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Illinois conceived and foaled trotters were back in the spotlight on Wednesday night with a pair of stakes highlighting the nine-race card. Freshmen fillies had the chance to grab their biggest payday of the year for the state-bred set as a field of nine went postward in the $90,000 Lady Lincoln Land Stake while a compact field of six sophomore trotting fillies gathered in a $10,100 Betzotic Stake to start the Wednesday night action. The Betzotic proved to be a walk in the park for Super Night winner Bailey's Wish as the pride of owners Jim Bafia and Eugene White demolished her rivals with a 7 ½ length score in 1:57.3 for driver Dave Magee. Sent to the front by Magee after an opening quarter in 29.0 the daughter of Southwind Breeze--Jen made the top easily and was unchallenged through middle splits of 57.4 & 1:27.3. Quickly putting daylight between herself and the rest of the field, the Dirk Simpson trained miss left her rivals in her wake as she cruised under the wire with her fifth win in 13 starts this season. Band's Alexis (Todd Warren) rallied late to finish second while Say No Mo (John De Long) was third. Even-money co-favorite Macie Rae made a break in the lane and finished last in the field of six. Bailey's Wish returned $4.20, $2.80 & $2.20 while upping her career record to 10-8-3 in 27 starts with earnings of $243,938. With the scratch of last week's elimination winner Jazzie Mermaid (injured) the LadyLincolnLand looked like it would be a showdown between Fox Valley Yoko and Persuasive Look. Unfortunately a break behind the gate took out the latter and the former made a break while challenging in deep stretch allowing a game Bi Polar Rose to post a front stepping half-length victory in 1:59.3 for Travis Seekman. Confidently handled by Seekman the daughter of Polar Winner--I Still Owe trotted right to the top from post five, putting up leisurely splits of 29.4, 59.3 & 1:29.0 while cruising along unchallenged. In the lane the Ronnie Roberts trained miss dug in gamely, turning back a "passing lane" challenge from 29-1 longshot Fox Valley Harrah (Kyle Wilfong) who had enjoyed a perfect pocket sitting trip while also keeping Fox Valley Yoko (John De Long) at bay to notch her third win in eight tries. Fox Valley Harrah was forced to settle for the bridesmaid role while Fox Valley Yoko did well to salvage a third place finish after the miscue. Sent off at 7-2 by the betting public Bi Polar Rose returned $9.20, $4.00 & $3.00 while running her record to 3-2-1 in eight starts with earnings of $60,515 for owners Cynthia Demarlie and Jason Van Winkle. by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park  

Super Night 2014 at BalmoralPark kicked off with a pair of trotting events for harness racing three-year-olds as the $100,000 Lady Ann Reed Stake and the $100,000 Su Mac Lad started the biggest night of racing for the state-bred set. It was only fitting that Super Night's leading reinsman, Hall of Famer Dave Magee piloted the winner of the opener as he guided James Bafia and Eugene White's Bailey's Wish to a neck victory in the Lady Ann Reed. The final time was 1:58.1.   Given a perfect steer despite leaving from post position nine the daughter of Southwind Breeze--Jen was able to work her way to the front after being parked through opening splits of 29.1 & 57.2.   "I was a little concerned and a little surprised we had to work that hard to make the front," said a relieved Magee. "Like most any horse she's best off a trip but that wasn't going to happen from the 9-hole tonight."   Continuing to roll along on the front end as the ladies passed the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:26.3 Bailey's Wish began to brace for the challenge of heavily favored Macie Rae (Ryan Anderson) who was out and rolling from third.   As the two hooked up with just over an eighth of a mile to go disaster struck for the favorite as she made a nasty break leaving Bailey's Wish alone on the front.   The Dirk Simpson miss then dug in gamely as she neared the wire, holding off a late bid in the passing lane from longshot Lora Lee Breeze for her fourth win of the season. Lora Lee Breeze was a hard charging second while Say No Mo (John De Long) was third.   "I knew my horse was going to try all the way down the lane but I really wasn't sure how much she had left when that horse came at her," said Magee. But the other filly made the break and my horse seemed to get more confidence at that point and she just kept going long enough to get there."   The second choice in the wagering, Bailey's Wish returned $8.00, $4.00 & $3.20 while running her career numbers to 9-8-3 in 26 starts with earnings of $238,438.   Magee was right back in the winner's circle in the Su Mac Lad picking up a late drive as Marcus Miller was delayed getting to Balmoral and making the most of it, notching his 31st career Super Night win by steering Donald Emond's Big Bill Breeze to a 2 ¾ length victory in 1:56.1.   Sent right to the front from post position six the gelded son of Southwind Breeze--Big Z Cornsilk proceeded to stroll through splits of 29.0, 58.4 & 1:27.0 while under very little pressure from the rest of the field.   "I was very pleased by the way the opening splits went out there," explained Magee. Once I got control of things I knew I could always let somebody and go and still get the good trip but we never had to."   Easily fending off a first over bid from heavy favorite Fox Valley Veto (John De Long), the Monte Gelrod trainee was pretty much under wraps as he pulled away from his nine rivals for his 12th win in 16 starts this year. Bobby B Breeze (Todd Warren) parlayed a perfect pocket sitting trip into a second place check while Tour Hall (Mike Brink) rallied to finish third.   After the win Magee was quick to sing the praises of Nick Prather who conditioned Big Bill Breeze up until his recent sale.   "Nick really did a great job with this horse, developing him, teaching him and getting him to race up to his abilities," said Magee. "Now Monte has continued with him and he's really a very nice and solid trotter."   Now sporting an impressive slate of 19-2-5 in 28 career trips postward with earnings of $102,616 Big Bill Breeze returned $8.80, $6.00 & $5.00.   Bailey's Wish and Dave Magee held on gamely to win the Lady Ann Reed.   Magee was right back in the winner's circle with Big Bill Breeze in the Su Mac Lad.   Tom Kelley

