The stake finalists have been determined for Saturday’s (September 17) Ann Vonian and Dan Patch showdowns, two of the eight added money state-bred championships to be raced on Super Night 2005 at our sister track Balmoral Park.
Heading up the Ann Vonian Final will be recent Breeders Crown winner Loyal Opposition, who dominated her elimination last Thursday night with a three-length victory in a snappy 1.50.1 for the Erv Miller Stable.
“She’s back to her old self,” said Loyal Opposition’s driver Andy Miller. “She was really so very strong at the head of the lane and is at the top of her game right now. I thought she might be a little bit tired since we were racing her back in just five days after her big win ($331,500 Breeders Crown Open Mare Pace) at Mohawk, but she couldn’t have been stronger.”
Two-time defending Ann Vonian champion Parklane Powerful was second best last week, earning an opportunity at a record third consecutive title. Also gaining the final from the second Ann Vonian elim were Kan Wheel, Nasty Nicki and Lou Annie.
“Parklane Powerful raced very well in here and just got beat by a really tough foe,” said her driver Ron Marsh after the elimination.
“My plan was to stay close up front throughout the mile. We made a move and brushed to the front well and opened up lengths on the field but then Loyal Opposition was just a bit better tonight. My mare is better off the pace, really. I used her harder earlier than I usually do, but I think Homer (Hochstetler) was happy with her performance and I was too.”
The first Ann Vonian elimination went to Mike Oosting’s Harmony Oaks Gi Gi, who powered past to a 1.52.4 clocking. Decent Lawyer, Filly Finale, Jessie the Cowgirl and Harmony Oaks West—the second through fifth place finishers—also gained the mare championship.
Defending Dan Patch champion Taser Gun finished fifth in his elimination however that was still good enough to gain the Final.
“He raced well but he was just a little too far back at the end of the mile. I think he’ll bounce back good from this start and be better in the final. Bob (trainer Walker) doesn’t like to race him too hard these days and he had had a few weeks off, so he needed this start to be tight for Saturday.”
Moxie, who has been on a roll for the Paul Blumenfeld Stable, captured the second Dan Patch elim with Tony Morgan in the bike with a 1.50.2 mile, 1 ¼ lengths ahead of the pre-Dan Patch stake favourite Fox Valley Gallant. Dominator Plus and Prince Vince, who took second and third in that order, nailed down a final starting berth as well.
“I got a good trip in here with him,” said Moxie’s driver Tony Morgan.
“He’s a very handy horse—really nice to drive and is a big, strong horse with great manners. The horse is pretty versatile, but is stronger finishing. He’s able to do a whole lot of work on the end of the mile if you don’t leave really hard with him early. He can definitely pace fast though and is a real nice Illinois-bred.”
The first Dan Patch elimination saw Hot Rob (Mike Oosting) surprise at 13.50 to 1 odds. The Del Chupp trainee was a neck better than King Johnny (Tim Tetrick) at the end of the 1:50.1 mile. Also gaining this Saturday’s showdown was Go Warrior Go, Only Choice and Cold Sweat.
Courtesy Of Maywood Park Publicity Department