Trainer Tom Simmons’ Jolly Lester was the lone favourite to win last Saturday among the twelve Super Night stake eliminations raced at our sister track Balmoral Park.
Jolly Lester picked up his Orange and Blue split by coming out of the pocket and out closing runner-up Little Pedro with a very quick :26.1 last quarter.
Among the prominent freshman not making this Saturday’s O&B colt final on the 19th edition of Super Night were the pre-stake favorites, DuQuoin champion King Of Kings and the Springfield title holder Mucho Sleazy.
It took a first or second place finish in both the Orange and Blue colt and filly elimination races to make the championship and among those freshmen “on the bubble” was the two-year-old filly sensation She’s So Hot, who was third best in her split. A drawing will determine which two of the four third place elimination finishers will make their respective stake championships.
Earning a start in the filly showdown were the one-two elim finishers: Venenusinbluejeans (1:53.3) and Impressive Char, Westside Gritty (1:52.2) and Kelly’s Keepsake, Lalique Lady (1:54.4) and Don’tmakemelaugh, and Biding My Time (1:53.1) and Dingy’s Model.
Joining She’s So Hot “on the bubble” were the fillies Mokey, Incredible Love and Amazing Marker.
She’s So Hot, rested up after her 1:51.1 track record mile in her Springfield championship last month, grabbed an easy lead. The overwhelming 1-5 favorite took the field through fractions of: 28 flat: 56.3 and 1:25 before giving way in deep stretch. “She just came up empty,” said her driver Dave Magee.
Westside Gritty’s 1:52.2 winning mile equaled Balmoral’s track record for a two-year-old pacing filly.
“This was the first time I drove her and didn’t know much about here,” said Westside Gritty’s driver Jason Dillander. “I didn’t see John (trainer Butenschoen) and Gary (assistant Rath) was busy doing something else. I talked to Dave (Magee) since he had driven her, and he told me about her and said she’s a nice filly.
“Looking at the race going-in, the two horses too beat (Kelley’s Keepsake and She’s So Hot) had the one and two holes, so I was hoping to get away third, which we did,” continued Jason. “I was hoping they would go fast enough so maybe I could sprint past one of them late and make the final. As it turned out, my filly had plenty left and she went past both of them.”
Young Marcus Miller pulled Venusinbluejeans out of the pocket soon after a: 56.2 half and the aggressive move paid off for the 18-year-old son of trainer Erv Miller.
“I didn’t want to get locked-in,” said Marcus. “I knew we had to be one or two to be sure of getting into the final so I wanted to give my filly a shot and she really responded nicely.”
Brent Holland drove Lilique Lady for the first time in her victory.
“I didn’t know a whole lot about her,” said Holland. “I talked to Erv (trainer Miller) and he said she’s not the kind you want to get fired up and get her out of there. Erv said let’s see if you can get some cover, so I did, and it worked out well for us.”
Biding My Time’s elim victory came in only her fourth career start and her first on the Chicago circuit. She won her career debut with Mike Oosting at Springfield and was the runner-up in the First Lady at DuQuoin.
“She’s real green but she acts pretty mature,” said Oosting. “I’ve driven her just about every way and everything I’ve asked her do to do, she’s done. It looks like she’s going to be a good race horse.”
After Jolly Lester overtook Little Pedro in the first O&B colt elimination, the first two finishers in the next three splits were Chevie Classic Rod (1:52.1) and Lets Getit Started, Choros C (1:52) and Froggy Turner, and Omaha Survivor (1:53.3) and Woody’s Shark Bite, all wrapped up berths in the final. On the “colt bubble” were third place finishers Ain’t No Hearsay, What’sittoyougrant, Littlebitoflife and Three Five Seven.
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