Day At The Track

Sue Fee Stake pleasant split at Balmoral Park

04:35 AM 23 Nov 2014 NZDT
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Party Hangover, harness racing
Party Hangover returns for Sue Fee Stake
David Baum Photo

Saturday’s re-scheduled Sue Fee stake at Balmoral Park came up with enough harness racing entries to split the ICF filly and mare event into a pair of $13,250 divisions, something I projected to likely occur a few days ago.

What I didn’t expect was for the one-time Super Night champion Party Hangover to come in from Pennsylvania for the race.

The 5-year-old mare, owned by former Illinois trainer Ken Rucker, sent Party Hangover back to Illinois under the care of his wife Catrina for the Sue Fee.

The Party At Artsplace mare has been made the 5-2 morning line favorite in the ninth face, the first division of Sue Fee and is being reunited with Todd Warren who guided the mare to six consecutive Chicago circuit victories earlier this year, including the $21,400 Parklane Powerful back in mid-June.

Party Hangover left Illinois after a disappointing sixth place finish in the Propes Final on Super Night when she was parked-out to a 27.1 first quarter shooting out from the 10-hole.

“Her blood word was all mussed up for that race,” said Catrina. “It still wasn’t right when she raced later at Saratoga but it looks like she’s good again. She wouldn’t let anybody pass her last week in Pennsylvania."

Party Hangover dropped her first five decisions when she left Illinois, a pair of Open Handicaps at Saratoga in upstate New York, and a trio of conditioned paces in Pennsylvania, before winning her last start (1:55.1) at Philadelphia in front-stepping fashion.

“We sent her back out east after Super Night because there weren’t any races here in Chicago for her. They weren’t writing the “Winner’s Over.” Now that they are we plan on keeping the mare in Illinois through the end of the year,” added the one-time Maywood Park Trainer of the Year.

As a 3-year-old, Party Hangover came away with the Grandma Ann 3-year-old filly title on Super Night when she raced out of the Jesse De Long stable. She was acquired by the Rucker’s in 2013.

“We bought Party Hangover privately near the end of last year and sent her out East to race,” said Catrina. “She did very well there but she was ever better when she came back to Illinois, winning a lot of races with Todd.

“We trained her Thursday for Saturdays’ stake and she trained like a monster. She likes being back home and she likes having her boyfriend Sage Ruck in the stall next to her. You can see he’s happy to have his girlfriend back, too.”

Party Hangover will leave from post three tonight with State Street Liz (3-1, Bobby Smolin) and Fox Valley Amanda (6-1, Dale Hiteman) on her inside and Tamarac Sassy (8-1, Casey Leonard), Ryleigh’s Lilly (4-1, Mike Oosting), Schmatie (10-1, John De Long) and Financial Effort (10-1, Ross Leonard) on her right.

The fifth race first Sue Fee division looks to be wide-open according to the program odds with Just Be Design (3-1, Dave Magee), Dallas Jones (7-2, Tim Curtin) and Auniqueaquisition (4-1, Dale Hiteman) the first flash favorites.

Then it’s Whistle Pig (Ross Leonard) at 5-1, Molly Go Lightly (Mike Oosting) at 8-1, Rev Me Up (Brian Carpenter) and Kimberley R (Bobby Smolin) both at 10-1, and the 15-1 longshot Toshie Special (Jacob Fox).

by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

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