The 2014 stake schedules for both Balmoral and Maywood Park have been released by racing secretary Doc Narotsky. The action kicks off at Balmoral on March 29th with the Taurus Bomber Stake for Illinois conceived and foaled three-year-old pacing colts. Maywood’s stake season gets underway on Friday, April 11th with sophomore pacing colts slugging it out in the Sportsmaster Stake. The first “major” state-bred stake of the season will be contested on Sunday, May 18th with three-year-old pacing fillies squaring off in the $45,000 Violet Stake at Balmoral. There will also be Violet and Cardinal Stakes for Illinois conceived and foaled pacers and trotters on Sunday, May 25th, Wednesday, May 28th, and Saturday, May 31st at Balmoral Park. Maywood’s first big event of the season will be the $100,000 Filly Maywood Pace for ICF three-year-old fillies on Friday, June 13th. The $100,000 Maywood Pace for ICF sophomore pacing colts will be held the following Friday, June 20th. . The first Hanover Stakes of the season at Balmoral Park will feature a pair of events for three-year-old trotters on Saturday, June 7th. The Southland Festival of Racing will provide a weekend filled with state-bred action at Balmoral on Saturday, July 26th and Sunday, July 27th with pacers and trotters squaring off in $50,000 battles like the Mini Me Stake, Loyal Opposition Stake, Incredible Finale Stake, Ann Vonian Stake, Kadabra Stake, Fox Valley Evita Stake, Fox Valley Flan Stake and Plesac Stake. A pair of $50,000 Hanover’s for two-year-old colt and filly pacers are scheduled for Saturday, August 2nd at the Crete oval while a pair of $60,000 events for freshmen trotters will be contested on Sunday, August 3rd. Balmoral will also play host to Illinois’ biggest night of racing, Super Night, on Saturday, Sept. 13th. As always, the state’s top pacers and trotters will be on display as they battle for more than $1 million in purse money. The prestigious American National’s kick off on Wednesday, Sept. 17th with a pair of $90,000 trotting stakes for two-year-olds. October will be a busy month for the youngsters as the $100,000 Lady Lincoln Stake for two-year-old trotting fillies takes place on Wednesday, Oct. 1st while their male counterparts battle in the $100,000 Lincoln Land Stake on Sunday, Oct. 5th Balmoral Park. Maywood will also host the $60,000 Cardinal and Violet Stakes for two-year-old colt and filly pacers on Friday, Oct. 3rd. If the last few years were any indication of things to come then racing fans throughout the country will want to circle Saturday, Oct. 11th and Friday, Oct. 17th, on their calendars as some of North America’s best pacers and trotters are expected to visit the Chicagoland area as Grand Circuit action comes to town. Balmoral Park will play host to the $250,000 three-year-old colt pace, $225,00 American National three-year-old colt trot, $200,000 American National Aged Pace, $180,000 aged trot, $175,000 American National three-year-old filly pace, $150,000 three-year-old filly trot, $125,000 two-year-old colt pace and $125,000 two-year-old filly pace approximately one month earlier than in recent years. Maywood’s biggest card of the season is just six days later on Friday, Oct. 17th with the $225,000 Windy City Pace for three-year-old pacing colts, the $130,000 Abe Lincoln Stake for two-year-old pacing colts, the $110,00 Galt Trot for three-year-old trotting colts and the $100,000 Cinderella Stake for three-year-old pacing fillies sharing the spotlight. The $30,000 Associates-McKeever Stake for ICF pacers is also scheduled for that same night. Below is a complete list of both tracks entire stake schedules. All purse values are estimated. Date Day Track A-S-G ICF Name Est Purse 3/29/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Taurus Bomber 10,000 4/5/2014 Sat Bal 3+p ICF Song Cycle 17,000 4/5/2014 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Direct Balance 10,000 4/11/2014 Fri May 3cp ICF Sportsmaster 10,000 4/13/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Trotting