The American Nationals are here

06:09 AM 03 Nov 2007 NZDT
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There are a handful of days an Illinois Harness fan looks forward to in a year and this Saturday is one of the highlights. It is the American Nationals from Balmoral Park, featuring six stakes finals with purses totaling over $1.2 million.

The best in the world will be in Crete for this great night of harness racing, and if you can’t get to Balmoral for the live card, you’ll need to get to your favorite OTB this Saturday. All OTBs will be participating in special promotions where you can win programs for the remainder of 2007 or a $100 wagering voucher. If you every made it a point to get to your favorite or maybe even new OTB, this is the night.

The fourth race is the first of the American National stakes for 2 year old filly pacers. Beachy Girl looks to take much of the action in this stake and she didn’t get the job done two weeks ago as the 1-5 favorite. I’ll look elsewhere. Kelly’s Keepsake drew inside of Beachy Girl and figures to be a major player here. This filly has won two major Illinois stakes races already in 2007 and should have a big shot tonight. My pick will be the three, Wondrous Grace. With the action the two mentioned above will get, Grace should be the value play. Grace won in a big upset two weeks ago and the driver change is a major one. $50 to win on Wondrous Grace.

The 4 year old and up American National stake for trotters is the fifth on tonights card. Eight hopefuls will chase the gate, with Corleone Kosmos as the expected favorite. The value play should be the five, Two Weeks Notice, who was parked last time and needed that race but still was competitive – look for improvement. A local hopeful is the one, Dink Adoo, this gelding will need a quick pace to get up in time. A quick pace is a possibility here. With all being said though, my $50 will be on Corleone Kosmos to win.

Four local favorites in the FFA division pace in the sixth race, the American National Pace for 4 year olds and up. Those four are Royal Man, My Boy David, Thisbigdogwilfight and Load the Dice, the latter two having the best chance. Three million dollar earners come to battle those four in this contest, Jeremes Jet, Maltese Artist and Mister Big. This one looks like all Mister Big, Dave Miller will be a well timed move away from getting this one. $50 to win on Mister Big.

The most wide open of the American National stakes is the 3 year old filly stake, where ten fillies will be pacing for their share of 206k. Likely favorite is the seven, Go On BB. Go on BB comes from out of state in fine form and has won 25 of her last 31 starts. Also coming a long way for this is the one, Me and My Baby. This filly has only won one of her fourteen starts this year and Palone chose to pilot the above. She’ll be over bet and I’ll stay away. I will be placing a $50 win bet on the eight, Sportsfancy. I picked against her in the Cinderella but am now a believer. She’ll have to overcome the eight post but is truly capable. She’s won four in a row and 13 of 19 this year and I have to believe connections were pointing to this particular spot and I think we’ll get a pretty good price.

In the 2 year old Colt and Gelding pace American National the five Sand Shooter has looked impressive of late and should be there every step of the way. If any kind of a pace dual develops, the two Mucho Sleazy looks like he will be charging hard toward the finish. Lets Getit Started, the eight finished second to Mucho Sleazy in the elimination and can’t be overlooked. But my choice will be the three, Genuwine. Genuwine draws inside for this contest and was favored in his elimination from an outside position, with the post relief and getting Dave Magee in the bike, $50 says Genuwine gets it done. Dave Magee always seems to get a win on these type of nights.

The last of the American National stakes races is the ninth race for 3 year old pacers. Ten hopefuls pace toward the start with the nine, Won the West being the likely favorite. In his first season this gelding is 15 of 20 lifetime, including an impressive victory at the Meadows last week and a fourth place finish in the Jug. Home Bed Advantage looks to be pacing well now but is still winless in 2007. Saratoga John is Erv Millers best entry into this contest and his stock is always capable. Another pacing well recently on the Chicago circuit is the five, Booze Cruzin, who captured the Windy City Pace in October. In the pace I went with KF St Patrick, who had a bad trip at 2-1. My belief is that KF St. Patrick will get a better trip out of the seven slot on the mile track then he did at Maywood. $50 says KF St. Patrick turns the tables on Booze Cruzin and gets the job done.

With all the exciting things happening on existing OTBs, as well as the new facilities, you cannot help to GET LUCKY…HAVE FUN and WIN MONEY. If you would like to know where the new locations are, you can find out by searching www.illinoisotb.com for more information. Our newest facility is scheduled to open in the next two weeks at Ohio and LaSalle in Chicago’s River North Area. Make sure to get to your favorite OTB this weekend for all the excitement.

AST WEEK 2007

WAGERED WAGERED

$250 $4,604.00

ETURNED RETURNED

$120 $5,106.60

Balmoral Saturday, November 3rd

1st race

- AC Excellent Buy… Dropped from $15K to $4K and immediately claimed by top barn

1- Dreamintheniteaway… Bows for new barn coming off sizzling win at Maywood.

4- Shadow Of Lighting… Back on the mile where he prefers it. Flying late at price.