Elimination races for Wednesday night were not necessary for both American National 2-year-old paces. The initial American National championships of the season will be raced at Balmoral Park next week, September 17. The $57,000 American National for freshman colts and geldings will have a field of nine headed up by Shoot The Thrill and Poseidon, a pair of locally owned horses with stakes triumphs on the east coast. The Dirk Simpson trained Shoot The Thrill won a $21,000 division of rhe Arden at The Meadows and a $33,026 PASS stake at Philadelphia for Illinois owners Jim Bafia (Minooka) and Gene Smith (Chicago). The Erv Miller trainee Poseidon, owned and bred by Paymac Racing of Long Grove, IL and Shim Racing of Deerfield, comes off a 1:57.1 victory in the $41,004 Reynolds at Tioga Downs in New York. Also going postward will be Air Force Blue, Hanover champion Cruisin Valor, Iron, recent Balmoral winner Jake Quaider, Ky Lucky, Orchids And Ale and Stickem Buck. The American National for filly pacers carries an estimated $60,000 pot and will be comprised of Fox Valley Yoko, winner at both Springfield and Du Quoin, Fox Valley Harrah, Jazzie Mermaid, Lima Pizzaz, Nanars, Powerfulebrowning and Fox Valley Flan champ Persuasive Look. On The Bubble: A drawing in the Balmoral Park Race Office Wednesday afternoon will determine which the fourth place finishers (Fox Valley Touche, Zumba or Auniqueaquisrion) in Saturday’s three Lorna Propes elimination divisions will move on to that $120,000 Final. Third elimination division longshots Just By Design (8-1), Fox Valley Absolut (9-1) and Toshie Spefcial (50-1) were one-two-three while the race’s three betting favorites Ryleigh’s Filly, Dallas Jones and Whistle Pig ended up non-factors in 6th, 7th and 8th, and will race in a $25,000 Consolation. Pre-stake favorites, Let’s Go Higher, Dune In Red, Party Hangover and State Street Liz all moved on to championship. Sure Thing ? Unlocked (Dave Magee) is looking more and more like a “lock” in the Langley Final. The Duneside Perch colt has breezed against other 3-year-old ICF pacers in the Incredible Finale (1:50.2), Springfield (1:49/1), Du Quoin (1:51.3) and last Saturday’s Langley elim (1:50.3) with an average winning margin of almost six lengths Early Start: A reminder that first post for Super Night Saturday will have an earlier-than-normal time of 6:30 pm (Chicago Time).. As usual the $187,000 Orange and Blue Colt Final is the14th and last race on the card and usually goes off around midnight when about three-quarters of the festive crowd are long-gone. Worth the Wait: If your able to stay to the end you should see a heck of a horse with race Governor’s Cup champion Lucpark talking on the powerful Roger Welch Stable’s three-horse entry of Mini Me victor King Of The Swamp, Earndawg and Rockin Cassinova, along with Springfield champ Thisishowweroll, DuPage’s Z Tam, Dakota Roadster, C Note, Mighty Hot Shot and Fox Valley Ellijah.  Missing the final and likely competing in the $25,000 O&B Colt Consolation are The Big Sleazy, Pathologist, Lotta Riches. Parity and Engine One O One from Saturday’s first elimination and Uncle Si, Casey At Bat, Joel’s Z Tam, Get Your Camo On and Better Done Dune from the second. by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

COLUMBUS, MN. - Trot Fudge Sundae continued the rotation of winners of the weekly $8000 Open Trot on Wednesday night at Running Aces.   In the process the four-year-old American Native mare broke the track record for her age, sex and gait by four-fifths of a second. Her 1:55.2 clocking eclipsed the previous best of Heartsaregonnaroll established in 2013.   Driver-trainer Rick Magee was content to sit in the pocket through fractions of :28.2, :58.3 and 1:26.2 before collaring frontstepping Wilamar Valley (Tim Maier) and holding off third place finisher Franky Provolone (Steve Wiseman).   Again the entire field was less than three lengths apart at the wire. Trot Fudge Sundae is owned by the partnership of James Bafia, Eugene White and the Dirk Simpson Stable.   Toatsmygoats continued his domination of the Minnesota-sired two-year-old pacing ranks with his sixth win in seven tries in an $11,500 race for the state's best freshmen. As a prohibitive favorite, leading driver Jason Ryan (who was celebrating his 26th birthday), was able to control the throttle through a pedestrian first half then accelerate through a fast final half to triumph in 1:56.2 over Queen Of Denial (Nick Roland) and Moonshinenmonkeys (Rick Magee).   Toatsmygoats has now earned $37,000 in seven starts for the Van Otterloo Stables and will be one of the headliners when the Minnesota State Championship races for $20,000 purses go postward on closing day, August 30.