Tilly 10,000 4/16/2014 Wed Bal 3ct ICF Speedy Rodney 10,000 4/18/2014 Fri May 3fp ICF Desperate Lady 10,000 4/26/2014 Sat Bal 3+p ICF Rambling Willie 17,000 4/26/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Betzotic 10,000 4/27/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Koochie 10,000 4/30/2014 Wed Bal 3ct ICF Iggy Magoo 10,000 5/2/2014 Fri May 3cp ICF Taser Gun 10,000 5/3/2014 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Betzotic 10,000 5/11/2014 Sun Bal 3fp ICF Violet Eliminations 10,000 5/11/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Betzotic 10,000 5/14/2014 Wed Bal 3ct ICF Betzotic 10,000 5/16/2014 Fri May 3cp ICF Gosox 10,000 5/18/2014 Sun Bal 3fp ICF Violet 45,000 5/18/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Violet Eliminations 10,000 5/21/2014 Wed Bal 3ct ICF Cardinal Eliminations 10,000 5/24/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Cardinal Eliminations 10,000 5/25/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Violet 40,000 5/28/2014 Wed Bal 3ct ICF Cardinal 40,000 5/31/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Cardinal 45,000 6/1/2014 Sun Bal 2cp ICF Jimmy Sunshine 5,000 6/4/2014 Wed Bal 2fp ICF Egyptian Grande 5,000 6/5/2014 Thur May 3fp ICF Filly Maywood Pace Elim 10,000 6/7/2014 Sat Bal 3ct Hanover 35,000 6/7/2014 Sat Bal 3ft Hanover 35,000 6/8/2014 Sun Bal 2cp ICF Bingo Johnnie 5,000 6/11/2014 Wed Bal 2fp ICF Misty Misty Misty 5,000 6/13/2014 Fri May 3cp ICF Maywood Pace Elim 10,000 6/13/2014 Fri May 3fp ICF Filly Maywood Pace 100,000 6/14/2014 Sat Bal 3+p ICF Broadway Preview 30,000 6/14/2014 Sat Bal 3ct ICF Southern Rocketop 10,000 6/15/2014 Sun Bal 2cp ICF Wicked Brew 10,000 6/15/2014 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Million Dollar Bye 5,000 6/18/2014 Wed Bal 2fp ICF Incredible Tillie 10,000 6/18/2014 Wed Bal 2ft ICF Star Slinger 5,000 6/20/2014 Fri May 3cp ICF Maywood Pace 100,000 6/21/2014 Sat Bal f&m p ICF Sue Fee 20,000 6/22/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Betzotic 10,000 6/25/2014 Wed Bal 3ct ICF Betzotic 10,000 6/26/2014 Thur May 2fp ICF Juxtaposition 10,000 6/27/2014 Fri May 2cp ICF Enzo The Baker 10,000 6/28/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Betzotic 10,000 6/29/2014 Sun Bal 3fp ICF Mystical Victress 10,000 7/2/2014 Wed Bal 3ft ICF Sorce Ann 10,000 7/4/2014 Fri May 3+p ICF Cook County 30,000 7/5/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Hot Head 10,000 7/5/2014 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Ohyouprettything 10,000 7/6/2014 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Vaporize 10,000 7/9/2014 Wed Bal 2ct ICF Psychic Spirit 10,000 7/9/2014 Wed Bal 3ft ICF Fox Valley Diva 10,000 7/10/2014 Thur May 2fp ICF My Metallica 10,000 7/11/2014 Fri May 2cp ICF Fox Valley Barzgar 10,000 7/12/2014 Sat Bal 3cp Hanover 45,000 7/12/2014 Sat Bal 3fp Hanover 40,000 7/13/2014 Sun Bal 3ct ICF Brandenburg 10,000 7/19/2014 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Mini Me Elim 10,000 7/19/2014 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Loyal Opposition Elim 10,000 7/19/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Incredible Finale Elim 10,000 7/19/2014 Sat/Sun Bal 3ct ICF Kadabra Elim 10,000 7/19/2014 Sat/Sun Bal 3fp ICF Ann Vonian Elim 10,000 7/19/2014 Sat/Sun Bal 3ft ICF Fox Valley Evita Elim 10,000 7/20/2014 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Plesac Eliminations 10,000 7/20/2014 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Fox Valley Flan Elim 10,000 7/26/2014 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Mini Me 50,000 7/26/2014 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Loyal Opposition 50,000 7/26/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Incredible Finale 50,000 7/26/2014 Sat Bal 3ct ICF Kadabra 50,000 7/26/2014 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Ann Vonian 50,000 7/27/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Fox Valley Evita 50,000 7/27/2014 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Plesac 