Part of this year's Illinois conceived and foaled two-year-old pacing set made their harness racing debuts on Wednesday night at Balmoral Park as a field six youngsters squared off in the $5,000 Egyptian Grande Stake.
When the smoke cleared it was Jerome Daniels & Cornelius Cavett's Queen Of The Nile who emerged victorious in a national season's best of 1:57.0.
Taking full advantage of their inside starting spot driver Jamaica Patton sent the daughter of-Bow Princess Di right to the front as the gate sped away from the field. Pacing along comfortably on top Queen Of The Nile put up an opening quarter of 30.0 before yielding to a hard charging Little Maeve (Mike Oosting) as the field moved down the backstretch.
Little Maeve then proceeded to speed things up a bit rattling off middle splits of 59.3 & 1:28.4 while Queen Of The Nile was content to take the perfect pocket sitting trip.
In the lane Little Maeve continued to hold firm but Queen Of The Nile was still fit and fresh. Securing room in the final sixteenth of a mile, the Jerome Daniels trained miss then sped past Little Maeve to win by a length at odds of 27-1. Little Maeve held on for second while Fox Valley Sedona (Lavern Hostetler) was third.
Thanks to a steady stream of longshots on the Wednesday card there will be carryovers in the Pick 5 ($4,708), Pick 4 ($7,587) & High 5 ($7,543) on Saturday's card. Saturday's program gets underway at 7:10 p.m. (central).