Four divisions of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for freshman trotters were contested at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon (August 14), each going for a purse of over $65,000. In the first division, the wagering public backed Tick Tok Tag (Broadway Hall-Tags Schooner) who was coming off two narrow defeats against similar at The Meadows. Off the gate, it was the Erv Miller trainee Ralph R (Muscle Massive-Aiken For Clay) going for the lead, but he quickly yielded to the favorite at the quarter, which went in :29 seconds flat. There was no change in position until the top of the stretch, when Ralph R emerged out of the pocket, and was able to out duel Tick Tok Tag in the late stages, winning by a nose, in a time of 1:57.2. Divisionist (Andover Hall-Only Lonely) finished third. Ralph R is owned by The Ervin Miller Stables and Paymaq Racing, trained by Erv Miller, and was driven by Marcus Miller. In Division two, undefeated Piercewave Hanover (Donato Hanover-Passionate Glide) was the one to beat, sent off as the public choice. As the wings closed, the favorite sprinted right out for the lead, with the Ake Svanstedt charge Colbert (Cantab Hall-Domestic Diva) securing the pocket spot, by the quarter in :28 seconds. After rating a :31 second quarter, Piercewave Hanover felt pressure from a first-over Honor And Serve (Donato Hanover-Honorable Daughter). As they turned for home, the two were on even terms, with Honor And Serve grinding to victory, stopping the clock in 1:57. Piercewave Hanover finished second, while Explosive Drama (Explosive Matter-Phillycityhall) rallied for third. In the third division, it was James Bafia and Eugene White's Shoot The Thrill (Explosive Matter-Fancy N Diamonds) picking up the victory. At the start, it was Special Action (Yankee Glide-Special Appeal) moving out for the lead, with Lima Pride (Muscle Massive-Pacific Legacy) In The Pocket, by a quarter in :29.1. The leader rated a :32.1 second quarter, before Ake Svanstedt vacated the pocket with Lima Pride. They battled for the lead until the top of the stretch, where Special Action made a break, allowing driver Tony Hall to split foes with Shoot The Thrill, springing the mild upset in 1:59.1. Lima Pride was second, while Chef Lee (Cantab Hall-Summer Savory) finished third. Shoot The Thrill is trained by Dirk Simpson. In the fourth and final division, the wagering was evenly split between unbeaten Billy Flynn (Cantab Hall-Zeta Jones) and Walter White (Cantab Hall-Muscaloosa). At the start, Billy Flynn and Walter White left in tandem for the lead, with Billy Flynn eventually re-taking after a quarter in 28.3. After a rated :30.2 second quarter, the leader faced a first-over challenge from Vintage Hall (Cantab Hall-Sweet Vintage) but was able to put him away just past three-quarters. Into the stretch, Billy Flynn squared off with Walter White, who attacked up the open stretch. They hit the line together, with the narrow win going to Billy Flynn in 1:57.4. Billy Flynn is owned by Bender Sweden Inc, trained by Steffan Lind, and was driven by Brett Miller. Wicker Hanover (Explosive Matter-Won An Done) finished third. Mike Bozich