50,000 7/27/2014 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Fox Valley Flan 50,000 8/2/2014 Sat Bal 2cp Hanover 50,000 8/2/2014 Sat Bal 2fp Hanover 50,000 8/3/2014 Sun Bal 2ct Hanover 60,000 8/3/2014 Sun Bal 2ft Hanover 60,000 8/3/2014 Sun Bal 3+T ICF Mikes A Mystery 25,000 8/16/2014 Sat Bal 3+P ICF Big Tom 40,000 8/16/2014 Sat Bal f&m p ICF Parklane Powerful 40,000 8/29/2014 Fri May 3+p ICF Egyptian 30,000 9/6/2014 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Orange & Blue Elim 15,000 9/6/2014 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Filly O&B Eliminations 15,000 9/6/2014 Sat/Sn Bal 3+p ICF Tony Maurello Elim 15,000 9/6/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Pete Langley Mem Elim 15,000 9/6/2014 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Grandma Ann Elim 15,000 9/6/2014 Sat/Sn Bal f&m p ICF Lorna Propes Elim 15,000 9/7/2014 Sun Bal 3ct ICF Su Mac Lad Elim 15,000 9/7/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Lady Ann Reed Elim 15,000 9/10/2014 Wed Bal 2ct American National Elim 15,000 9/10/2014 Wed Bal 2ft American National Elim 15,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Orange & Blue Cons 25,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Orange & Blue 250,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Filly O&B Cons 25,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Filly O&B 225,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 3+p ICF Tony Maurello Cons 25,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 3+p ICF Tony Maurello 115,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Pete Langley Mem Cons 25,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Pete Langley Mem 170,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 3ct ICF Su Mac Lad 100,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Grandma Ann Cons 25,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Grandma Ann 170,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 3ft ICF Lady Ann Reed 100,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal f&m p ICF Lorna Propes Cons 25,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal f&m p ICF Lorna Propes 115,000 9/14/2014 Sun Bal 3ct ICF Su Mac Lad Cons 25,000Date Day Track A-S-G ICF Name Est Purse 9/14/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Lady Ann Reed Cons 25,000 9/17/2014 Wed Bal 2ct American National 90,000 9/17/2014 Wed Bal 2ft American National 90,000 9/20/2014 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Yates Eagle 15,000 9/20/2014 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Thrifty Way 15,000 9/24/2014 Wed Bal 2ft ICF Lady Lincoln Land Elim 15,000 9/26/2014 Fri May 2cp ICF Cardinal Elim 10,000 9/26/2014 Fri May 2fp ICF Violet Elim 10,000 9/27/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Bye Bye Byrd 15,000 9/28/2014 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Lincoln Land Elim 15,000 9/28/2014 Sun Bal 3fp ICF Direct Dottie 15,000 10/1/2014 Wed Bal 2ft ICF Lady Lincoln Land Cons 25,000 10/1/2014 Wed Bal 2ft ICF Lady Lincoln Land 100,000 10/1/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Betzotic 10,000 10/3/2014 Fri May 2cp ICF Cardinal 50,000 10/3/2014 Fri May 2fp ICF Violet 60,000 10/5/2014 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Lincoln Land 100,000 10/5/2014 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Lincoln Land Cons 25,000 10/11/2014 Sat Bal 2cp American National 125,000 10/11/2014 Sat Bal 2fp American National 125,000 10/11/2014 Sat Bal 3cp American National 250,000 10/11/2014 Sat Bal 3ct American National 225,000 10/11/2014 Sat Bal 3fp American National 175,000 10/11/2014 Sat Bal 3ft American National 150,000 10/11/2014 Sat Bal ap American National 200,000 10/11/2014 Sat Bal at American National 180,000 10/17/2014 Fri May 2cp Abe Lincoln 130,000 10/17/2014 Fri May 3+p ICF Associates-McKeever 30,000 10/17/2014 Fri May 3cp Windy City Pace 225,000 10/17/2014 Fri May 3ct Galt 110,000 10/17/2014 Fri May 3fp Cinderella 100,000 10/18/2014 