Day At The Track

Upset in $80,400 Lady Lincoln Land Stake

05:50 PM 28 Sep 2015 NZDT
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More Than Likely and driver Kyle Wilfong JD Cheese
More Than Likely and driver Kyle Wilfong pulled off a 7-1 upset in Sunday's Lady Lincoln Land Stake at Balmoral Park.
David Baum Photo
JD Cheese captured the Lincoln Land Stake elimination earlier in the card for driver Dale Hiteman.
David Baum Photo

The richest event of the season for Illinois conceived and foaled two-year-old trotting fillies put a familiar face back in the winner's circle as veteran harness racing conditioner Roger Welch sent out his sixth career winner of the $80,400 Lady Lincoln Land Stake when the Lynn Wilfong owned More Than Likely rallied in the final strides to win by a half-length in a career best of 1:58.1.

Given a perfect steer by driver Kyle Wilfong the home-bred daughter of Designer Lindy--Midori Hanover left alertly from post four as the even-money favorite Vengeful (Casey Leonard) made a costly miscue behind the gate.
 
Landing in the garden spot as a head strong Powerful Princess (John De Long) led the field through splits of 29.3, 59.3 & 1:28.4 More Than Likely was still fit and fresh as the fillies straightened for their journey home.
 
Continuing to grind away at the pace setter while Vengeful, who had spotted the field some 13-lengths with the early miscue, circled the field on the outside of horses More Than Likely found clear sailing as Powerful Princess went off stride. Just when it looked as though the "chalk players" were going to be able to breathe a sigh of relief as Vengeful struck the front a game More Than Likely seemed to find a little something more overtaking the heavy favorite in the shadow of the wire for her second win in nine career starts. Vengeful was forced to settle for the bridesmaid role while Praise Singer (Pat Curtin) took home the show dough.
 
In the winner's circle a very happy Welch was beaming with pride over his charges winning effort and his record setting sixth triumph in this event.
 
"Mr. Wilfong sent me this horse a few months back when they were starting to lose a little patience with her," explained Welch. "I told them at that time my goal was to have her at her best for one race that she had on her card and that was this one. We took our time with her and the patience paid off tonight. I love it when a game plan comes together like this one did."
 
With the victory More Than Likely, who was dispatched at odds of 7-1 now boasts a record of 2-1-1 in nine lifetime starts with earnings of $47,063.

Tom Kelley
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