Dead heat & record in Balanced Image Final

04:06 AM 28 Aug 2011 NZST
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Strike The Cheque & Keystone Orion
Strike The Cheque & Keystone Orion - dead-heat for first in the Balanced Image Final.
Iron Horse photo

Just like the race's namesake, the Balanced Image Final Saturday night (August 27) at Hanover Raceway was a harness racing record setter. Not only was it a stakes record time of 2:00.1, and not only was it a new track record for 2 year old Colts, but it's the first time in the seven- year history of the race, that it finished in a dead heat.

Filly’s Dayplanner and Victoriacrest were first to the quarter pole in 30 seconds flat, but the boys were too much for the girls, as Strike the Cheque and Ross Battin took over the lead before the half in 1:00.1. The son of Striking Sahbra and Cheque Lavec is owned by Ron Keeling of Owen Sound, Mike Keeling and Paula Wellwood of Cambridge.

Strike the Cheque continued to lead the field past the ¾’s in 1:30.2 and into the stretch drive, when fastest elimination winner Keystone Orion and Dave Boughton finally found a seam and went three-wide to finish in a dead heat in 2:00.1. Keystone Orion is owned and trained by Don Lindsay of Fergus.

The finishing time beats the previous Track and Balanced Image track record set by I’m Classy and Gord Rayner back in the 1st Balanced Image Championship in 2005.

Balanced Image's caretaker Doug Nash was in the winners circle to help hand out the trophy and said hopefully this finish will spur even more horses to enter the $56,000 event in the future.

General Manager Gord Dougan says he was happy with the large crowd that came out to watch the final. Dougan says 122 horses made the nomination payment to this year’s event back in April, but only 19 horses paid the starting fee.

He hopes the purse and the excitement of racing in front of a large crowd will spur even more horse owners to enter into the Balanced Image trot in the future. Dougan added Hanover is thinking about splitting the Balanced Image into separate Colt and Filly Championships in 2012.

Gord DOUGAN

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