Day At The Track

Stake shift to Balmoral a winning maneuver

01:31 AM 08 May 2015 NZST
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Balmoral Park - Maywood Park
Balmoral Park - Maywood Park

The decision to write back the 3-year-old ICF Taser Gun stake for this weekend and move it to Balmoral Park when last Friday’s scheduled event at Maywood had only 4 entries has turned out to be a wise change in plans and a winning situation for horsemen, track management, and Chicago circuit harness racing fans.

While the number (4) of Taser Gun entries was deemed insufficient by the Maywood Park Race Office, that certainly wasn’t the case for this Saturday at Balmoral. A full field of 10 horses entered and the stake for state-bred colt and gelding pacers will be a strong betting race in its debut the big track in Crete, IL

The ninth race field, listed in post-position order, will be comprised of Rockin Cassanova, The Big Sleazy, Earndawg, Dixie’s Boy, Dinky Dude, Casey At Bat, Lucpark, Mighty Hot Shot, Dakota Roadster and Fox Valley Elijah.

Saturday’s Taser Gun will share top billing with a pair of “Winner’s Over” events. The fourth race trot has Ants Iner Pants, Master Of Excuses, Double H Cash Hall, Celebrity Hercules, Hudson Jesse and the likely favorite Justice Jet, in that order.

The eighth race pace will line up with Legal Transfer, Lucky Crusader, Preemptive Bid, Fort Silky, Time To Roll and Best Man Hanover with posts 1 through 6, respectively.

Messy Qualifiers: Tuesday morning’s rain put a bit of a damper on Balmoral’s qualifiers but a number of ICF 3-year-olds did splash their way to some solid times.

Three seconds of qualifying time were allowed by the stewards because of the rain-soaked “sloppy” racing strip.

Homer Hochstetler’s 3-year-old filly trotter Fox Valley Harrah, who played second fiddle stablemate Persuasive Look as a freshman last year, was almost 8 lengths the best in the first qualifier in hand to Casey Leonard.

Fox Valley Harrah trotted a :28.2 last quarter in her 2:01 mile. The Lady Lincoln Land runner-will compete in this Sunday’s Betzotic stake.

Last year’s Springfield and Du Quoin freshman filly trotting champion Fox Valley Yoko had to race against pacers in her qualifier. While the Curt Grummel trainee ended up 8-plus behind in a 1:57.2 mile, she came home in :28.1 with John De Long and was timed in 1:58.4 in the slop.

Quaid Racing’s Angel Demon (Mike Oosting), the bridesmaid at Springfield, Du Quoin and in Balmoral’s American National, competed in her third recent qualifier and hit the timer in 1:57.2, beaten 3/4’s of a length by the veteran mare Miss Pat Weisar.

The Jim Eaton Stable’s 3-year-old C Note (Mike Oosting) pulled away to a 1:58.2 clocking in his qualifier. C Note ended his freshman campaign last October with the third place check in the Cardinal Pace at Maywood.

C Note, a full brother to 2008 Langley Consolation Super Night champion Determined This ($392,114), was a $20,000 purchase by Phil Langley at the 2013 Walker Sale.

Dry in Springfield: Rain wasn’t a problem Tuesday in the middle of our state where four qualifiers went postward on a fast track at Springfield.

The quickest clocking of 1:57.4 was trotted by the Mike Rogers Stable’s Shez So Sassy who drew off by almost 4 lengths in front-end fashion. The now 3-year-old Powerful Emotion filly went 4-for-6 last year as a freshman and came away with the Illinois Stallion Stake title at Charleston and the Downstate Class crown at Lincoln.

Shez So Sassy also will make her 3-year-old bow in Sunday’s Betzotic. Todd Warren will drive.

Shez So Sassy, who sold under the name Fox Valley Sonora to Donald Huddleston, is a half-sister to Sassy Kat, the 2011 Lady Ann Reed Consolation title, who is also owned by the Palmer, IL resident.

Mike Paradise

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