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STICKNEY, IL - A fourteen race Sunday card at Hawthorne featured three divisions of leg three of the Incredible Finale Stakes. The Incredible Finale is for Illinois-bred harness racing two-year-old colt and gelding pacers. A storm prior to races left the track sloppy to open the card as race three was the first division of the Incredible Finale. Favored at off time was Gabe Henry. Moving to the early lead was Fox Valley Sparty through the quarter in :29. Sork moved early on the backside to take over for driver Kyle Husted through a half in :57.4. On the turn, Sork was challenged again by Fox Valley Sparty through three quarters in 1:27.4. In the stretch, Fox Valley Sparty and Dale Hiteman were challenged by Gabe Henry and Todd Warren as Gabe Henry went on to a length and a half score. Fox Valley Jeter closed late for second while Fox Valley Sparty finished third. Final time for the mile over the sloppy going was 1:57.1. Owned by Carol Graham and trained by Thomas Graham, the colt by Henry Clay returned $3.60, $2.40, and $2.20. Fox Valley Jeter paid $3.20 and $2.20 while Fox Valley Sparty paid $3.00 to show. The second division of leg three of the Incredible Finale had Sporty Redhot as a heavy post time favorite for driver Todd Warren. Sent for the lead was Sporty Redhot but Spirited Encounter beat him to the lead through the quarter in :29.1. On the backside, Spirited Encounter maintained his lead through the half in :58. On the turn, Sporty Redhot ranged up to challenge through three quarters in 1:27. In the stretch, Sporty Redhot gained the lead but had to hold off the move of multiple horses and held on to win by a length. Fox Valley Reggie finished second while Fox Valley Inferno was third. Final time for the mile was 1:56.4. Owned by Alan Beals and trained by Kim Roth, the gelding by Sportsmaster remained undefeated from three lifetime starts and returned $2.80, $2.40, and $2.10. Fox Valley Reggie paid $16.60 and $6.60 while Fox Valley Inferno returned $2.40 to show. Race seven was the third division of the Incredible Finale as the track was upgraded to good. Sullivan took the wagering action and was sent off as the favorite. Making the early lead was Uptown Sleaze while pressed by Fox Valley Nemitz through the quarter in :29.2. On the backstretch Fox Valley Nemitz was pushed by Sullivan through the half in :59.1. In the turn, Casey Leonard and Sullivan assumed command, covering three quarters in 1:27.4. In the lane, Sullivan was all out but Fox Valley Nemitz and Dale Hiteman came back to catch him nearing the wire. Uptown Sleaze held third. Final time for the mile was 1:57.3. Owned by Fox Valley Standardbreds and trained by Joel Smith, the gelding by Richess Hanover paid $9.60, $3.00, and $2.20. Sullivan returned $3.20 and $2.60 while Uptown Sleaze paid $2.40 to show. Jim Miller

Walker Meister, who comes into this weekend's action riding a two-race win streak, is scheduled to suit up again in Sunday's ninth race at Cal Expo Harness. A 4-year-old pacing son of Henry Clay, Walker Meister goes about his business for George Reider and Dave, Rob and Kimberly Haness with Reider the conditioner and David Siegel doing a return engagement in the sulky. The first of Walker Meister's recent wins came off some class relief two weeks ago on a sloppy track, as he inhaled the leaders at the top of the stretch and went on to a five and half-length romp With that confidence builder under his belt, he came a sparkling :26 2/5 final quarter to hang a neck decision on odds-on Hi Ho Houdini at most recent asking over firm footing. "I'm glad I finally got the opportunity to get back behind Walker Meister," Siegel noted. "I drove him some early in the meet when George was still figuring him out. Now, he has him going quite well and he has become a much different and improved horse. "He can be raced up front, or off the back like I did last week when his final quarter speed rating was a prodigious 117. I was in an advantageous spot behind Luke (Plano and Hi Ho Houdini) which helped a great deal." Sunday's assignment will see a rematch with Hi Ho Houdini, with that rival landing the rail while Walker Meister will do his work from the outside post in the compact cast. It should be interesting. My