A busy night of state-bred stake action is in the books as Illinois conceived and foaled pacers and trotters starred in six stake finals as part of the Crete plant's Southland Festival of Racing. With more than $250,000 in purse money up for grabs for this year's two and three-year-old crops these battles kick off the richest and busiest time of the season for these state-breds. Freshman pacing fillies started the non-stop action with a field of 10 ladies squaring off in the $43,500 Loyal Opposition Stake. This raced provided the most dramatic finish of the night as Leland Mathias and Paymaq Racing's Mr. Leland's Filly rallied from ninth at the top of the stretch to win by a length in a career best of 1:53.2. Patiently handled by leading driver Casey Leonard the daughter of Sportsmaster--Incredible Kate sat near the back of the pack throughout the mile while heavily favored Lex (Kyle Wilfong) mixed it up with several different rivals through splits of 28.4, 56.1 & 1:24.2. Bobbing and weaving his way through traffic Leonard maneuvered the Erv Miller trained miss into a clear path with an eighth of a mile to go and the filly absolutely exploded, charging home in 26.3 to secure her first lifetime win in start number three. Angel Demon (Ryan Anderson) came flying through the passing lane to finish second while Lex held on for third. The winner returned $45.20, $15.00 & $5.80 while helping to key a $577 exacta and $909 ten-cent Superfecta payout. Next up were sophomore trotting fillies as a field of eight diagonally gaited ladies met in the $42,000 Fox Valley Evita Stake. This race also provided a milestone moment as Dr Patrick Graham, Flacco Family Farms and Dirk Simpson Stables Say No Mo gave Dirk Simpson his 1,000th training victory by trotting to a two-length upset for driver John De Long. The final time was a lifetime best of 1:55.4. Perfectly positioned at the pylons in third as favored Bailey' Wish (Dave Magee) cruised through splits of 28.4, 57.0 & 1:25.4 De Long angled the daughter of Band's Gold Chip--Not So Kosher to the outside for the stretch drive and the filly responded beautifully, wearing down the pace setter in the final 100 yards to post her third win in 12 starts this season. Bailey' Wish held on for second while Graceful Spirit (Robert Smolin) was third. Sent off at a nice price of 7-1 Say No Mo returned $17.20, $3.40 & $2.40 while running her career numbers to 7-2-3 in 26 starts with earnings of $59,492. It was back to the pace for the next tussle as a field of 10 sophomore fillies battled in the $48,500 Ann Vonian Stake. Once again it was the duo of driver Casey Leonard and trainer Erv Miller who came out on top as Quaid Racing's My Little Bit used the passing lane to perfection in route to a 1 ½ length victory in a lifetime best of 1:52.2. Leaving alertly from post five Leonard positioned his filly perfectly on the back of the hard leaving Cuzimalegend (Travis Seekman) as that filly put up splits of 27.3, 57.1 & 1:24.2. Fit and fresh for the stretch drive the daughter of Sportsmaster--Parade Of Love zipped right by the pace setter with a little less than a sixteenth of a mile to go as she scored for the fifth time in nine starts this season. M A Duty (Ryan Anderson) rallied to finish second while Molly Go Lightly (Kyle Wilfong) turned a ground saving journey into the show dough. Proving once again that when the big money is on the line she comes up big My Little Bit returned $4.00 $2.60 & $2.20 while improving her record to 10-3-2 in 21 career starts with earnings of $183,147. A compact field of six sophomore trotting colts were up next as they battled in the $41,000 Kadabra Stake. Continuing along with an impressive second season Curt & Craig Grummel's Fox Valley Veto powered past rivals in the lane to win by a widening three-lengths in a career best of 1:55.3. John De Long was in the bike for his second championship score of the night. Content to save ground while co-favorite Tour Hall (Dave Magee) and Bobby B Breeze (Todd Warren) took turns strolling through splits of 30.0, 59.0 & 1:27.4, Fox Valley Veto was raging with trot as De Long pulled from third as the field straightened for the money. Charging right by his main nemesis the gelded son of Pizzazzed--Yankee Victory Om was on "idle" as he crossed under the wire with his third win in seven starts this year. Cardinal Wind (Dale Hiteman) rallied to be second while Bobby B Breeze held on for third. Tour Hall made a late break in the race and wound up last in the field. After posting just one win in 2013, Fox Valley Veto now boasts a record of 4-6-0 in 17 lifetime starts with earnings of $114,694. The even-money co-favorite returned $4.00, $3.00 & $3.20. Next up were freshmen pacing colts as a full field of 10 were sent postward in the $48,000 Mini Me Stake. This test turned into a showcase for conditioner Roger Welch as the veteran conditioner sent out the top two finishers in the race with William C & William P De Long's King Of The Swamp proving best by a length and a half in 1:55.0 for driver Todd Warren. Hustled right to the front the gelded son of Sportsmaster--She's Redhot carved out splits of 29.1, 58.2 & 1:27.0. Showing the grit and determination he exhibited in last week's elimination win, the $85,000 yearling purchase dug in through the lane, keeping his pocket sitting entrymate at bay through a spirited stretch drive. Earndawg (Pat Curtin) was a hard trying second while Lucpark (Dave Magee) benefitted from a disqualification to move up to the show spot. Thisishowweroll (John De Long) had finished third but was disqualified for causing interference while on a break in the first turn. With the win King Of The Swamp, who returned $7.40, $8.60 & $3.80, now sports three wins, a second and a third in five career starts with earnings of $32,858. The last of the six championship tilts on Saturday featured three-year-old pacing colts as a field 10 was sent postward in the $48,000 Incredible Finale Stake. Once again an Ervin Miller trainee found his way to the winner's circle as Megan Rogers Racing Stable's Unlocked lived up to his half-money favoritism with a resounding 5 ½ length romp in 1:50 for driver Dave Magee. Working his way to the front after a quarter in 28.0 the speedy son of Duneside Perch--Miss Major Power effortlessly cruised through middle splits of 56.0 & 1:23.4. With plenty still in reserve the good looking colt sprinted away from his rivals, pacing home in 26.3 while under very minimal urging from his Hall Of Fame pilot. Longshot Fox Valley Cupid (Dale Hiteman) who led at the opening call held on nicely to finish second while another outsider, Fox Valley Van (Brian Carpenter) was third. With the win Unlocked, who has spent a large portion of his second season chasing some of the top sophomores in the country, now sports a record of eight wins and six seconds in 22 career starts with earnings of $142,672. Bet as though defeat was out of the question Unlocked returned $3.00, $2.40 & $2.10. The Southland Festival of Racing action continues on Sunday with a pair of big money events for two-year-old trotters. Post time is 7:10 p.m. for the Sunday card. For entries and more information please visit www.balmoralpark.com. by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park

