Day At The Track

State breds highlight a holiday weekend

01:01 PM 08 Jul 2013 NZST
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State Street Liz (#1) Aliyah Maria Mystical Walter BS Casino Girl Vienna
State Street Liz (#1) - By a nose in a career best 1:53.2 for driver Robert Smolin
Aliyah Maria - In 1:53.3 for driver Todd Warren
Mystical Walter - In a lifetime best of 1:52
BS Casino Girl - Made her career debut a winning one
Vienna - Picked up her maiden breaking score
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A busy weekend of harness racing action which included the USTA's Back To The Track promotion came to a close on Sunday, July 7th with more Illinois conceived and foaled stakes action providing the fireworks for fans of the sport, both old and new.

Sunday’s action kicked off with a non-wagering event as a field of six state-bred two-year-old trotting fillies battled in the first of two divisions of the $6,000 Vaporize Stake.

Taking advantage of a ground saving trip and a sharp drive by Kyle Wilfong, Robert Phillips and Preston Matson’s Vienna picked up her maiden breaking score as she reported home with a 4 ½ length victory in 2:00.1.

The daughter of Banderas Hall-Talcott Lori saved ground throughout while Say No Mo (Ronnie Gillespie) put up splits of 30.1, 1:01.2 & 1.31.3. Sitting “chilly” into the lane, Wilfong then maneuvered the Robert Phillips trainee into position and she responded with a nice 28.2 final quarter to draw away from her rivals.

S V Spirit (Todd Warren), who had swept into command in the stretch after a big first over bid was forced to settle for the bridesmaid role while Fox Valley Skylar (Dale Hiteman) was a distant third, 13 ¾ lengths behind the winner.

In the second division of the Vaporize Stake Christine & Robert Buttice’s BS Casino Girl made her career debut a winning one with a resounding 9 ½ length romp in 2:01.3 for driver Phil Knox.

With four of the seven youngsters making breaks and another failing to get to the gate in time the daughter of Armbro Tropicana—Wyoming Cowgirl trotted right to the front from post position six. Confidently carving out fractions of 31.2, 1:00.3 & 1:30.1 the Christine Buttice trained miss opened up a 13 ½ lead as the field turned for home.

On cruise control the rest of the way, the 9-1 choice returned a healthy $20.20 win mutuel to those lucky enough to back her in her debut. High Balance (Casey Leonard) finished second while Bailey’s Wish (Dave Magee) was third.

State-bred sophomore pacers were on display on Saturday, July 6th as a pair of stakes showcased some of the Prairie State’s top three-year-olds.

In the first of two $10,000 divisions of the Ohyouprettything Stake for pacing fillies Chris Choros’s State Street Liz rallied in the final strides to knock off five rivals by a nose in a career best of 1:53.2 for driver Robert Smolin.

Perfectly handled from the inside post by Smolin, the daughter of Final Cheers—Pleasepassthejelly saved ground throughout the mile as Dallas Jones (Casey Leonard) put up splits of 27.3, 57.0 & 1:25.4. Waiting patiently at the pylons Smolin maneuvered the Robert Phillips trained miss into the passing lane and she responded beautifully with a 27.0 final quarter to notch her first victory of the season. Mystical Danica (Mike Oosting), who also benefited from a pocket sitting journey was a hard fought second while pace setter Dallas Jones held on for third.

In the second division Rocco Ruffolo’s Aliyah Maria continued her impressive second season roll as she recorded her fourth straight win, scoring by 1 ½ lengths in 1:53.3 for driver Todd Warren.

Sent right to the front from post position three the daughter of Duneside Perch—Maria Maria rattled off splits of 28.2, 57.2 & 1:26.1 while cruising along unchallenged on the front end. With plenty left in reserve the Roger Welch trainee then rolled home in 27.2 to post her fifth win in 11 tries while pushing her seasonal bankroll over the $53,000 mark. Feel Like Dancing (Kyle Wilfong) rallied nicely to finish second while Special Rose (John Roberts) was third.

Sophomore pacing colts were also in action on Saturday night as field of 11 squared off in the $12,000 Hothead Stake.

After dropping a heartbreaking photo to Fancy Creek Elusiv in the Maywood Pace last time out, Paymaq Racing, D&M Trading & Mystical Marker Farms Mystical Walter turned the tables on that rival Saturday night as he reported home with a 2 ¼ length decision in a lifetime best of 1:52.0.

After dodging some traffic problems early in the mile the Erv Miller trainee wound up landing in the “pocket” as Big Brad (Robert Smolin) and Crankin’ It Up (Kyle Wilfong) battled through opening splits of 28.1 & 56.1.

Still saving ground at the pylons as Crankin’ It Up led the field by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:24.3 driver Casey Leonard began searching for racing room with the gelded son of Yankee Skyscaper—Yankee Blue. Finally securing room with a sixteenth of a mile to go Mystical Walter showed the high turn of speed that has caught many a fans eye as he exploded home in 27.0 for his second win of the season.

Fancy Creek Elusiv (Dave Magee), who was far back in the early going rallied well to finish second while Sage Ruck (Mike Oosting) took home the show dough.

by Tom KELLEY

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