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Saturday's Hanover Night at Balmoral Park doesn't get all the hoopla of Super Night, American National Night or even the track's upcoming Southland Festival of Harness Racing. Nevertheless, it's always been one of my favorite racing evenings on the Crete big track.

The Illinois Harness Horseman's Association (IHHA) is proud to announce Matt Avenatti of Chrisman, Ill. as the winner of the 2013 "Big Tom Scholarship." The harness racing scholarship is funded with help from Tom Lewandowski, John Leahy and Jolene Leahy.

The 'Winner's Over' trot is back on Balmoral Park's mid-week harness racing card Wednesday night after a week's absence and it coincides with the return of the Dandy Farms trotter Celebrity Hercules who has been rock-solid on the Crete one-miler.

Jim Bafia, a co-owner of last season's Illinois freshman trotting filly champion Trot Fudge Sundae, was in the harness racing Balmoral Park's winner's circle last weekend but this time without his prize trotter.

A trio of ICF stakes for 3-year-old pacers head-up Saturday's Balmoral Park harness racing card.

The Mike Brink Stable's April May Dune won't be going off at double-digit odds again in Thursday's $12,000 My Metallic stake for ICF freshman pacing fillies. Not after she was an easy winner at 13-1 odds in last week's Juxtaposition stake when she made her very first start.

What a difference a year makes when it comes to the ICF trotting filly division. Last season Trot Fudge Sundae dominated the freshman division when she won 10 of 13 starts and became the first Illinois harness racing bred ever to win the American National 2-Year-Old-Filly Trot.

When the season began harness racing trainer Roger Welch didn't have one of the very elite ICF 3-year-old filly pacers fillies in his barn. However, that all changed in early May when Aliyah Maria arrived. Acquired privately by Chicago owner Rocky Ruffolo, Aliyah Maria has risen near the top of her division in the last seven weeks.

Unlocked, a dominating winner in his first two career starts at Balmoral Park in a pair of ICF 2-year-old colt and gelding stakes, is favored to stay unbeaten in Friday's harness racing $12,000 Enzo The Baker at Maywood Park.

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.

Through the years it seems when local drivers approach milestones more times than not they go into a slump before they attain their goal. That was certainly the case for John Roberts before he brought home seven winning horses on last Friday's and Saturday's programs to go over the 1,000 plateau in harness racing career victories.

If Balmoral Park's June 9 Fox Valley Diva stake is any indication tonight's $12,000 harness racing 'Betzotic' for ICF 3-year-old trotting fillies will be anything but dull.

The eight challengers to Mystical Victress in tonight's $20,000 Sue Fee stake face a daunting task when they try to upset the Queen of Illinois racing in the seventh race feature. The now six-year-old mare from the Erv Miller Stable is gunning for her 12th consecutive harness racing victory in a race against strictly other ICF fillies or mares.

As every knowledgeable harness racing fan knows the draw for post position is all so important on a half-mile track for a major championship race and Friday night's $115,000 Maywood Pace Final is no exception.

One of the popular Illinois bred pacers on the circuit in the early 1980s was Whizzer R White, a son of Shadow's Finale, bred by Joan Norine Bulow of Hickory Hills, Illinois and owned by the trio of Chicago Norman Mandell, Naperville's George Bonomo and James Errichello of Porter, Indiana.

Balmoral Park's mid-week harness racing card Wednesday night will have a trio of ICF stakes for young horses with the first race opener the pari-mutuel debut for all nine freshman filly pacers.

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