WASHINGTON, PA, July 15, 2014 -- McWicked, the winner of the Hempt final, has been installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite to win his division in Saturday's eliminations for the $600,000 (est.) Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Lite at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino. Also favored in the morning line to win their eliminations are Limelight Beach and Cammikey, each at 2-1. First post Saturday evening is 6:55 PM. The top three finishers in each elimination return for the final the afternoon of Saturday, July 26. The elimination fields, in post position order, with trainers, tentative driver assignments and morning line odds: Race 3 1. Bushwacker Chris Ryder Brett Miller 10-1 2. Journeyman Tony Alagna Scott Zeron 5-1 3. Limelight Beach Ron Burke Yannick Gingras 2-1 4. Somewhere In LA Jimmy Takter Brett Miller 7-2 5. Carracci Hanover Ron Burke Yannick Gingras 4-1 6. Kingofthejungle Dirk Simpson Tony Hall 8-1 Race 4 1. Maxi Bon Tony Alagna Scott Zeron 5-1 2. Somesizesomestyle Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 8-1 3. Let's Drink On It Joe Seekman Tyler Smith 7-2 4. Cammikey Bill Zendt Brian Zendt 2-1 5. Mattamerican Norm Parker Dave Palone 4-1 6. Beat The Drum Staffan Lind Brett Miller 10-1 Race 5 1. McWicked Casie Coleman David Miller 8-5 2. Stevensville Ray Schnittker TBA 10-1 3. At Press Time Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 5-2 4. Some Playa Jennifer Sabot Jim Pantaleone 12-1 5. Brioni Robin Cruise Andrew McCarthy 3-1 6. Bondi Hanover Tony Alagna Aaron Merriman 5-1 by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, July 15, 2014--Hempt winner McWicked and a quartet from the powerful Ron Burke stable will lead a competitive field of 18 sophomore colt and gelding pacers into the 48th edition of the $600,000 (est.) Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Light at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino. Three $50,000 eliminations are set for the evening of Saturday, July 19 and will go as Races 3-5. The top three finishers in each split return for the final the following Saturday afternoon. Trained by Casie Coleman for SSG Stables, McWicked cruised home by 2-1/4 lengths in the final of the $500,000 Hempt at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, taking his lifetime mark of 1:47.3 and extending his career bankroll to $573,447. He also took one of the North America Cup eliminations, finishing fourth in the final. Off since the Hempt, the son of McCardle-Western Sahara goes from the rail in the third elimination, with David Miller driving. As might be expected, Burke, harness racing's leading conditioner, is well represented in the signature race of his home track. Perhaps the sharpest of Burke's four-pack is At Press Time, who chased McWicked home in the Hempt and came back with a facile score--at 1-9--in the PA All Stars at Pocono. Matt Kakaley will pilot the son of Western Terror-So Right from post 3 in the third elim for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Also part of the Burke quartet are Carracci Hanover, whose victory in a non-winners of 2 event is his only start this year; Somesizesomestyle, beaten a length while finishing fifth in the PA All Stars, and Limelight Beach, in whom Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and M1 Stable recently purchased an interest. Trainer Tony Alagna will send out a trio of Adios contenders--Journeyman, Maxi Bon, Bondi Hanover--while conditioner Jimmy Takter is seeking his third blanket of orchids in the last five years with Somewhere in LA. In addition to the Burke quartet, the banners of local owners will be carried by Cammikey, campaigned by Cam Land LLC, whose farm lies just down the road from The Meadows, and Mattamerican, owned by Bob Key. First post this Saturday is 6:55 PM. The elimination fields, in post position order, with trainers and tentative driver assignments: Race 3 1. Bushwacker Chris Ryder Brett Miller 2. Journeyman Tony Alagna Scott Zeron 3. Limelight Beach Ron Burke Yannick Gingras 4. Somewhere In LA Jimmy Takter Brett Miller 5. Carracci Hanover Ron Burke Yannick Gingras 6. Kingofthejungle Dirk Simpson Tony Hall Race 4 1. Maxi Bon Tony Alagna Scott Zeron 2. Somesizesomestyle Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 3. Let's Drink On It Joe Seekman Tyler Smith 4. Cammikey Bill Zendt Brian Zendt 5. Mattamerican Norm Parker Dave Palone 6. Beat The Drum Staffan Lind Brett Miller Race 5 1. McWicked Casie Coleman David Miller 2. Stevensville Ray Schnittker TBA 3. At Press Time Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 4. Some Playa Jennifer Sabot Jim Pantaleone 5. Brioni Robin Cruise Andrew McCarthy 6. Bondi Hanover Tony Alagna Aaron Merriman by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

