Day At The Track

Two-year-old pacers of both sexes on display

06:18 PM 08 Oct 2009 NZDT
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Illinois top harness racing two-year-old pacers of both sexes will be on display Friday night as the $56,650 Violet Stake and $51,900 Cardinal Stakes share top billing on a very strong 14-race program which will have a special post time of 7:10 p.m. (central).

Carded as race five on the program the Violet Stake is headed by the John Butenschoen trained and Stretch It Again Stables entry of Fox Valley Oracle and Fox Valley Angie. The stablemates who start from post positions one and five respectively have been installed as the 9-5 favorites among this group of eight.

Fox Valley Oracle was a game winner in last week's elimination action overcoming a grueling trip to win by a half-length in 1:58.4 over a sloppy track. The daughter of Sportsmaster-Our Golden Promise is now riding a two-race winning streak after capturing the Filly Orange & Blue Stake on Super Night at Balmoral Park. Under the watchful eye of her veteran conditioner Fox Valley Oracle has been a model of consistency hitting the board in 10 of 12 lifetime starts while earning almost $165,000.

Fox Valley Angie, the other half of this powerful coupling, also had a tough trip in her elimination and did well to finish third, just three-quarters of a length behind the winner Rolldownthehiway. This daughter of Sportsmaster-Assailed was third in the Filly Orange & Blue and she has also been a factor in most every start putting together a record of 3-2-4 in 11 outings with earnings of $57,305.

Others who figure to be major contenders for top honors include State Fair & First Lady champion The Assassinator and last week's other elimination winner Rolldownthehiway, who boasts a record of 8-3-3 in 16 starts this year for the powerful Erv Miller barn.

The Cardinal Stake has been carded as the sixth race and this battle features division leader Power Of A Moment who has been accorded the 2-1 morning line favoritism despite drawing the dreaded eight-hole tonight.

The Erv Miller trained son of Cole Muffler-Panfastic has been on quite a roll of late taking the Orange & Blue on Super Night, the Governor's Cup Final in DuQuoin and the State Fair Championship in Springfield. This tough as nails gelding comes into the Cardinal riding a seven race winning streak and he has put together an eye-catching record of nine wins and three thirds in 12 starts with earnings of $238,900 for owners Leland Mathias, Bert Hochsprung and the Ervin Miller Stables.

If anyone can knock off the division leader it figures to come from this trio of colts: Fitz's Z Tam, the third place finisher in this year's Orange & Blue; Apache Renegade, who posted a sharp victory in the elimination for this stake last week and was fourth in the Orange & Blue; or Fox Valley Barbosa, who boasts victories in the Yates Eagle Stake and a County Fair Challenge Stake in DuQuoin.


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