It was the 'girls' turn to shine on Sunday (May 20) at Balmoral Park as a field of eight 3-year-old pacing fillies squared off in the $43,600 Violet Stake Final. Also on the undercard was a pair of $10,000 harness racing eliminations for next week's $50,700 (est.) Violet Stake final for sophomore state-bred trotting fillies.
The top five finishers in each of the elimination’s will return for the rich final.
In the featured event of the evening for the pacing fillies John Carver’s No Respect garnered plenty of attention from her rivals and the betting public as she posted a 1 3/4 length wire to wire victory in 1:55.1 over a sloppy track.
Hustled away from post position five by driver Mike Oosting the daughter of-Justalittlerespect grabbed command mid-way around the first turn and was well within herself as she cruised through opening splits of 30.0 & 1:00.1.
“I was a little surprised nobody had come after us by that point,” said Oosting. “My original plan was to leave out of there and then look for someone to cover us up but they just left us out there by ourselves.”
Heading around the final bend the first challenge came for No Respect as a hard charging MJ’s Bid (Brandon Simpson) came calling with a big first over bid. That challenge was short lived however as MJ’s Bid made a nasty break just as No Respect hit the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:28.1.
Fit and fresh in the lane the Tom Harmer trainee sprinted away to a 2 1/2 length lead as favored Sleazy Does It (Marcus Miller) finally worked her way into contention. The issue was never really in doubt though as Oosting and No Respect splashed home in a brisk 27.0 to put the finishing touches on her second win in four starts this season.
Sleazy Does It was forced to settle for the bridesmaid role while Kendyl (Kyle Wilfong) was a distant third.
In the winner’s circle the victorious Oosting had plenty of respect for the winning filly and her conditioner.
“Tommy’s done a great job bringing her back and she’s really been strong this season.” She’s very versatile and can get it done on whatever size track you put her on. That was a sharp last quarter she paced home in tonight and I have a feeling this filly can be one of the top contenders in this division all season long.”
Sent off as the second choice in the wagering No Respect returned $5.40, $2.40 & $2.60 while winning for the for the sixth time in 15 career starts and pushing her lifetime bankroll up to $130,086.
The first elimination battle for the diagonally gaited ladies provided a mild upset as Steve Searle and Thomas Wisniewski’s Ants Iner Pants swept into the lead on the backstretch and then held tough the rest of the way to score by two-lengths in a career best of 1:57.3 over a sloppy track for co-owner, trainer and driver Steve Searle.
After getting away fifth in the field of nine the daughter of-Patient Dream watched Fox Valley Velvet (Dave Magee) lead the field through an opening quarter in 29.0.
Searle then made the decision to send his filly on a power sweep to the front and Ants Iner Pants responded beautifully as she quickly swept into command leading the field through middle splits of 58.4 and 1:28.3.
After turning away the bids of the pocket sitting Fox Valley Velvet and a first over Star Of Victory (John Roberts), Ants Iner Pants continued to trot gamely to the wire as a fast closing Divas Photo closed strongly. That bid was in vain though as Ants Iner Pants was too much for this group on Sunday night scoring for the second time in four starts this season.
Fox Valley Velvet held on for second in a tight photo over Divas Photo. Powerful Star (Dale Hiteman) finished fourth while Power Talk (Marcus Miller) gained a spot in the final with a fifth place finish.
In the nightcap Arthur Reynolds and Jodi Peacock’s Rubys And Pearls made her sophomore debut a winning one as she came charging through the stretch to win by a 1 ¼ lengths in 2:03.3 for driver-trainer Rick Schrock.
Reserved in the early going the daughter of-Reggae Ruby was allowed to settle into seventh while Gumcorner Hustle (Dean Magee) and Cryptic Gold battled through opening splits of 31.0 & 1:01.3.
Getting underway as the field moved around the final bend Shrock had the bay filly in a live outer flow while third over as Cryptic Move and Maevey Gravy (Marcus Miller) battled by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:32.4.
by Tom KELLEY