Jubilation quickly turned to heartbreak in a pair of trotting events at Balmoral Park on Wednesday, July 9th as a pair of diamond gaiters looked to be home free only to have late miscues cost them what looked to be sure victories in these state-bred stake events.   In what looked like it was going to a replay of their last two encounters Macie Rae (Ryan Anderson) carved out splits of 28.0, 58.1 & 1:27.3 and appeared to be holding firm to the wire before going off stride with less than a sixteenth of a mile to go. That allowed the pocket sitting Bailey's Wish and driver Dave Magee to capitalize on their good fortune as they zipped right on by for the victory in the $10,000 Fox Valley Diva Stake for state-bred three-year-old trotting fillies. Macie Rae settled for the place spot while Lora Lee Breeze (Matt Krueger) was a distant third.   The three-quarter-length triumph in a career best of 1:56.1 pushed the daughter of Southwind Breeze--Jen's career record to 7-6-3 in 22 starts for owners James Bafia and Eugene White. The good looking brown filly has also banked a hefty $151,983 while under the guidance of conditioner Dirk Simpson who is zeroing in on the 1,000 victory plateau.   In the first of two $5,000 divisions of the Psychic Spirit Stake for ICF two-year-old trotting colts Southrncomfortzone (John De Long) looked to be home free after a pocket sitting journey behind Captain Greedy and driver-trainer J.D. Finn. That's when disaster struck for that colt as he "jumped it off" allowing Captain Greedy, who had put up splits of 29.3, 1:00.2 & 1:31.2 to reclaim the lead and cruise to a six-length triumph in 1:59.4. Cardinal Yankee (Mike Brink) rallied to be second while Pizzalicious (Dale Hiteman) was moved from fourth to third because of the disqualification of Southrncomfortzone.   The win was the third in four starts for the son of Yankee Valor--Tropical Trixie who now has $6,692 in career earnings.   The second division of the Psychic Spirit proved to be far less dramatic as the Herman Wheeler owned and trained Fox Valley Qatar made it three in a row to open his career posting an impressive 2 ¾ length victory in a career best of 1:58.3.   After saving ground while Allpowernoemotion (Ronnie Gillespie) put up splits of 30.1, 1:00 & 1:29.2, driver Todd Warren eased Fox Valley Qatar through the passing lane and the gelded son of Pizzazzed--Armbro Bahrain responded beautifully as he charged right by the tiring pace setter for an easy score. Allpowernoemotion held on for second while RT Habenero (Robert Taylor) rallied to be third.   Fox Valley Qatar now sports career earnings of $5,625 and looks like he'll be the one to beat heading into the State Fair Stakes at Springfield in August.   by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park

COLUMBUS, MN. - A newcomer trotted into Minnesota on Wednesday night and quickly gained everyone's attention with a 1:56.4 triumph in Running Aces' $9000 Open Trot.   Trot Fudge Sundae, a four-year-old daughter of American Native who had been toiling at both Balmoral Park and Hoosier Park, was the only mare in the distinguished field of classy squaregaiters, and she quickly showed her heels to the field of geldings who watched her sweep from fourth in the early going to a three-quarter length victory over Sharpshootennorris (Steve Wiseman) and Franky Provolone (Jason Ryan).   New trainer Rick Magee was also the sulky-sitter for the winner's 19th career win in just 42 starts, increasing her earnings to $313,517 for partners James Bafia, Eugene White and the Dirk Simpson Stable, who got an immediate reward for sensing a change of scenery to Minnesota would do the mare some good.   It was one of two victories on the program for Magee, who also guided KDK Bellagio to a narrow neck victory over Sgt Charlie (Ryan) and Emery Vern (Tim Maier). It was the fourth consecutive win for the 12-year-old gelding owned by K C Carvalho and trained by Tim Brown, the last three in $4500 claiming company.   The most thrilling race of the night came in the nightcap, however, when a full field of nine $3500 claimers finished within four lengths at the wire, eight of them within 2-1/4 lengths. The photo finish camera determined that Haroun Hanover (Ryan) had edged Johnny Walker (Rob Dinning) and Hiho Legacy (Wiseman) to complete a $196.20 trifecta.   From the Running Aces Press Box

ANDERSON, Ind.-June 27, 2014 - Hoosier Park Racing & Casino played host to eight divisions of $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts on Friday, June 27 and the 2014 crop of freshman colts opened their series in impressive fashion. Kelly D and Trace Tetrick kicked off the evening as they scored their second consecutive victory this year in 1:53.2 in the opening round of the stakes action. The 1:53.2 score bested his career mark from last week by nearly two seconds and lowered the national season's record for two-year old pacers. The previous mark of 1:53.3 was established just one night earlier at Hoosier Park by Tyler Smith and Can't Touch Her in Indiana Sires Stakes action for two-year-old pacing fillies. Using the same front-running tactics from the previous week, Kelly D left alertly from post three and was able to dictate early fractions of :26.4 and :55.4. As the field reached the third station, Franzo and Tyler Smith pressed the leader from the outer flow while a host of others began to close in from behind. Tetrick asked the son of Panspacificflight for more and Kelly D found another gear, pacing on to the wire to finish three lengths to the good. Rockin Ron closed nicely to finish second for Ed Hensley while Franzo held on for third. As the heavy betting favorite, Kelly D returned $3.20 at the windows for the victory. Trained by Tom Simmons, Kelly D has now won both of his starts at two for owner, breeder Larry Breed. Just a few races later, Harfo Hanover began his career impressively using the same front-running tactics to score in 1:53 in his split of the stakes action and lowered the national season's record for two-year-old pacers once more. Driven by Tyler Smith, Harfo Hanover dictated fractions of :28, :57.2, and 1:26.1 before pacing on to the wire to win by seven lengths. As the publics' second choice, Harfo Hanover returned $8.80 at to his backers at the betting window. Trained by Jeff Cullipher, the son of Always A Virgin-Harlow Hall made his career debut a winning one for owners Randall Bendis, William Varney, Reed Broadway. In the very next split of the two-year-old pacing colt action, Camturo Rock used a late kick to win impressively from off-the-pace in 1:53. The son of Rockin Image was able to track down Ima Full Time Job and Sam Widger late in the lane to score his first win of the season in his career debut. Slightly dismissed at the betting windows at 8-1, Camturo Rock returned $19.20 for the victory. Trained by Dirk Simpson, Camturo Rock is owned by Desyllas Racing, William Beck, and Carol Rieken. Each of the winners from the eight Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations earned a spot in the first of five $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings slated for July 5 at Hoosier Park. Indiana Sires Stakes action continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, June 27 with four divisions of $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts. The live racing schedule at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:15 p.m. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park  

