Day At The Track

Muscatine trots to Cardinal Elim. victory

02:17 AM 27 May 2010 NZST
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Driver Dale Hiteman gave Muscatine a
Driver Dale Hiteman gave Muscatine a - winning steer in Wednesday's Cardinal Stake elimination

Miranda Lyon and Paula Smith's Muscatine was on his best behavior for Wednesday nights $7,000 Cardinal Stake elimination which is something most of his Balomral Park harness racing competition could not say.

Combine that with a perfect drive from Dale Hiteman and the end result was a 1 ¼ length triumph in 1:58.3 for the gelded son of Tequilla Spur-Star Slinger.

With six of the 10 starters making breaks at some point in the race Hiteman urged his charge away from the early danger putting Muscatine on the lead as the field trotted by the quarter in 30.2.

Knowing that seven of the 10 starters would advance to next week's $46,500 final Hiteman was in no hurry to engage a hard charging Somore Set (Lance Scurlock), who grabbed command midway down the backstretch.

Cruising through middle splits of 1:00.3 & 1:31.0 Somore Set was a length and a half to the good as he turned for home.

That advantage quickly disappeared as the pocket sitting Muscatine took dead aim on the pace setter as the two began to pull away from the rest of the field. Pouncing on the leader with a eighth of a mile to go the Joel Smith trainee trotted right by a tiring Somore Set to post his third career victory in 21 starts. Somore Set held on well to finish second while another Smith trainee, Fox Valley Solomon (Todd Warren), finished third.

Last year's Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year, Run And Tell Pap made a break before the start but still managed to secure a spot in the final by finishing seventh. The rest of the field from the elimination tussle that will be moving on to join Showmeyourstuff, Leaveitonthetrack & Wolf Creek Pass were Hokey Pokey (4th), Powerful Speed (5th) and Dutch Commander (6th).

Tom KELLEY

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