GAMBLER FAVORED IN AMERICAN NATIONAL

06:10 PM 21 Jul 2005 NZST
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Winslow Hill Stables Winslow Gambler is the 9-5-morning line favorite to extend his unbeaten streak to three in Saturday night’s $90,000 American National Two-Year-Old Colt Pace Championship.

The Erv Miller trained colt, fresh off a rather easy 1:53.4 mile in his elimination a week ago, will again have Erv's brother Andy at his lines when he starts from the two post.

Nifty Fellow (7-2, Brent Holland), who took his elim-split tick faster in come-from-behind fashion, leaves from the seven-slot in the fifth race feature.

Winslow Gambler brushed to the lead in his elimination victory and with another inside slot tonight his driver could have him on the move early once again.

“My horse felt really good. I wanted to race him up close and sit in as long as I could.” explained Andy Miller last week.

“I tipped him out on the backside because there were a couple of horses I wanted to get around that I was afraid might falter a bit. So I moved him around them. He’s a big, long gaited colt and he’s starting to figure what it’s about. He does have a lot of go.”

Nifty Fellow swept past in his 1:53.3 elim triumph, pacing a quick :26.3 last panel, and he did it from the same seven-slot.

“This colt just keeps getting better at his job,” said Nifty Fellow’s driver Brent Holland. “He can be too aggressive at times, but Ken (trainer Rucker) has really worked at rigging him so that he’s much more manageable.”

“Nifty Fellow is a very aggressive young horse,” continued Rucker, who co-owns the $13,000 yearling buy with Engle Stable (Buffalo Grove, IL). “He wants to go wide open. But he’s smart and he’s willing. Every time we ask him to go he does.

Opening at 4-1 odds is the Pinske Stable’s entry of Keystone Resident (Dean Magee) and Roll Bar Hanover, who have the five and eights posts, respectively.

Intendo’s Majesty (8-1, Sam Widger), Winbak Bini (2-1, Tim Tetrick), Jandj Art (15-1, Mike Oosting), AB’s Beach Boy (6-1, Tony Morgan), Life Guard On Duty (15-1, Ron Marsh) and Jate Daniels (15-1, Mark O’Mara) complete the 10-horse freshmen field.

Following the first season colt showdown is a single $37,500 American National elimination for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. The first seven finishers in the 10-horse sixth race will join Stonebridge Regal, Team Hutch and Odds On Duane in the Saturday, July 30 Championship worth $250,000.

The trio drew a bye into the final based on the highest season earnings among the 13 horses entered.

Stonebridge Regal comes off last weekend’s second-place finish in the $1 million Meadowlands Pace. The Robert McIntosh trained colt also was the runner-up in last month’s $1.2 million North America Cup at Woodbine. A 10-time season winner, he has already banked $577,467.

Team Hutch earned a fifth-place check in the Meadowlands Pace Final.

The Illinois champion has won 6 of 9 season starts, including Balmoral Park’s Cardinal Final in late May.

One of his two third place finishes came in last month’s $500,000 Hoosier Cup.

Odds On Duane was second in the same Hoosier Park showcase event for trainer Robin Schadt and Odds On Racing of Crete, IL.

Balmoral Park Publicity Department

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