State-bred trotting fillies were the focus of attention on Sunday, May 25th, as a field of 10 three-year-olds went toe to toe in the $47,600 Violet Stake as part of a big Memorial Day weekend of festivities at the Crete oval.   Proving that she will once again be a force to be reckoned with in this division James Bafia and Eugene White's Bailey's Wish reported home with a hard fought neck decision in a career best of 1:57.3 for driver Dave Magee.   After leaving quickly from post five Magee elected to let the hard charging Macie Rae (Ryan Anderson) and Say No Mo (John De Long) battle it out through splits of 29.0, 57.2 & 1:27.1.   After carving out a perfect pocket sitting journey while those two fillies battled tooth and nail Magee showed his Hall of Fame skills as he slipped to the outside of Macie Rae as the field straightened for the money. Gradually wearing down the pace setter, the Dirk Simpson trained miss gamely moved to the front with a sixteenth of a mile to go and then held off a late charge from longshot Rollette (Dean Magee) for her sixth lifetimevictory. Macie Rae held on for third.   After starting this season with uncharacteristic breaks in two of her first three starts the daughter of Southwind Breeze--Jen was as smooth as could be on Sunday night as she pushed her lifetime numbers to 6-4-2 in 18 starts with earnings of just over $129,000. Sent off as the 5-2 second choice in the wagering Bailey's Wish returned $7.40, $3.60 & $2.80. Bailey's Wish (inside) held off the late charge of longshot Rollette (outside) to win Sunday's $47,600 Violet Stake for three-year-old trotting fillies. by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park

Coming into Sunday's $10,000 Koochie Stake at Balmoral Park, all eyes were focused on trainer Dirk Simpson's star freshman, Bailey's Wish who dominated the division most of last season. But when all was said and done it was a different Simpson trainee who was toting home top honors as driver John De Long guided Say No Mo to a two-length victory in a career best of 1:59.3 at odds of 51-1.   Given a perfect steer by the red-hot De Long, the daughter of Bands Gold Chip--Not So Kosher floated away from post position nine, eventually finding a good early spot in third as High Balance (Casey Leonard) sped away from the gate to lead the field through splits of 30.0, 1:01 & 1:30.2.   Masterfully securing racing room after a prolonged first over bid by Green Acres (Jon Anderson) came up short, De Long moved his charge into position and the four-time winner in in 2013 responded beautifully, trotting home in a brisk 28.3 to pull off the shocking upset. Lora Lee Breeze (Matt Krueger) parlayed a perfect two-hole trip into a second place check while High Balance held on for third. Bailey's Wish, the 4-5 favorite of the betting public made an early break and was never a threat while finishing a distanced eighth.   Lighting up the board with mutuels of $104.80, $36.00 & $16.60 Say No Mo pushed her career earnings up to $28,118 for the partnership of Dr. Patrick Graham, Flacco Family Farms and the Dirk Simpson Stables.   Thanks in large part to the upset in the Koochie Stake which was the final leg of the 50 cent Pick 5 wager, no one successfully picked all five winners. There will be a carryover pool of $7,665.15 for Wednesday's (March 30) Balmoral card. Because of the carryover Balmoral Park has announced that there will be a $40,000 guaranteed pool on Wednesday's Pick 5 at Balmoral. The Pick 5 will be on races one through five on Wednesday night. Post time is 7:10 p.m. (central).   There will also be a $10,000 guaranteed pool on the $1 Pick 4 wager this Wednesday. The Pick 4 is on races six through nine.   Handicappers across North America can get a head start on their competition with free 12 line program pages for the guaranteed pools courtesy of the USTA Strategic Wagering Initiative and Track Master on the handicapping section at www.ustrotting.com ay No Mo and driver John De Long teamed up to pull off a shocking upset at 51-1 in Sunday's $10,000 Koochie Stake for ICF three-year-old trotting fillies. by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park

