Heartland Charmer overcame a first over journey under the urging of driver Dale Hiteman and pulled off a mild surprise by capturing Friday night’s $12,000 Incredible Finale series showdown for state-bred two and three-year-old fillies.
The Tom Simmons trained $15.60 winner raced outside of the even-money favorite Red Head Tramp just before the :58.4 half and cleared the pacesetter just before the 1:28.2 three-quarter pole on a track listed “sloppy” after a wet snow soaked the surface through the first half of the 12-race card.
When the pocket horse Jolene’s Princess (Tony Morgan) and the 5-2 second choice Shes A Big Star (Andy Miller), who raced third up, both went off stride in the last turn at almost the same time, Heartland Charmer was home free, drawing off by four and one-quarter lengths at the end of his 1:58.3 mile.
“The early speed duel really set things up well for us,” Hiteman said. “She was ready to make a bold move and then cleared very easily. She has some talent but she’s not easy to drive. She’s moody and kind of has to have things set up her own way to do well.”
The 16-1 longshot TJ’s Molly Macey (Sam Widger) rallied for the bridesmaid role. A distant third was Amy Towne (Mark Saporito), beaten almost 11 lengths by Heartland Charmer.
Owned by Glen Bauman of Mulkeytown, IL, Heartland Charmer ended her first season with three wins in 17 starts, with both pari-mutuel triumphs coming at Maywood Park. The brown freshman daughter of Kingston won her two-year-old series leg here on December 12 in 1:58.1.
Hiteman was contend to get away third from the two-slot with Heartland Charmer, while Red Head Tramp and Joelene’s Princess battled through the first turn before the latter dropped into the two-hole enroute to a :28.2 first panel. When Mike Oosting took Ms Mactac out of the fourth spot in the early going, he flushed out Heartland Charmer and Hiteman’s preference to race first up against the heavy public choice rather then stay inside turned out to be the right decision.
Heartland Charmed concluded her first season earning $18,473.
Mike Paradise, director of publicity