Victor’s Pursuit has been the queen of the Illinois bred sophomore set in this her first season of action and she’ll be gunning for her 13th win in 24 starts when she leaves from post position six in this encounter. “She just keeps getting better and better,” Welch said. “She was a real nervous filly; now she’s started to mature a lot both mentally and physically.”
With just about all of the 2005 major ICF titles under her belt this season the daughter ofhas quickly made up for missing her 2-Year-Old season by racking up more than $185,000 in earnings. In her elimination score driver Dave Magee sent this filly to the front right after the opening quarter and she made it look very easy as she trotted home with an effortless 1 ¾ length victory in 1:56.4. Once again Magee will be at the controls for this battle.
Stablemate Arcola toted home divisional honors here in the Prairie State as a 2-Year-Old and while she’s had to toil in the background somewhat in this her second season the daughter ofhas still managed to put up some pretty nice numbers with a record of 7-5-2 in 19 starts while adding another $85,994 to her career bankroll which now sits at $284,476 for Turndorf Racing LLC.
Confidently handled by driver Tim Tetrick, who will get the call again this evening, Arcola gamely wore down the early pace setters in last week’s action splitting horses to win by a head in a thrilling stretch drive. The victory was the 15th in a 34 race career for this good looking filly who starts from post position two in the final.
“Arcola was real good last year and she’s been tough again this season,” said Welch. “Unfortunately she’s just had some of her glory taken away by Victor’s Pursuit.” These two fillies have faced each other in three previous races this season, finishing 1-2 in each with Victor’s Pursuit on top in all three encounters.
Welch also feels that limestone track surface at Balmoral gives his fillies a bit of an advantage over the rest of the field. “I feel very confident going into this,” he stated. “This is our home field; they know how to get over this track and they’re both very good at it. That plays a big role especially with trotters.”
In order to have another 1-2 finish the Welch trained ladies will have to knock off the highly regarded Coulantine who was the runner-up in this year’s Filly Kentucky Futurity. The daughter ofappeared to be a little short in last week’s eliminations after missing a month as she faded to fourth to after setting the early fractions. The rest was well deserved though after having to go through three grueling heats at the Red Mile in the Futurity.
Owned by the partnership of Miller, Kistler, Kallas and Weaver, Coulantine has put together a sparkling two-year record of 12-7-0 in 24 starts with earnings of $416,492. Charlie Norris will come in to handle the driving duties for conditioner Doug Miller and these two will have the advantage of starting from the inside post in this battle.
Others who have to be considered in this tussle include Perfect World Enterprises Reinvent, a Bluegrass Stakes winner who boasts over $328,000 in career earnings; M & L of Delaware’s Ladymatic who despite having just two career victories has managed to earn more than $350,000 in her career and Little E LLC, David Stolz and Arthur Geiger’s Magenta Hall who has taken down nearly $250,000 in earnings this year and sports a career bankroll of more than $390,000.
Rounding out the field are Just Like Dream, Whotookwhat, Third Reef and Christina M.
Courtesy Of Tom Kelley, Publicity Director, Balmoral Park