Little Susie eyes another stake trophy My Little Susie, who has posed for pictures following four of the five Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old trotters, heads the cast for Sunday night's $10,000 main event at Cal Expo. Ten races will be presented under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with the action slated to begin at 6:25 p.m. The trotting Sire Stakes occupies the third-race slot on the program. My Little Susie is a daughter of Claudius Augustus and the S J's Photo mare Sue's Photo who is owned by A Piece Of The Action LLC, takes her lessons from Gene Vallandingham and will once again be handled by Chip Lackey. Overall, the bay miss has captured eight of her 18 trips to the post, with her lifetime mark of 1:57 2/5 being established here in the February 28 Sire Stakes, where she sat a two-hole trip and then inhaled the leader to win going away by four lengths. In the most recent stakes gathering two weeks ago over a track labeled "good", My Little Susie was sent off the even-money co-favorite. She sat third early, attacked the leader turning for home and drew off in the lane to post a six-length victory. She is the one to beat again no matter how things shake out early. Kissed The Boys is the other member of the cast with a stakes trophy, as she accounted for the March 13 gathering on a sloppy track. Another daughter of Claudius Augustus, she is from the outstanding producer Charlotte's Web and races for The Desomer Stables with Steve Desomer in the sulky. Completing the cast are Lodi Bank Robber with Luke Plano; Delta Breezeoflodi for Pierre Girard; CW Rainette, Steve Wiseman; and Sixstringsandapick, who will be handled by Mooney Svendsen. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

A monstrous :25.4 closing quarter propelled William J. Donovan's Ashley's Husband ($14.60) to the fore in the closing strides of Saturday (Feb. 6) evening's featured $17,000 harness racing top-level conditioned pace at The Meadowlands. Brett Miller settled well off the pace with the 6-year-old Henry Clay gelding, second from last through a :55.1 half with a contested pace in front of him.  Just after 8-5 favorite Kingofthejungle (John Campbell) wrested command from Jet Airway (Marcus Miller) upon reaching the backstretch, Ashley's Husband slid second-over to follow the cover of Rockeyed Optimist (Tim Tetrick) en route to the far turn.  Ashley's Husband would ultimately be carried to the five-path, as Jet Airway and Class Six (Joe Bongiorno) were produced from just off the pacesetter after a :28.2 third split. Despite Class Six making a three-wide push to the lead at the eighth pole, Ashley's Husband descended late, vaulting past the gaining Rockeyed Optimist and Jet Airway for a 1:50.3 score. Pacesetter Kingofthejungle was engulfed in upper stretch, fading to finish seventh of the octet. Kyle Spagnola trains Ashley's Husband, now a 24-time winner.  For Miller, the win was the middle of a natural hat trick, as he also partnered with Shooter's Dream ($17.40, 1:50) and All Week ($17.20, 1:50.4) in the preceding and following races. The evening's sub-featured event, a $15,000 trot for non-winners of six races or $100,000, saw Magenta Man ($8.20) handle a significant class hike with aplomb, holding sway from Hot Summer Knight to prevail in 1:55. Early breaks from Axios and Its Huw You Know enabled the 4-year-old Muscles Yankee Gelding to set a leisurely and uncontested pace before edging to a 1-3/4 length pillar-to-post victory in rein to Andy Miller. Julie Miller trains Magenta Man, now a winner of four straight, for Little E, LLC and RBH Ventures, Inc. Total handle for the 14-race card was $3,162,502, marking a fourth consecutive program at The Meadowlands with at least $3 million wagered. Neither 20¢ Jackpot High 5 was taken down by a single punter, so next Friday's (Feb. 12) program will see carryovers of $22,115 and $92,662 in the seventh and final races respectively. First post for the Friday card is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Eastern time. by James Witherite, Meadowlands media relations

