Illinois conceived and foaled two-year-old trotting fillies took to the track on Wednesday night for a pair of $15,000 Lady Lincoln Land Stake elimination's. The top five finishers will return next Wednesday to slug it out in the $107,000 final making it the richest state bred trotting event of the harness racing season for these youngsters.
In the first division Redbud Stables and Jim Eaton’s Fox Valley Velvet had no trouble disposing of six rivals as she trotted to a 1 ¾ length triumph in 2:00.1 over a track listed as good after day long rains.
Saving ground through an opening half-mile as Ants Iner Pants (Steve Searle) and Lonehill Lindsey (Brian Carpenter) traded blows through splits of 30.4 & 1:00.1 driver Marcus Miller had the Eaton trainee perfectly positioned throughout her trip.
Moving off the pylons as the field trotted around the far turn Miller moved the daughter of-Vics Flag alongside the pace setting Ants Iner Pants as the fillies hit the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:30.1.
Through the stretch Fox Valley Velvet effortlessly overtook Ants Iner Pants and was well in hand to Miller as she reported home with her third win in eight starts this season. Rubys And Pearls (Richard Schrock) finished second while Maevey Gravy (Todd Warren) was third. Ants Iner Pants and Lonehill Lindsey also grabbed spots in the final.
The second division proved to be a stroll in the park for Fox Valley Standardbreds and Jim Edgar’s Fox Valley Helen as she cruised to a deceptively easy 2 ½ length victory in 2:01.3.
Sent to the top by a confident Todd Warren this daughter of-Memory Maker grabbed command just after Powerful Star (Dale Hiteman) had led the field through an opening quarter in 30.4.
Strolling along through middle splits of 1:01.1 & 1:32.2 the Roger Welch trained miss was on cruise control the rest of the way as she rolled to her first career victory in seven lifetime starts. Powerful Star (Dale Hiteman) followed the winner’s every move for the final three-quarters of a mile to finish second while Cowgirl Katie (John De Long) was third. Also moving into the final were Cryptic Gold and Miss Fishook.
The all-time record for the Pick 4 pool at Balmoral also had fans around the country buzzing as they pumped a whopping $89,965 into the pool which featured a $20,543 carryover and the popular 15% take-out, making the total pool $110,508. The previous mark had been $104,754.