Elimination's for next Sunday's $118,000 Lincoln Land Stake, the richest harness racing trotting event of the season for Illinois conceived and foaled two-year-old trotting colts, were contested on Sunday, Sept. 30th with a total of 17 youngsters battling in a pair of $15,000 elimination's.
The top five finishers in each race will get the chance to slug it out for the big cash next week.
In the first elimination Mystical Marker Farms and Jack & Peggy Hood’s Powerful Poe turned in a strong performance as he rolled to a 2 ¼ length victory in 1:58.4 for driver Todd Warren.
Leaving from post position five the gelded son of-Fox Valley Poetry was parked through an opening quarter in 30.0 before making the front. After gaining control of the proceedings the Dirk Simpson trainee hit the brakes, cruising through middle splits of 1:00.2 & 1:29.4.
With plenty left in reserve Powerful Poe finished off the proceedings with a 29.0 final panel to notch his third win in 11 lifetime starts. Show Stopin Monkey (Ronnie Gillespie), the even-money favorite in the race followed the winners every move but was forced to settle for second while Powerful Commander (John Roberts) was third. Also gaining spots in the final were Fox Valley Camo and Fox Valley Dubai.
In the second elimination Connie Hochstetler and Robert Buddig’s Semper Fit completely destroyed seven rivals as he scored by 7 ¾ lengths in a career best of 1:56.3 for driver Dave Magee.
After watching a headstrong King Mufasa charge out to a huge early lead while putting up wicked splits of 27.3 & 56.1 Magee never panicked and eventually began to reel in the runaway train.
Blowing right by the tiring leader on the far turn the Homer Hochstetler trained Semper Fit was already in front by 2 ½ lengths as he rolled by the three-quarter-mile pole in 1:27.0. With the rest of the field in his wake Semper Fit proceeded to widen the margin while trotting home effortlessly for his fifth win in nine starts this year.
Powerful Yield (Mike Cox) was a distant second while Accokeek Mercury (Buddy Simpson) was third. The last two spots in the final went to Balanced Game and Peh Bandit.
There were no winners in the Pick 5 on Sunday night at Balmoral meaning a total of $8,640 will be added to the pool for Wednesday, Oct 3rd. Post time on Wednesday night is 7:10 pm (central) and the 50 cent Pick 5 starts on race two.
by Tom KELLEY