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The countdown to harness racing 'Super Night 2009' began on Saturday night at Balmoral Park as eliminations for the $250,000 Orange & Blue Stake, $240,000 Filly Orange & Blue Stake, $190,000 Grandma Ann Stake & $185,000 Pete Langley Memorial Stake were contested.

Springfield, IL --- Early on in the 3-year-old campaign of Park Lane Deputy, trainer Homer Hochstetler knew he might have something special and the favorite for Wednesday's $50,000 Illinois State Fair Colt Stake Final at Springfield has proven his Illinois Hall of Fame harness racing conditioner was right on the money.

The inaugural edition of the Chicago Southland Festival of Racing came to a close on Sunday night with a pair of $50,000 trotting events bringing down the curtain on a very festive weekend at Balmoral Park.

After being hampered by tough trips in his last three starts driver Dale Hiteman took no chances with Park Lane Deputy in Saturday's $12,000 Hot Head Stake at Balmoral Park as he sent to the pacer to the front and then settled into a pocket sitting position in route to a thrilling head victory in 1:51.1.

Division leader Fox Valley Lover continued her incredible start to the 2009 racing season on Tuesday night as she came flying down the lane to capture the $12,000 Sorce Ann Stake by a neck in a lifetime best of 1:55.

Just as he had done in seven of his nine previous career starts Shirley LeVin's Park Lane Deputy paid yet another visit to the winner's circle on Saturday night as he simply overwhelmed nine rivals to take the $56,700 Cardinal Stake Final for Illinois conceived and foaled three-year-old pacing colts.

Despite winning two of her first three starts this season Paula Smith and James Runyans Fox Valley Lover was still overlooked at the betting windows in Tuesdays $49,800 Violet Stake Final and the daughter of Vaporize/ Love You More made her doubters pay as she cruised to a deceptively easy three quarter length victory in 1:57.2.

A total of 21 Illinois conceived and foaled sophomore pacing fillies were sent to battle on Sunday night as they vied for spots in next week's $50,000 Violet Stake Final. With the overflow at the entry box for the first "major" stake of the season the ladies were split into three $7,500 eliminations with a field of seven going postward in each division.

Wednesday night's fourth race at Balmoral Park was declared a "no-contest" after a nasty wreck prevented any of the seven starters from finishing the race. The accident happened midway around the final turn when Moses Hanover, who was being driven by Mike Oosting, made a nasty break. Darcy Pletcher, who was driving Pappy, was sitting right on his back when the wreck occurred causing his horse to hit the ground.

Sophomore pacing colts stepped into the spotlight on Saturday night at Balmoral Park as a total of 14 state bred three-year-olds battled it out in a pair of $13,930 Illinois Standardbred Owners and Breeders Association stake splits.

Illinois conceived and foaled pacers and trotters shared the spotlight on a busy weekend of racing action at Balmoral Park as a pair of stakes events provided plenty of thrills. Some of Illinois best older pacers stepped on to the track on Saturday, May 2nd as a field of 10 went postward in the $20,000 Rambling Willie Stake.

Illinois conceived and foaled trotting fillies made their first stakes appearance of the season on Wednesday night at Balmoral Park as a full field of 10 sophomores slugged it out in the $15,000 Trotting Tilly Stake.

Sophomore pacing colts opened the 2009 Balmoral Park stakes action on Saturday night as a total of 13 Illinois conceived and foaled three-year-olds met in a pair of $11,500 Taurus Bomber Stake splits.

Get Out Of Dodge drew off to a 3 1/2 length victory in the first of two $38,900 New Jersey Sire Stakes divisions for 3-year-old colt pacers on Saturday night at the Meadowlands. With Yannick Gingras in the sulky, the son of Artiscape coasted wire-to-wire in 1:51.2 and paid $3.40 to win the night's second race.

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