Ashley's Husband became a rare horse to win the Saturday Open Pace for a second time this season at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. After securing a victory in the $17,000 feature for the first time two weeks ago, Ashley's Husband (Henry Clay) took a week off. On Saturday night, he was the betting public's co-favorite at odds of 2-1 with Jordan Derue in the sulky. The Kyle Spagnola-trained pacer moved first over on his co-favorite who wound up making a break heading to the three quarter pole. Once Ashley's Husband struck the lead, he powered clear from his rivals before stopping the timer in 1:53.2 as a well-measured winner in the feature. R Caan (Billy Dobson) followed the winner every step of the way and ended up second while Achilles Blue Chip (Mark Beckwith) shook loose late to earn the show spot. The win was one of three on the night for Derue and one of two for conditioner Spagnola. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Ashley's Husband scored his first Open Pace victory at Saratoga Casino and Raceway on Saturday. The four-year-old pacer's win served as one of three on the night for his trainer Kyle Spagnola whose Major Way and Life's Lessons each recorded their third consecutive victories on the card. Ashley's Husband (Henry Clay) moved first over at the half on front running Let's Rock Together (Frank Coppola Jr) who had to work awfully hard to secure the early lead. Though things looked bleak around the clubhouse turn for Ashley's Husband, the Spagnola trainee shifted gears heading to three quarters and flew in the stretch before stopping the timer in 1:52.3. Bet On Roulette (Wally Hennessey) followed the winner's cover to finish second and RU Ready To Rock (Bruce Aldrich Jr) completed the trifecta in the $17,000 feature. Ashley's Husband, who was the race's 9-5 betting favorite, was piloted to the Open score by Jordan Derue. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - Yonkers Raceway's stakes season continued Tuesday night, with the opening round of the Sagamore Hill Pacing Series. The annual tribute to Teddy Roosevelt, for 3- and 4-year-old gentlemen who are/were non-winners of four races and/or $40,000 through last Dec. 1, offered up eight, $12,500 divisions. Turns out that the last division (Touchdown Mindale) was also the swiftest (1:53.3), with the entire list of winners as such... --Artist Night,g,4 (by American Ideal); co-owners (as Burke Racing) trainer Ron Burke,Weaver Bruscemi,Howard Taylor/driver George Brennan; 1:54/$3.20; --Sir Michigan Z Tam,g,4 (by Somebeachsomewhere); co-owners (trainer/driver) Pat Lachance,M&M Harness Racing,Ira Rosenblum; 1:55.4/$4.10; --Rocks N Bonds,g,4 (by Rocknroll Hanover); owner Kostas Tsanakos/trainer Ivan Llopez/driver Eric Abbatiello; 1:55.1/$4.60; --A Stitch in Time,g,4 (by Kent's on Nuke); owner A Piece of the Action/trainer Lou Pena/driver Brian Sears; 1:54.1/$2.10; --I Dream a Dream,g,4 (by Western Ideal); co-owners Lomangino Standardbreds,Leo Lomangino/trainer-driver Lachance; (life-best) 1:54/$18.60; --Ashley's Husband,g,4 (by Henry Clay); owner W J Donovan/trainer Kyle Spagnola/driver Jordan Derue; 1:56.1/$2.50; --K-Lee's Shakenbake,g,4 (by Raycer Thad); co-owners Martin Scharf,David Linker/trainer Darren Cassar/driver Ron Pierce; 1:54.4/$3; --Touchdown Mindale,g,4 (by Always A Virgin); co-owners Erv Miller Stb,Harvey Eisman,Leland & Owen Mathias/trainer Nick Surick/driver Marcus Miller; 1:53.3/$22.40. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

State bred pacers and trotters were front and center on Saturday, July 27th as Balmoral Park presented its Southland Festival of Racing. A total of five championship tilts were contested with more than $290,000 in purse money up for grabs as the Prairie States top two and three-year-old pacers slugged it out in one of 2013’s biggest nights. Trotters kicked off the racing action with a field of seven diagonally gaited three-year-old colts and geldings battling in the $51,000 Kadabra Stake. Just as he’s done throughout his entire second season H. Bill Wright and Mystical Marker Farms King Mufasa proved to be way too much for this group as he trotted to a 1 ¼ length triumph in 1:55.2 for driver Mike Oosting. Unhurried early the gelded son of Powerful Emotion—Foxy N Diamonds settled in sixth as Semper Fit (Dave Magee) led the field through opening splits of 28.1 & 58.0. Oosting then put the Mike Brink trainee into gear as the field headed down the backstretch and