Day At The Track
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"My filly is ready. I have to deliver and I am the one under pressure but I have a willing partner," harness racing driver Roberts declared in a pre-race statement. Could he have been more prescient? Not only did Fox Valley Praline deliver in a big way but John Roberts was in his elements with a courageous drive in the $159,000 Grandma Ann Pace for three year-old filles.

The countdown to Illinois' biggest night of racing, Super Night 23 on Saturday, Sept. 17th, began in earnest on Saturday as elimination action for the Orange & Blue, Filly Orange & Blue, Tony Maurello Stake, Grandma Ann & Pete Langley Memorial highlighted the 13-race harness racing program.

Illinois conceived and foaled pacers were the focus of attention on Saturday night (July 30) as six big stake races with almost $350,000 in purses headlined the Southland Festival of Racing at Balmoral Park. Kicking off the harness racing action were two-year-old pacing fillies as a full field of 10 squared off in the $57,500 Loyal Opposition Stake.

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.

Illinois top harness racing three-year-old pacing colts took to the track on Saturday night at Balmoral Park as an overflow field of 11 were sent to battle in the $9,000 Oakbrook Terrace OTB Stake. After a thrilling stretch duel that had the holiday weekend crowd on their feet Rockin Rumble sent shockwaves through the state-bred ranks as he out dueled Dutch Richman to win by a nose in a career best of 1:50.2.

A compact but classy field of six Illinois conceived and foaled pacers headed to the track for Saturday's $14,000 Rambling Willie Stake on Saturday night at Balmoral Park. When the dust settled it was Patricia Kreischer's crafty harness racing veteran Special Joe toting home top honors as he scored by one and three quarter lengths in a speedy 1:52.

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