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Beecher 10,000 10/19/2014 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Violet Elim 10,000 10/22/2014 Wed Bal 2ct ICF Cardinal Elim 10,000 10/26/2014 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Violet 40,000 10/26/2014 Sun Bal 3ct ICF Betzotic 10,000 10/29/2014 Wed Bal 2ct ICF Cardinal 40,000 10/30/2014 Thur May 3ft ICF Speed N The Tunnel 10,000 10/31/2014 Fri May 3cp ICF Betzotic 10,000 10/31/2014 Fri May 3fp ICF Giggles The Clown 10,000 11/1/2014 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Crete 10,000 11/2/2014 Sun Bal 2fp ICF Betzotic 10,000 11/2/2014 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Monee 10,000 11/5/2014 Wed Bal 2ct ICF Betzotic 10,000 11/6/2014 Thur May 3ct ICF Lifes A Holiday 10,000 11/14/2014 Thur May 3fp ICF Betzotic 10,000 11/15/2014 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Betzotic 10,000 11/21/2014 Fri May 3cp ICF Cole Muffler 10,000 11/22/2014 Sat Bal f&m p ICF Fox Valley Memory 15,000 by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral & Maywood Park
This Week: Breeders Crown eliminations, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Wilkes-Barre, Pa. and Hanover Stakes, Balmoral Park, Crete, Ill. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action this week will get underway on Friday night (Oct. 11) at Pocono Downs with three sets of Breeders Crown eliminations, with a $25,000 purse for each race. There will be a pair of elims in the 2-year-old filly trot and 2-year-old filly pace, plus a single contest for the 2-year-old colt trotters. The Saturday card (Oct. 12) at Pocono will feature seven sets of $25,000 Breeders Crown eliminations. The 2-year-old colt pacers will split into a trio of eliminations; the 3-year-old filly trotters, 3-year-old colt trotters, 3-year-old colt pacers, and older mare trotters will have two eliminations apiece; and the older mare pacers and older open pacers will each have a single elimination. Balmoral Park will host a pair of $70,000 (est.) Hanover Stakes on Sunday (Oct. 13) with contests for both the 2-year-old colt trotters and the 2-year-old filly trotters. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2013, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Hanover Shoe Farms is the sponsor for the 2013 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras – 1,423; 2. Tim Tetrick – 1,284; 3. David Miller - 872; 4. Brian Sears - 598.5; and 5. Andy Miller – 575. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 1,357.5; 2. Jimmy Takter – 937.5; 3. Linda Toscano – 443.5; 4. Jonas Czernyson – 362.5; and 5. Tony Alagna – 359. Owners: 1. Burke Racing – 298.2; 2. Weaver Bruscemi – 280; 3. Brittany Farms – 225.1; 4. Frank Bellino – 218.5; and 5. WJ Donovan – 185.75. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and Vernon Downs. Pocono will host all 12 Breeders Crown finals for 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds and older horses of both sexes and gaits. Vernon will offer the fifth leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters. by Paul Ramlow for the Grand Circuit
August 4, 2013 – While all eyes were centered on the Meadowlands in the afternoon, Handicapper Anne Stepien was able to take advantage of the three Hanover Colt Stakes at Balmoral Park in the evening to take the week’s top honors from Garnet Barnsdale in HANA Harness’ 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Chicago Harness, IHHA, Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. At the end of the nine races conducted at the Meadowlands, Barnsdale led Stepien, but where Barnsdale was shut out at Balmoral Park, Stepien managed to pick up $162 in the Hanover Stakes turning her $109 deficit to a $53.10 victory for the week showing a weekly net profit of $446.60 to Barnsdale’s $393.50. Perhaps more importantly, Stepien managed to move this week from fifth place to second place in the overall standings, behind leader Richard Scott who was idle this week and leads by $647. Besides Stepien’s