the division leader responded beautifully, charging right by the pace setter on the final turn while taking the field by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:26.2. “We were going into a pretty decent wind there so I just allowed him to trot on as much as he wanted to,” said Oosting. “I didn’t even realize we were going a 28.2 third quarter. That’s how smooth he is.” Under a hand drive through the lane, King Mufasa turned aside a challenge from entrymate Powerful Poe (Todd Warren) as he reported home with his seventh win in eight starts this year. Powerful Poe was forced to settle for the runner-up role for the sixth time this year while Skyline Road (Casey Leonard) was third. “I was a little concerned when Powerful Poe came up alongside us but then he just took off again,” said a happy Oosting. “He knows what he’s got to do and he just keeps going out there and doing it. Not only is that a credit to him but to Mike (Brink) as well. He’s kept him quiet and sound all year long and he’s just as sharp now as he was early in the year.” With the win King Mufasa now has seven wins and one second in eight starts this year with earnings of $95,410. With no place or show wagering King Mufasa returned $2.10. Next up were two-year-old pacing fillies as a field of 10 youngsters squared off in the $65,000 Loyal Opposition Stake. After a furious stretch drive Engel Stable of Illinois ’ Thesleazyprincess gave Oosting his second stakes triumph of the night as she recorded a 3 ¼ length victory in 1:54.3. After rushing to the front after an opening quarter in 27.3 Oosting allowed a hard charging Fox Valley Amanda (Dale Hiteman) to grab command as the field reached the half-mile mark in 56.2. That pocket sitting journey nearly turned into a nightmare for the Nelson Willis trained miss as Fox Valley Amanda began to tire after passing the three-quarter mile mark in 1:25.1. “Those two up front (Fox Valley Amanda & Western Dame) were starting to tire and I wasn’t sure if I was going to get carried to the open stretch,” said a relieved Oosting. “That’s when I decided to back my filly off a little and we were able to get out of that spot.” Patiently sliding off the pylons with an eighth of a mile to go Oosting maneuvered the daughter of Sagebrush—Da Sleazy One three wide around her rivals and the long striding filly quickly swept past the tiring leaders for her second win in three career starts. My Little Bit (Casey Leonard) shook loose late and rallied to be the bridesmaid while favored Western Dame (John De Long) finished third. “That was a giant effort from a two-year-old filly,” Oosting commented in the winner’s circle. “I really wound up starting and stopping her three different times during that race but she still had an answer for them when she needed it most. That was huge.” The second choice in the wagering returned $5.00, $3.40, & $2.10 while upping her bankroll to $37,450. Oosting did not wait long to strike for a third time taking the $63,500 Mini Me Stake for two-year-old pacing colts in the next event of the night guiding Obermeier & Quaid Stables good looking youngster, PQ Three to a half-length triumph in a career best of 1:54.2. Floating away from post position nine Oosting had the son of Yankee Skyscaper—Sweltering underway as R Duneshine (John Roberts) and Traffic Cop (Todd Warren) battled through opening splits of 27.3 & 56.2. Picking up cover from Badger Quinn (Kyle Wilfong) as the field moved into the turn Oosting did not wait long to attack from his second over position, moving three wide as the field reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:25.3. “I knew Todd’s horse (Traffic Cop) was going to be tough to beat so I did not want to let them get away from us,” explained Oosting. “I would have loved to have sat in there longer but I wanted to be in top gear when we straightened up for home.” Setting sail for the wire the Erv Miller trainee paced home in 28.3 to secure his third win in five lifetime starts. Traffic Cop was a hard fought second while Badger Quinn held on for third. After the win Oosting was quick to praise Miller for the conditioning job on PQ Three. “Erv has done a nice job with this one,” said Oosting. “He was a nice horse the first time I ever sat behind him but he’s even better now. They’ve taken pretty much all of the equipment off of him and he’s very simply rigged now. He’s just an absolute pleasure to drive.” The 2-1 second choice returned $6.00, $2.80 & $2.20 while moving his record to 3-2-0 in five starts with earnings of $41,874.  