The opening leg of the Fox Valley Redhot Series saw Heather Jean Ann pull off an upset by scooting to her first win since 2004 in 1:57 flat.
The longest shot of the race at 18-1, Heather Jean Ann ($38.80) was nicely rated by Jason Dillander through pacesetting fractions of :28, :58.2 and 1:27.3.
Suspicious Minds (Mike Oosting) came on well for the place, edging the pocket horse Miss Sporty Pants (Ross Leonard) in Friday’s third race opening leg of the series for Illinois bred fillies and mares without four wins or $20,000 in lifetime earnings as of December 1, 2005.
“This was a pretty competitive field in here,” said Dillander. “Brett (trainer Ballinger) told me before the race that he would prefer it if I had her on the front end or very near the front. She was very strong all the way around and in the lane just dug in more and had plenty left.”
Heather Jean Ann had gone winless in eight starts in last year and in her first 2006 start on January 7 at Balmoral Park prior to winning the $7,000 first round of the Fox Valley Redhot Series. The winning five-year-old daughter ofis owned by South Of The Tracks Racing of Brimfield, IL and trained by Ballinger.
The 4-5 favorite Red Head Tramp showed brief early speed from the five-slot before being taken back by driver Brent Holland and then raced sluggishly, finishing a far back fifth, beaten by almost 16 lengths.
The second round of the Fox Valley Redhot moves to Balmoral Park on Saturday, January 21. Maywood Park will host the first of two $10,000 (est.) finals on its Friday night, January 27 program. Balmoral will hold the second showdown on February 4.
Mike Paradise, director of publicity