The homebred freshman Maplegrove Natalie eked out her first state-bred stake championship Wednesday night at Balmoral Park when she held on and won the $52,500 Violet Final for two-year-old trotting fillies with driver Brandon Simpson.
Sent off as the 7-2 second choice Maplegrove Natalie (9.00) trotted fourth most of the way through some very fast fractions and came from six-half lengths off the lead at the :57.4 half-miler marker, taking charge in the stretch and then holding off a furious rally by 40-1 longshot Chugwater Gal (Mike Oosting) to post a head decision in 2:01.2.
The 4-5 favourite Gloria Wyoming, saddled with the outside 10-hole for driver Dave Magee, as expected left hard but so did others, including 22-1 longshot (No. 7) Tropic Delight (Dale Hiteman) who parked the public’s choice through the :29 first panel and pushed her to the quick first half.
Gloria Wyoming still had command as they turned for home but by the three-quarter mile pole (1:29.2) Maplelane Natalie was less then there lengths off the lead and it was evident she was going on past the tiring favorite.
Chugwater Gal got away slowly and was ninth some 13 lengths behind the Gloria Wyoming at the half-mile marker and almost still almost nine lengths back at the three-quarters when she got into another gear. The Nelson Willis trainee closed a ton however she arrived a stride too late to catch the winner.
Trained by Joseph Mullins (Pleasant Plains, IL), who shares ownership of theoffspring with Thomas Mullins (Wauwatosa, WI), Maplegrove Natalie won for the fourth time in 13 freshman starts, boosting her first season earnings to $61,607.
Balmoral Park Publicity Department