Balmoral’s leading reinsman continued his “one-man-show” in the fourth event of the evening, this time guiding John arver’s Auniqueaquistion to a one-length victory in 1:53.1 to take the $60,000 Ann Vonian Stake for three-year-old filly pacers. Confidently handled by her red-hot pilot the daughter of Cole Muffler—Shessoluvabull made a bold move to the front after watching Feel Like Dancing (Kyle Wilfong) lead the field through an opening quarter in 28.0. Rolling through middle splits of 56.1 & 1:24.0 the Donna Lee Ozment trained miss was forced to brace for a first over challenge from her chief rival, Aliyah Maria (Todd Warren) as the field turned for the money. After gamely putting away that challenge Auniqueaquistion held firm the rest of the way for her seventh win in 10 starts this year. Feel Like Dancing came on again to finish a nice second while Dallas Jones (Casey Leonard) was third. “My horse was starting to get a little complacent on me so I had to get after her a little harder than I usually do,” said Oosting. “She really started to dig in at that point and I felt pretty confident we could hold off whoever was going to take a shot at us. That’s the big difference with her this year. She really gets after it in the last 200 yards or so and Donna’s done a great job with her after she had the heart issue a few weeks ago.” Now sporting a record of 10-5-0 in 18 career starts, Auniqueaquistion returned $4.00, $2.60 & $2.60 while upping her career bankroll to $240,985. The final stake of the night provided a bit of an upset as John & Mary Krasnican’s Big Brad, a 5-1 shot came flying through the stretch for driver Robert Smolin to win the $59,000 Incredible Finale Stake for three-year-old colt pacers in 1:51.2. Reserved through opening splits of 28.0 & 55.3 while Fancy Creek Elusiv (Dave Magee), Sage Ruck (Mike Oosting) and Mystical Walter (Casey Leonard) all took turns on the lead, Smolin finally worked Big Brad into the outer flow as the field reached the halfway point. “Ever since he tried to pull himself up while on the lead a few starts back I’ve been ducking with him,” Smolin explained. “I was hoping  that we were going to catch some decent cover tonight and I was pretty happy with the way he felt on the last turn.” Storming up three wide as Mystical Walter led the way past the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:23.2 the son of Henry Clay—One Sure Thing set sail for the wire. Flying home in 27.1 the Bob Phillips trainee picked off one rival after another while bobbing and weaving his way to his sixth win 14 starts this year. Sage Ruck came on again late to finish second while Crankin’ It Up (Kyle Wilfong) rallied to be third. After the win Smolin seemed a bit relieved that the journey resulted in a victory. “At the top of the stretch I was just hoping to be second or third,” he said. “My horse was running out at that point, then he started diving in on me. He didn’t know which line he wanted to be on. Once he finally decided to go straight he was as fast as he’s ever been!”  Big Brad returned $13.80, $6.80 & $5.40 while running his record to 9-4-7 in 23 career starts with earnings of $166,540. Stakes action continues on Sunday night with the $45,000 Fox Valley Evita Stake for three-year-old trotting fillies headlining the card. Post time on Sunday is 7:10 p.m. (central). Tom Kelley ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Big Brad and driver Bobby Smolin came flying through the lane to win the $59,000 Incredible Finale Stake in 1:51.2. King Mufasa continued his dominance of the three-year-old colt trotting set with an easy score in the $51,000 Kadabra Stake. Thesleazyprincess knocked off nine other two-year-old pacing fillies to win the $65,000 Loyal Opposition in 1:54.3. PQ Three won for the third time in five career starts as he rolled to victory in the $63,500 Mini Me Stake for two-year-old pacing colts. Auniqueaquistion gave Mike Oosting his fourth stakes win of the year as she knocked off nine rivals in the $60,000 Ann Vonian Stake.  

