Orange and Blue champion My Metallica passed her first half-mile test in flying colors with a dominating performance in her Violet pace elimination Wednesday night (October 5) at Maywood Park, winning in 1:54.4 without any urging from driver Tony Morgan.
The Tom Harmer trained filly was hammered down to 1 to 9 odds in the first of three elimination races for two-year-old state-bred pacing fillies. The daughter of The Partywas two and one-half lengths the best when she posted her fourth consecutive victory for owners Ciara Stable (Hinsdale, IL), Michael Polansky (Loudonville, NY) and William Johnston III (Hinsdale, IL).
Street Dancer (Dale Hiteman) was second in the fifth race first elimination and also was assured a starting berth in the $67,000 Violet Final on Wednesday, October 12. It took a first or second place elimination finish to gain the championship. A drawing will determine which 2 of the 3 third place finishers also will return next Wednesday night.
The 19-1 longshot Apache Raindrop cut the early fractions of :27.3 and :56.3 while Morgan steered My Metallica into fifth in the early going. Morgan had the Super Night champion on the move in the second turn under a firm hold. The winner was asked for more on the backside and she responded, zipping past and was on the lead at the 1:26.1 three-quarters.
“She was real timid behind the gate,” said Morgan after the race. “She had never been behind the (starting) car before. She had been on the wings. The outside horse was crowding her a little bit, so she would not go up in there (behind the car). She just was real timid. But she’s supposed to be the best in here anyway and if she can’t get to the final sitting fifth then it was probably not in the cards. The trip worked out well, though. When I asked her she just shot past.
“She’s really good on this half-mile track,” continued Morgan. “I didn’t know what the track record was (1:54.1) and maybe if wasn’t an elimination I would have put her in gear. But she could have gone that fast tonight. We’ll see what the final holds”.
It was another favorite proving best in the second Violet elimination however it was far from an easy victory for Rhyme Or Reason ($4.40). Owned by Bonnie and Joy Hutchison, Jr. and trainer Homer Hochstetler, the winner raced parked out far off the front stepping pacesetter Belle Zelle (Tim Tetrick) but got up in time to post a half-length victory over runner-up Indy Pendent Bay (Pat Berry) in 1:57 flat.
Hot Fusion (Tony Morgan) was third, another length behind in the seventh race elimination.
“She had a little trouble with the turns and we did get some help when the front end collapsed,” said winning driver Andy Miller. “This was her first start on a ‘half’ and hopefully she’ll gain some experience from it.”
Belle Zelle sprinted out from the one-slot and paced fractions of :27.2, :56.2 and 1:25.3. The 6-5 favorite Rhyme Or Reason was fourth, ten lengths off the leader at the first quarter. She was parked out first up, some seven and one-half off at the half and still five-plus lengths behind at the three-quarters. However coming out of the last turn it was apparent that Belle Zelle was leg weary and she ended fourth, beaten one length.
It was another 6-5 public’s choice getting the victory in the ninth race third elimination when Peine Bubbles ($4.40) breezed to almost a seven-length front-end victory in a snappy 1:55.1 for driver Tim Tetrick.
Owned by Illinoisans Mark Turchik and Odds On Racing and trained by Robin Schadt, Tetrick hustled the winner away from the pole position and the Ft Apache Hanover filly led every step of the way for her third victory in nine career starts.
“She had been fighting some sickness problems but it looks like they got that all cleared up. She raced great tonight, like she did earlier in the summer at Springfield and Hawthorne,” said Tetrick.
“I didn’t want to get into a fierce battle for the lead but she had it in about two steps, anyway. I wanted to make sure she had something left to get home so we would get into the final but no one challenged her and she just drew off.”
Peine Bubbles parlayed fractions of a :28.1, :57.1 and 1:27 flat into a six and three-quarter length triumph over Justina Jones (Sam Widger). Rachel’s Rich was third, and two more lengths back.
Mike Paradise, director of publicity