THURSDAY'S AMERICAN NATIONAL RECAP

07:02 PM 16 Sep 2005 NZST
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CHOCOLATIER MISS WISCONSIN
CHOCOLATIER - HAD NO PROBLEMS GETTING OVER THE SLOPPY SURFACE
MISS WISCONSIN - AND MIKE LACHANCE ROLLED TO VICTORY

Freshman trotters took center stage on Thursday night (September 15) at Balmoral Park as a pair of American National Stakes received top billing on the 11-race program.

An early evening deluge turned the track into a sea of mud but that did not stop the highly regarded Miss Wisconsin and Chocolatier from splashing home with convincing victories.

In the $128,000 filly event Miss Wisconsin knocked off a field 10 with an impressive come from behind score in 2:00.2 over the sloppy surface.

Given a perfect steer by Hall Of Famer Mike Lachance Miss Wisconsin was floated away from post position nine and Lachance neatly found a spot for her to tuck in fourth just after an opening quarter in 29.3.

Content to bide their time while saving ground through middle splits of 1:00 & 1:30.2 Lachance began to look for racing room as the field turned for the money.

This year’s Merrie Annabelle winner then came charging through the lane blowing by her rivals with an impressive 28.4 final split to win going away by 11/4 lengths. Belle Of The Ball (Brett Miller), who equaled the track record in her elimination win last week, had to settle for the bridesmaid role while Victor’s Finesse (Andy Miller), the 8-5 favorite of the betting public, gave way late and wound up third.

The win was the fifth in eight starts for the Ron Gurfein trained miss who now boasts earnings of $321,310 for the Miss Wisconsin Stable of Old Forge, Pennsylvania.

Another full field of 10 trotting colts was sent postward for race seven as they slugged it out for a purse of $150,000.

Proving once again that a sloppy track is to his liking, Doug Ackerman Stables Chocolatier cruised to a very easy three length triumph in 2:00.3.

Taking advantage of their inside starting spot Doug R. Ackerman positioned his colt in the garden spot as Remus (Jimmy Takter) led the field through splits of 29.2, 1:00.4 and 1:32.0.

Fit and fresh after that ground saving journey, Ackerman pulled his charge from the pocket as the field turned for home and then waved goodbye to the pacesetter as he quickly opened up a two length lead. Getting over the sloppy surface really seemed to appeal to this son of Credit Winner, who also won a Hanover Stake on a sloppy track here back in July, as he reported home with his fourth win in five career starts. Double Player (David Miller) took advantage of a ground saving journey to pick up the second place check while Man About Town (Mike Lachance) was a distant third, seven lengths behind the winner.

TOM KELLEY

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