It was a very busy weekend of harness racing stake elimination action on Saturday, July 21st and Sunday, July 22nd at Balmoral Park as some of the state's top two & three-year-old pacers and trotters met in Southland Festival of Racing stake eliminations.
After a so-so effort to start his harness racing sophomore campaign, Leland Mathias, Omer Miller and the Erv Miller Stables Crime Of Passion flashed the form that made him one of the best in the state as a two-year-old taking Saturday's (June 2nd) $50,800 Cardinal Stake by two and three-quarter-lengths in 1:52.
After pulling off an upset at 11-1 in last week's $121,100 American National Stake at Balmoral Park it would only seem fitting if Erv Miller Stable, Leland Mathias and Omer Miller's Illinois bred harness racing sensation Crime Of Passion could pull off a repeat performance in Friday's $127,800 Abe Lincoln Stake at Maywood Park.
Harness racing trainer Erv Miller was about ready to abandon future breeding plans for the mare Broadway Passion, as her first four foals had earned roughly $14,000 combined, but Miller decided to keep her around after she produced her fifth foal, Crime Of Passion.
Balmoral Park played host to one of its biggest night's of the harness racing year on Saturday as six American National Stake finals were contested over the Crete oval.
Crime Of Passion closed from the middle of the harness racink to win the $121,000 two-year-old colt pace American National at Balmoral Park on Saturday, November 12. Star Recruit finished second, Caviart Key was third and Peck Blue Chip finished fourth.
The countdown to Illinois' biggest night of racing, Super Night 23 on Saturday, Sept. 17th, began in earnest on Saturday as elimination action for the Orange & Blue, Filly Orange & Blue, Tony Maurello Stake, Grandma Ann & Pete Langley Memorial highlighted the 13-race harness racing program.
The U.S.T.A.'s Back To The Track weekend was a hit at Maywood and Balmoral Park both on and off the track as non-stop racing action; giveaways and contests provided plenty of fun for harness racing fans of all ages.
With the Illinois harness racing conceived and foaled stakes season in full swing Balmoral Park played host to a pair of state-bred stakes events on Saturday, June 18th and Sunday, June 19th. The top older pacers in the state assembled on Saturday night as a classy field of nine were sent postward in the $30,000 Broadway Preview Stake.