weekly net profit of $446.60 and Barnsdale’s profit of $393.50, Dennis O’Hara joined the duo with a weekly profit of $144.20. The contest standings are: Standings as of August 3, 2013 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind Last Pos Days Missed 1st Richard Scott $0.00 $792.29 1st 4 2nd Ann Stepien $446.60 $145.45 ($646.84) 5th 0 3rd Rusty Nash ($11.22) $20.03 ($772.26) 2nd 1 4th Dennis O'Hara $144.20 ($159.45) ($951.74) 3rd 2 5th Earl Paulson $0.00 ($435.35) ($1,227.64) 8th 2 6th Mark McKelvie ($36.00) ($607.24) ($1,399.53) 4th 0 7th Ray Garnett ($67.20) ($1,044.15) ($1,836.44) 6th 1 8th Gordon Waterstone ($205.90) ($1,225.60) ($2,017.89) 9th 3 9th Garnet Barnsdale $393.50 ($1,487.00) ($2,279.29) 10th 6 10th Sally Hinckley ($287.10) ($1,584.90) ($2,377.19) 7th 0 Ten grace days permitted. After ten days, there is a penalty of $30 per race. Key Hits (Hanover Stakes at Balmoral Park, all others at Meadowlands) Garnet Barnsdale – Peter Haughton Memorial - $15 Trifecta Box ($30 Ticket) paid $109.50, U.S. Pacing Championship - $30 Win Wager paid $744.00; Ray Garnett – Hanover 2yo Filly Pace 1st Division $5 Exacta Box ($30) paid $160.00; Mark McKelvie – Hanover 2yo Filly Pace 1st Division $10 Win, Place, and Show ($30) paid $106.00; Rusty Nash – U.S. Pacing Championship - $2 Exacta Wheel ($18) paid $259.00; Dennis O’Hara – Hambletonian 2nd Elimination - $8 Exacta Partial Wheel ($24) paid $176.00; Hambletonian Oaks - $4 Trifecta Key ($48) paid $168.40; Anne Stepien – Hambletonian 2nd Elimination - $10 Win, Place ($20) paid $98.00, Hambletonian Oaks - $5 Trifecta Key ($30) paid $210.50, U.S. Pacing Championship - $1 Exacta Box ($12) paid $192.50, $9 Place and Show ($18) paid $124.20, Hanover 2yo Filly Pace 1st Division - $10 Win, Place, and Show ($30) paid $106.00. Contest Schedule This Week Wednesday, August 7, 2013 – Harrah’s Philadelphia - $97,323(Divided) E.H. Harriman Cup (2yoC&G Trot) by Allan Schott
July 16, 2013 – With several special event races allowing handicappers to use additional funds to wager on the card this past weekend, the handicappers took advantage of the situation in HANA Harness’ 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Chicago Harness, IHHA, Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs, which allowed Richard Scott to move from 6th place to 2nd with the top four handicappers being within $50 of each other. Despite a relatively bad week, Mark McKelvie remains on top, $31.27 ahead of Scott. While Friday night’s stakes races, the William Conners Memorial and Miss Versatility were relatively tame for the handicappers, they went to town on Saturday night at Balmoral Park and the Meadowlands with Ray Garnett, Dennis O’Hara, and Anne Stepien collecting some nice Trifectas while Richard Scott managed to hit some solid returns on straight wagers. Standings as of July 13, 2013 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind Last Pos Days Missed 1st Mark McKelvie ($104.60) ($214.04) 1st 0 2nd Richard Scott $174.10 ($245.31) ($31.27) 6th 2 3rd Dennis O'Hara ($112.50) ($263.75) ($49.71) 2nd 2 4th Ann Stepien $114.60 ($263.85) ($49.81) 5th 0 5th Sally Hinckley ($129.00) ($396.15) ($182.11) 4th 0 6th Rusty Nash ($228.20) ($451.65) ($237.61) 3rd 0 7th Gordon Waterstone ($103.10) ($664.95) ($450.91) 7th 3 8th Ray Garnett $84.60 ($673.55) ($459.51) 9th 1 9th Earl Paulson ($328.00) ($1,038.35) ($824.31) 8th 1 10th Garnet Barnsdale ($355.00) ($1,162.50) ($948.46) 10th 4 Ten grace days permitted. After ten days, there is a penalty of $30 per race. Key Hits: Ray Garnett – Four horse $1 trifecta box in second division of the Hanover Stakes for 3yo colt & gelding pacers paying $211.60; Mark McKelvie – Two horse $1 exacta box in William R. Haughton Memorial paying $56.30; Dennis O’Hara - $5 Trifecta partial wheel ($30) in first division of Hanover Stakes for 3yo filly pacers paid $117.00; Richard Scott - $15 Win, Place ticket on second division of Hanover Stakes for 3yo filly pacers paying $166.50; Anne Stepien - $1 four horse Trifecta box in the