After a busy weekend of elimination’sthe fields have been set for one of the biggest nights of racing at Balmoral Park and now the count down begins to next Saturday’s (July 27th) Chicago Southland Festival of Racing. After a trio of stakes were filled on Saturday, July 20th the last two elimination tussles were contested on Sunday night with a total of 16 Illinois conceived and foaled three-year-old pacing fillies squaring off in a pair of $10,000 Ann Vonian Stake elim’s. The top five finishers in each division will be back next Saturday to slug it out for a purse of $60,000. In the first elimination Roy Drevsand Brett & Candice Wilfong’s Feel Like Dancing came charging through the passing lane to win by a length in a career best of 1:52.3 for driver Kyle Wilfong. After leading the field through anopening quarter in 28.3 Wilfong elected to allow a hard charging Dallas Jones(Casey Leonard) take command. That filly proceeded to rattle off middle splitsof 56.2 & 1:25.1 while the Brett Wilfong trained miss enjoyed a perfect pocket sitting ride. After finding room in the passing lane, the daughter of Skydancer Hanover—Fox Valley Funny exploded past the pace setter finishing offthe mile with a 27.1 final panel to post her seventh win in 14 starts thisyear. Dallas Jones held on to be second while the heavily favored Aliyah Maria(Todd Warren) finished third. Incredible Filly (Mike Cox) and My Marissa Clair(Phil Knox) also earned spots in the final. The second elimination was notwithout its anxious moments for “chalk” players but when the smoke cleared it was John Carver’s Auniqueaquistion who came out on top with a hard fought half-length victory in 1:52.2 for driver Dave Magee. Placed well off the pace while DuneIn Red (John De Long) and R Ciao Baby (Casey Leonard) sped through splits of28.2, 55.3 & 1:24.1, Magee had Auniqueaquistion in the outer flow as the fillies turned for the money. Picking off one rival after another, the Donna Lee Ozment trained daughter of Cole Muffler—Shesoluvabull went from fifth to first with a 27.3 final quarter to notch her sixth win in nine starts this year. Dune In Red turned in a solid effort to finish second while State Street Liz (Robert Smolin) shook loose late to be a fast closing third. The last two spots in the final went to R Ciao Baby and Mystical Danica (Lewayne Miller). Saturday’s action started with a total of 19 state-bred two-year-old pacing fillies battling in a pair of $10,000 Loyal Opposition elimination’s. The top five in each split will return next week to meet for a purse of $65,000. In the opening division Bruce & Mary Alexander’s Western Dame made it two in a row as she cruised to an impressive two-length victory in a career best of 1:54.2 for driver John DeLong. Charging from fifth to first after an opening quarter of 28.2, the daughter of Sagebrush—Dixie Dame left no doubt as to who was the best in this event as she continued on through middle splits of 57.0 & 1:26.0. Rolling home in 28.2, the $14,000 yearling purchase was never seriously threatened through the stretch as she scored for the second time in three starts. Thesleazyprincess (Mike Oosting) rallied late to be the bridesmaid while Anything I Want (Todd Warren) was a game third. My Little Bit (Robert Smolin) finished fourth and Fox Valley Rockn (Kyle Wilfong) was fifth. The second division of the Loyal Opposition elimination’s also provided a sharp winner as Sawgrass Farms Molly Go Lightly posted her maiden breaking win, reporting home with a 2 ¾ length verdict in 1:55.1 with Mike Oosting in tow. The homebred daughter of Lexington Legend—Waggle was confidently handled in the race ranging up first over through opening splits of 29.3 & 58.4. After sweeping into the lead as the field moved around the final turn, the Nelson Willis trainee led the fillies by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:26.4. The issue was never in doubt from that point on as Molly Go Lightly was a cruise control through a 28.2 final quarter to post her first win in four starts. Green Valey (Robert Smolin) came on late to finish second while April May Dune (Dave Magee) was third. Also gaining spots in the final were Fox Valley Amanda(Dale Hiteman) and Ms Solongbyebye (Jamaica Patton). Next on the docket were three-year-old pacing colts as a total of 15 state-bred sophomores battled in apair of $10,000 Incredible Finale Stake elimination’s. Once again the top five will be back for the “festival” where they will battle for a purse of $59,000. In the first elimination Paymaq Racing, D&M Trading & Mystical Marker Farms Mystical Walter continued to turn heads in this division as he posted his Third Straight victory, reporting home with a deceptively easy 2 ¼ length score in 1:51.1 for driver Casey Leonard. Fresh off his win in last week’s Hanover Stake, the gelded son of Yankee Skyscaper—Yankee Blue put his powerful brush to good