It was far from an easy trip but it didn't matter a bit to Sportsfancy has she continued her dominance in the three-year-old Illinois bred pacing division with a very impressive 1:54.4 victory in a $22,120 ISOBA stake.
Starting from the seven-slot in a bulky 11-horse field with no less than three trailers, Ryan Anderson had the 3-10 public's choice out in a hurry however so did a number of her rival drivers. Sportsfancy was three-deep through the first turn before dropping into fifth but only for about 20 yards when Anderson saw Kiss Of Heaven (Brent Holland) coming in a hurry.
Sportsfancy was back out and going and raced parked through the second and third turns with Past The Evidence taking the field to :27.2 ad :57.1 first half fractions. Sportsfancy cleared to the lead on the backside, opened it up with a 1:25.4 third quarter time, and then pulled away with every stride, winning by five open lengths. Kiss Of Heaven took second and it was almost nine lengths back to the third place finisher Perdido.
"It's great to have a filly like this in your barn," said winning trainer John Butenshoen said. "Sportsfancy is just very professional and at the farm, she jogs like a kitten. You'd never know she was this caliber of horse. But on the track and in a race, she just does her job. I really didn't have any doubts about her chances here tonight.
"She'll get a week off and then head to Balmoral for the American National (November 3), and then possibly to the Breeders Crown," Butenschoen added. "However, that's an awful big supplement, so we'll see. That's a decision that Larry (owner Baron) will have to make."
Sportsfancy's gaudy second season record now stands at 13 wins in 19 starts with $316,220 banked.
Mike Paradise, director of publicity