The final race of the evening turned out to be one of the most thrilling affairs of a very successful Super Night of harness racing as the Nick Giberson trained Fancy Creek Elusiv wore down the heavily favored Fox Valley Action in the closing yards to win the $250,000 Orange & Blue by a half-length in 1:52.1.
Kept just off an early duel between last week's elimination winner's Fox Valley Action and Mystical Walter, driver Dave Magee was sitting in the catbirds seat while the two favorites waged a battle up front.
"There was a pretty wicked duel going on up front so I really liked where I was sitting as we moved down the backstretch," said the 28-time Super Night winner. "Then when Mystical Walter made the break and we got around them I really liked the spot we were in."
With Fox Valley Action continuing to lead the way through the lane Magee moved his charge to the far outside where he began to slice into the pace-setters lead. With the crowd roaring its approval on the apron the youngsters battled tooth and nail through the final sixteenth of a mile with Fancy Creek Elusiv getting up the final strides to notch his fifth win in nine career starts. Fox Valley Action held on gamely to be second while Big Brad (Robert Smolin) was third, 5 ½ lengths behind the top pair.
With a huge crowd celebrating in the winner's circle Hart Walker, who owns the son of-Elusive Image in partnership with Robyn Mullink, Homer Henke and Robert Walker summed up the groups feelings very eloquently.
"This win shows what total teamwork is all about," said the beaming Walker. "It was teamwork by the entire staff from the owners, trainers, grooms and entire staff associated with this horse. We couldn't be any happier and I just want everyone to know that this is a win for everbody!"
Handle for the 14-race card was $1,777,268 which was up nearly $150,000 over 2011 figures.
by Tom KELLEY