use rushing from fifth to first after an opening quarter in 28.0. The Erv Miller trainee never looked back the rest of the way, effortlessly posting middle splits of 56.2 & 1:24.1 before sealing the deal with a wicked 27.0 final quarter for his seventh win in 15 career starts. Monopoly Man (John De Long) followed the winner’s every move after giving way on the backside to finish second while Fancy Creek Elusiv (Dave Magee) was third. Also grabbing spots in the final were Sage Ruck (Mike Oosting) and Fox Valley Action (Todd Warren). In the second division John & Mary Krasnican’s Big Brad came storming through the stretch to win by a neck in a lifetime best of 1:51.0 for Robert Smolin. Moving up second over as pace setter Silver Devil put up splits of 28.0, 56.3 & 1:23.4 Smolin moved the Robert Phillips trainee off cover as the field turned for the money. Flying home in 26.4, the bay son of Henry Clay—One Sure Thing swept by his rivals and then was game to the wire as held off a final surge by Crankin’ It Up (Kyle Wilfong) for his fifth win in 13 starts this season. Crankin’ It Up was second while Kostas Wine (Dave Magee) rallied to finish third. Fox Valley Norman (John De Long) salvaged a fourth place finish after a tough first over bid while the last spotin the final went to Darth Quaider (Mike Oosting). Rounding out the Saturday action were Mini Me Stake elimination’s for ICF two-year-old pacing colts. With a total of 17 youngsters dropped into the entry box a pair of $10,000 splits were contested with the top five moving on to next week’s $63,500 final. In the first division Obermeier & Quaid Stables good looking youngster PQ Three lived up to his favored status winning by a well measured neck in 1:54.3 with Mike Oosting at the controls. Ranging up first over as Traffic Cop(Todd Warren) and R Duneshine (Dave Magee) battled through splits of 28.2, 58.27 1:26.4, Oosting had the son of Yankee Skyscaper—Sweltering just off the pace setters flank as the field turned for the money. Quickly swallowing up R Duneshine in the lane, the Erv Miller trainee then held firm to the wire for his second win in four starts. Traffic Cop re-rallied to finish a game second while Fox Valley Cupid (Robert Smolin) turned a ground saving trip into a third place check. Fox Valley Deuce (Dale Hiteman) was fourth while R Duneshine wound up fifth. The last elimination on the Saturday card provided the tightest finish as the Robert Phillips owned and trained Cotton Eyed Joe found racing room in the final sixteenth of a mile then rallied sharply for a head decision in 1:56.4 with Robert Smolin at the controls. After saving ground while Wimpy Doodle (Dean Magee) and Dunside Art (Mike Oosting) took turns leading the field through splits of 29.3, 1:00.3 & 1:29.2 Smolin appeared to be hopelessly locked in at the pylons. Smolin’s patience paid big dividends though as a seam opened up late in the stretch, allowing the son of Big Green Machine—Secret Dial to come roaring home with his first win in five career starts. Badger Quinn (Todd Warren), who made a power sweep to the front from the outside post wound up finishing a tough luck second while Fox Valley Van (John De Long) was third. The last two spots in the final went to Dunside Art (4th) and Wimpy Doodle (5th). Big Brad and Robert Smolin captured an Incredible Finale Stake elimination for 3yo pacing colts in 1:51.0 on Saturday night at Balmoral Park. PQ Three was a well measured winner for driver Mike Oosting in the first of two Mini Me Stake eliminations on Saturday. Cotton Eyed Joe found room late while rallying for a big win in the second Mini Me Stake elimination on Saturday. Western Dame cruised to an easy win for driver John De Long in the first of two Loyal Opposition Stake elimination's on Saturday night. Molly Go Lightly and driver Mike Oosting teamed up for an easy win in 1:55.1 in the second Loyal Opposition Stake elimination on Saturday.  Mystical Walter continued an impressive recent run as he posted his Third Straight victory in the first of two Incredible Finale Stake elim's for 3yo colt pacers.  

Thursday evening's $12,000 Juxtaposition, the first ICF 2-year-old stake of the season at Maywood Park, brought out nine freshman fillies with recent stakes winner Linda On My Mind the 9-5 first flash favorite.

Proving once again that she will be the filly to beat among this season's three-year-old state-bred filly pacing set, John Carver's Auniqueaquistion rolled to a very impressive three-length victory over seven harness racing rivals in Friday's $122,000 Filly Maywood Pace.

The Bob Phillips Stable's Big Brad looks to make it back-to-back harness racing stakes victories when Maywood Park hosts its first ICF stake race of the season Friday night. It's the $12,000 Sportsmaster for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings.

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