William R. Haughton Memorial grossing $339.50. Contest Schedule This Week Thursday , July 18, 2013 – Tioga Downs $75,000(Est.)Tompkins-Geers (2yoCGT), $75,000(Est.) Tompkins-Geers (2yoFT). Friday, July 19, 2013 – Tioga Downs $70,000(Est.) Tompkins-Geers (2yoFP), $65,000(Est.) Tompkins-Geers (2yoCGP). Saturday, July 20, 2013 – Mohawk Racetrack $340,000(Est.) Roses Are Red (F&M Open Pacers), $543,000 Maple Leaf Trot (Open); Northfield Park $100,000(Gtd.) Battle of Lake Erie (Open Pacers); Tioga Downs $70,000(Est.) Tompkins-Geers (3yoCGT), $65,000(Est.) Tompkins-Geers (3yoFT); Yonkers Raceway $100,000(Est.) Lawrence B Sheppard (2yo Open Pacers). Sunday, July 21, 2013 – Tioga Downs $65,000(Est.) Tompkins-Geers (3yoFP), $70,000(Est.) Tompkins-Geers (3yoCGP). by Allan Schott
Despite rain, hail and winds in excess of 30mph throughout the day Sunday night's (October 14) stake action at Balmoral Park went off without a hitch with the harness racing action being headlined by a pair of Hanover Stakes for two-year-old trotters and Betzotic Stake for Illinois conceived and foaled two-year-old pacing fillies.
The harness racing action was fast and furious on Saturday, July 14th as Balmoral Park played host to eight divisions of Hanover Stake action for two and three-year-old pacers. There was plenty of action off the track as well with giveaways, food and drink specials and hay rides among the many things Balmoral Park patrons were treated to as the USTA and Balmoral celebrated Back To The Track 2012.
Sophomore trotting fillies headlined the Sunday, July 8th harness racing program at Balmoral Park as a field of nine diagonally gaited ladies were sent postward in a $34,700 Hanover Stake.
Walter & Paige Paisley's Riccolo faced his toughest harness racing test to date in an amazing 2012 run on Sunday night at Balmoral Park and the son of Northern Kid-Touch Of Victory passed with flying colors as he rolled to a half-length victory in a career best of 1:54.2 while taking the $34,700 Hanover Stake for three-year-old trotting colts.
Freshman trotters stepped into the spotlight on Sunday night (October 16) at Balmoral Park as a pair of Hanover Stakes shared top billing on the 10-strong harness racing program. With a total of 15 colts dropped into the entry box the boys were split into a pair of $29,850 tussles.
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.
Hanover Stakes harness racing action continued on Wednesday night at Balmoral Park as a compact field of five three-year-old filly trotter's squared off in a $24,500 event. Splitting horses in the final sixteenth of a mile Ron Marino & David Hermann's Fox Valley Ruffian came flying through the lane to win by a half-length in a career best of 1:58.1.
The dream harness racing season for South Of The Tracks Racing's Anthonyskywalker continued on Saturday night (July 9) at Balmoral Park as the three-year-old gelding captured the $31,700 Hanover Stake over eight rivals in 1:55.1. Kicking off the 2011 Hanover season the gelded son of Powerful Emotion-Queen Jamie stormed right to the top from post position three for driver Kyle Wilfong.
The initial nominating payments for Balmoral & Maywood Park's biggest harness racing stakes events of the 2011 season are due by Feb. 15th.
A busy week of Hanover Stakes harness racing action came to a conclusion on Sunday (July 18) at Balmoral Park as a total of 22 diagonally gaited sophomore colts squared off in a pair of $28,250 Hanover Stake splits.
Hanover Stakes action was in full swing on Saturday (July 17) at Balmoral Park as 10 of the 14 races on the harness racing program featured Hanover action for two and three-year-old pacers of both sexes.
The 2010 Hanover harness racing stakes season started with a bang on Wednesday night as Paula Smith and James Runyan's Fox Valley Click took advantage of breaks by the two favorites, Action Broadway (1-5) and Southern Maebelle (6-1), then survived a long inquiry to post a 15-1 upset in the first of two $19,700 Hanover Stake splits for three-year-old trotting fillies.