STONEBRIDGE REGAL FAVOURED

11:10 PM 28 Jul 2005 NZST
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Stonebridge Regal
Stonebridge Regal
Photo by Michael Lisa - Lisa Photo, Inc. - 2005 Meadowlands Pace elimination winner.

Will the “home track” advantage come into play Saturday night (July 30) for Illinois champion Team Hutch or will nationally ranked Stonebridge Regal live up to his flashy credentials and not be caught in Balmoral Park’s $250,000 American National 3-Year-Old colt pace final.

Or can one of the nine other talented second season pacers pull off an upset in the 58th consecutive edition of the prominent added money event that begin back in 1948 at old Sportsman’s Park, producing such past pacing stars as Good Time, Bret Hanover, Nero, Falcon Seelster, Jate Lobell, Matt’s Scooter, Beach Town and Artsplace.

The stakes record of 1.49.2 was set at Balmoral Park in 1999 by Blissful Hall, one year after the American Nationals shifted to the Chicago circuit’s south suburban facility.

Team Hutch is unbeaten over his last nine consecutive starts at Balmoral Park for his Warrenville, IL owners Joy and Bonnie Neal Hutchinson, a streak that includes victories in this season’s Hanover and Cardinal championships and an American National triumph in his final start as a 2-Year-Old under the handling of trainer Homer Hochstetler.

Unraced at two, Stonebridge Regal has already amassed $577,466 in his first season, winning 10 of 15 starts for trainer and co-owner Bob McIntosh.

With some better racing luck the son of Artsplace might be closing in on a seven-figure earning total midway through his first year of campaigning.

“He broke a front hopple hanger at the half. His left hopple was down around his knees and I knew I was in trouble,” driver Jack Moiseyev told the Meadowlands Publicity Department after Stonebridge Regal’s third place finish in the $1 million Meadowlands Pace.

“He raced pretty good considering he was first up and had a broken hopple."

Stonebridge Regal had defeated Meadowlands Pace winner and No. 1 ranked Rocknroll Hanover a week earlier in their elimination (1.49.3).

Last month the youngster finished one length behind his rival in the $1.21 million North America Cup at Woodbine.

“I was pretty sure I could've beat him in the North America Cup. I got kind of tangled up a bit at the head of the stretch and Rocknroll got away from me,” Moiseyev also told New Jersey track’s publicity staff. Stonebridge Regal did defeat the nation’s No. 1 ranked horse in their Meadowlands Pace elimination (1.49.3).

Moiseyev pointed out after the colt’s elimination win that Stonebridge Regal can race either way but he can get off the gate faster than any other horse, and he just never gets tired.

Stonebridge Regal will open as the 5-2 morning line favourite (p.p. 4) with Tony Morgan getting the catch drive. The 7-2 second choice Team Hutch starts inside of him (p.p.3) with Pat Berry at his lines for the first time.

Last Saturday’s elimination winner Gold Dust Beach (Jason Dillander, p.p. 5) is at 9-2.

The Joe Seekman trained colt was only a nose behind Team Hutch in the July 2 Hanover Stake despite leaving that night from the outside 10-hole.

The Robin Schadt trained entry of Odds On Peeeete and Odds On Duane is at 6-1. Chevie Cash (8-1), Mandala Quest (5-1), Cheyenne Bodie (15-1), Hawaiian Hunk (15-1) and American Fury (12-1) complete the fifth race field with a lucrative pot of $250,000 on the line.

Courtesy Of Balmoral Park Publicity Department

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