3- Red Star Ty… Benefits from a start and may be coming into a big race.

nd race

- Escapefromalcatraz… Back in a softer condition and on the mile where he should close well.

5- Secured Risk… Steps up off a new life mark. Wins right back if he’s as sharp tonight.

4- The Steelman… Solid work ethic since arriving on local scene. May show speed.

7- Cabana Jack… Makes his first start since March but the upside is his class.

rd race American National 2yr colts & geldings cons. pace $36000

- Omaha Survivor… Has all kinds of ability when he puts it altogether. Seems fit.

6- Really Showing Off… Well short in a fast elim for this stake. Fits a lot better here.

3- Corner Blitz… Can’t explain his last two but prior starts put him in the hunt with these.

4- Andy Roo… Like the rest of these a lot better off this time around as far as company.

th race American National 2yr filly stake pace $143000

- Beachy Girl… Fizzled here at 1-5 in a prep for this so let’s hope she has a short memory.

1- Kelly’s Keepsake… She’s been idle but the O&B winner has been pointed for this stake.

6- Dragonfest… Third or better in six out of eight life starts. Had a strong prep.

3- Wondrous Grace… A relative unknown coming into last week’s prep. Adds Campbell.

th race American National 4yr & up stake trot $190000

- Corleone Kosmos… Top ranked trotter checks in with over $600,000 on his card this year.

5- Two Weeks Notice… Solid start over the track in a race he figured to need. In the hunt.

7- Man About Town… High speed invades with a solid record. Benefits from a start.

6- Killer Whale… Top trot barn has had a lot of success here locally. On a roll now.

th race American National 4yr & up stake pace $205000

- Maltese Artist… Closing in on the coveted million dollar mark in earnings this year.

5- Load The Dice… Local hopeful checks into this sharp and has home field edge.

7- Mister Big… Checks in with over a million on his card already this year. Been a tad off.

3- Thisbigdogwilfight… Looks to put his name in the national spotlight with a solid showing.

th race American National 3yr filly stake pace $206000

- Sportsfancy… State bred is on a roll and this field didn’t come up too tough.

1- Me And My Baby… Sports only one victory this year but a bankroll nearing $500K.

6- Real Velocity… Tuned up nicely winning a conditioned overnight here. Up in class.

4- Platinum Hanover… Top ranked Jersey girl qualified ready to go for this stake.

8th race American National 2yr colt & gelding stake pace $145000

- Mucho Sleazy… Fresh off a new life mark and seems to be peaking at the right time.

5- Sand Shooter… Narrowly escaped with a victory in last week’s elim. Reunited with D. Miller.

8- Lets Getit Started… Been solid on the local scene. Had a tough trip here last week.

3- Genuwine… Best overall credentials but seems to be underachieving right now.

th race American National 3yr stake pace $275000

- Won The West… A fixture on the Grand Circuit this year and looks to extend streak to three.

5- Booze Cruzin… Has come on strong lately and does have the inside track here.

8- The Quiet Mon… Stormed out of the blocks early in the season. Been idle since June.

10- Exterminator… Knows the course and a likely speed duel could set the table.

0th race

- Wonderful One… Beaten chalk sizzled off a wicked half and tired. May make amends.

1- Active Trading… Been competitive in last two at this level and now draws the rail.

4- Universal Dream N… Just up off a ground saving trip and figures to contend again.

10- Kings Road… First or second in last four starts and if not for the post a major player.

1th race

- You Rock… New horse on local scene making first start since April but in top barn.

4- B Tomm… Claimed by a barn that knows him well and actually fits better off drop.

7- Fox Valley Cub Fan… Had some nice races earlier but has tailed off. First time lasix.

8- Natural Lad N… Checks in 0-for-23 this year but has been close in last few.

2th race

- Luckability… Took a mark off the claim and looks good for another with the right trip.

1- Grand Freedom… He’s hit or miss. Last week he was a hit. This week?

4- Starlite Player… Never in contention. Likely added striking range from this better post.

8- Sebring Sun… Stepped it up last start at 10-1 odds. In the hunt again but works harder.

3th race

- Demack’s Quick… Dead-heated for the win last week at bottom level and now steps up.

6- Four Starzzz Fella… On a tremendous roll right now. May keep on winning despite hike.

1- Chain of Light… Been slowly coming into a big race. In contention from the rail.

8- Watering Cam… Tough post but drops a level looking for a spark. Consider.

4th race

3- Jeremy Moon… Back to the bottom level where he won three in a row prior to last.

9- Escapewitoutatrace… Awoke to win last off a layoff. Could be even better tonight.

1- Mr Maxwell… Coming off much improved outing and figures to benefit from trip.

2- The Janitor… Drops looking for a spark. Should be around at the end.

est Play: OMAHA SURVIVOR 3rd race

Best Value: AC EXCELLENT BUY 1st race

PIC 4 KEYS (8-11): 1-5-8 with 5-8-9 with 1-4-8 with 2-4-7

Bookie Magee's

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