Fresh off the two biggest wins in his career, Jerry Graham’s Photo Surprise continued his late season surge towards divisional honors among the Illinois conceived and foaled two-year-old colt trotting set as he cruised to an easy 3 ¾ length victory in Wednesday’s $42,200 Cardinal Stake at Balmoral Park. Confidently handled by driver Mike Oosting the gelded son of Powerful Emotion—Gloria Wyoming was unhurried early from his inside post content to trot along in third as Nino Marino (Dean Magee) and Tour Hall (Dirk Simpson) battled through an opening quarter in 30.0. Heading up the backstretch Oosting moved the Nelson Willis trainee to the outside where hemade a steady advance to the front finally taking command just as the field moved by the half-mile in 59.0. Heading around the far turn Photo Surprise continued to show the way past the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:28.4. Leaving the field in his wake as he splashed through the lane, this year’s Lincoln Land & Hanover Stake winner was on cruise control the rest of the way widening his margin all the way through the wire while posting his fourth win in nine starts. Fox Valley Veto (John Roberts) rallied from far back to be a sharp second while Nino Marino held onfor third. The even-money favorite returned $4.00, $3.00 & $2.60 while upping his career bankroll to $96,825. by Tom Kelley for Balmoral Park  

Captaintreacherous heads to Hoosier Park on Friday night to face a field of nine foes in the $252,000 Monument Circle for three-year-olds. The race is part of a stakes-filled card that also includes the $286,500 Carl Erskine for 3-year-old trotters and the $223,500 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for older pacers. Captaintreacherous, who has won 12 of 13 races this year and $1.87 million, is the 4-5 morning line favorite in the Monument Circle. He starts from post two for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Tony Alagna. Following the Monument Circle, if all goes well, Captaintreacherous will visit Balmoral Park for the American-National Stakes on Nov. 9 and then possibly challenge older rivals in the TVG Free for All Series final on Nov. 30 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. "That's the schedule, but we're taking it one race at a time," Alagna said. "If everything goes well, and he ships home good, we'll decide what to do with that (TVG) race. "Everything is in good shape right now. He had a light week after the Breeders Crown and then we trained him up and he headed to Chicago on Tuesday." Captaintreacherous won the $500,000 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male pacers 12 days ago at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs by a neck over Sunshine Beach. It was his sixth consecutive victory since losing by a nose to Sunshine Beach in the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine at Pocono Downs. By winning the Breeders Crown, Captaintreacherous joined Gallo Blue Chip and Rocknroll Hanover as the only horses to win the Crown, North America Cup and Meadowlands Pace in the same year. Last season, Captaintreacherous finished third in the Breeders Crown. It was his final start of a campaign in which he won eight of 10 races and was named Pacer of the Year. "To get the Breeders Crown was nice for him, especially because he wasn't able to win at (age) 2," Alagna said. "That was a tough loss for us at the end of the year. It was nice to see him put together two incredible performances in this year's Breeders Crown (elimination and final)." Captaintreacherous' other wins this year include the Max C. Hempt Memorial, Cane Pace and a division of the Tattersalls Pace. He also won a $52,000 invitational for 3-year-old pacers at Hoosier Park on Sept. 21. "That was probably the most pressure I felt all year because he was supposed to go out there and win," Alagna said. "But with every start there is some kind of pressure. It's a good pressure, though." Captaintreacherous is the No. 2-ranked horse in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Top 10, behind 3-year-old filly trotter Bee A Magician. The Monument Circle includes two other horses that competed in the Breeders Crown: Beach Memories, who was fourth, and Apprentice Hanover, who finished sixth. Following is the field in post position order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Up Up And Out, Marcus Miller, Erv Miller; 2. Captaintreacherous, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna; 3. Emeritus Maximus, Doug McNair, Alagna; 4. Dedi's Dragon, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 5. Apprentice Hanover, Jody Jamieson, Ben Wallace; 6. That Friske Feelin, Brett Miller, Burke; 7. The Pan Poobah, Ricky Macomber Jr., Burke; 8. Fool Me Once, Ron Pierce, Mark Austin; 9. Our Dragon King, Peter Wrenn, Dirk Simpson; 10. Beach Memories, David Miller, Brian Brown. Note: Beach Memories starts from the second tier. by Ken Weingartner for HRC  

State-bred trotting fillies took center stage as the ICF stakes season continued to wind down on Sunday, October 27, with a field of nine diagonally gaited freshmen taking to the track to slug it out in the $42,500 Violet Stake. With the move back into the state-bred ranks after finishing fifth against “open”company in the Hanover Stake last time out, James Bafia & Eugene White’s Bailey’s Wish continued to solidify her spot as the “queen” of this division as she rolled to an easy 2 ¼ length victory in 2:00.2 for driver Dave Magee. Using the same tactics that netted them a victory in the Lady Lincoln Land on Oct. 2nd, Magee allowed the daughter of Southwind Breeze—Jen to settle in early before moving her to the top after longshot Macie Rae (Mike Rogers) led the field through an opening quarter in 29.0. Effortlessly sweeping into control on the backside, the Dirk Simpson trained miss led the field through middle splits of 58.1 & 1:28.2 as her rivals struggled to stay within striking position of the good looking brown filly. Through the lane, the issue was never in doubt as Bailey’s Wish received only mild urging from her Hall of Fame pilot while easily keeping her rivals at bay for her fifth win of the season. Fox Valley Hosana (Mike Oosting), who tried to make a first over bid to challenge the winner at the top of the stretch wound up in the bridesmaid role while Wacko (John De Long) rallied late to finish third. With the win Bailey’s Wish now sports a record of 5-2-2 in 13 lifetime starts with earnings of $108,210. The 6-5 favorite of the betting public returned $4.60, $3.20 & $2.60 to her legion of backers. David Baum   

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