A pair of minor stakes events for Illinois conceived and foaled two-year-olds headlined another busy harness racing weekend at the Crete oval. On Saturday night, Sawgrass Farms Uncle Smoothie rallied from far back to take the $10,500 Crete Stake while Ciara Stables and John Carver's good looking filly No Respect cruised to an easy score in Sunday's $10,200 Beecher Stake.
In the Crete Stake Uncle Smoothie snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as he looked hopelessly out of it turning for home before finding his top stride and blowing right by nine rivals to score by a half-length in a career best of 1:52.3 for driver Brian Carpenter.
Sitting in sixth some eight lengths off a hot early pace of 27.4 & 55.0 that was being set by Ice Scraper (Marcus Miller), the gelded son of Sportmaster-Kan Commute was then placed into a rapidly developing outer flow.
Despite gaining a position things still looked bleak as Ice Scraper opened up a four-length lead while moving by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:23.0.
Tipping off his cover, the Nelson Willis trainee then seemed to find another gear as the leaders began to get leg weary. Passing horses with each stride through the final sixteenth of a mile Uncle Smoothie zipped right by the field for his fifth win in 12 starts this season. Ice Scraper turned in a big effort from an outside post to hold on for second while M T Nester (Mike Oosting) rallied from eighth to get the show dough.
There was no such drama in Sunday’s Beecher Stake as a confident Eric Carlson moved No Respect, the 1-9 betting favorite in the race, first over heading to the half and then opened up an insurmountable advantage as she cruised to her fourth win in nine career starts. The final time of 1:54.3 was a career best for the daughter of-Justalittlrespect.
In no particular hurry while leaving from the inside post in the field of seven, Carlson had No Respect positioned in third while Financial Effort (Robert Smolin) crept through an opening quarter in 29.1.
Things heated up on the backstretch though as No Respect came charging up on the outside of horses prompting Financial Effort to pick things up as the two fillies raced side by side through a half in 56.1.
Heading around the final turn No Respect quickly dispatched of Financial Effort, opening up a four-length lead as she stormed by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:23.4.
The Tom Harmer trained miss was on cruise control the rest of the way as she rolled under the wire with an easy 2 ¾ length verdict. Fox Valley Swift (Ridge Warren) rallied sixth to be the bridesmaid while Kendyl (Kyle Wilfong) finished third despite making a break before the three-quarter pole.