Just as she’s done so often throughout her illustrious career Mystical Marker Farms Mystical Victress proved to be too much for her state-bred rivals as she confidently reported home with a two-length triumph over nine other ICF distaffers in Saturday’s $15,000 Fox Valley Memory Stake. The final time was an effortless 1:54.0. Hustled away from post position eight by driver Lewayne Miller, the six-year-old daughter of Sportsmaster was parked through an opening quarter in 28.3. Continuing her march to the top Mystical Victress grabbed command as the field moved into a stiff headwind on the backstretch. In complete control of the proceedings Mystical Victress proceeded to rattle off very comfortable middle splits of 57.4 & 1:27.0 while keeping a first over Dune In Red (Todd Warren) at bay. Through the lane Mystical Victress put away the challenge of her main rival easily drawing clear through the final sixteenth of a mile to notch her 49th career victory. Fox Valley Absolut (Robert Smolin) rallied up the passing lane to finish second while Dune In Red held on for third. The win was 11th of the year for Mystical Victress who is now in the barn of conditioner Jill Arnold. The 3-5 choice of the wagering public returned $3.40, $2.40 & $2.10 while upping her career bankroll to a whopping $846,713. Mystical Victress and driver Lewayne Miller knocked off nine other state-bred filly and mare pacers in Saturday's $15,000 Fox Valley Memory Stake. David Baum
Archetto Hanover captured the $87,000 Abe Lincoln Stake in 1:55.2 after a brutal stretch duel that necessitated a photo to decide the winner in the one mile test for freshman pacing colts and geldings. The freshman son of Bettor’s Delight picked up his maiden victory in his 18th try for driver Lewayne Miller and trainer Erv Miller and pushed his career earnings to $137,076. “He’s been a real nice horse all along and last week he was sick but tonight he was ready to go,” said the winning driver. “I knew it was a soft bunch other than Odds On Rhodonite and I knew I had enough horse to get by him in the late going. I was very confident in the stretch.” Total Sin (John DeLong) took the early lead to the :28.2 first quarter, before Odds On Rhodonite (Corey Callahan) took over, leading the field to a :56.4 half and to the 1:26 three-quarter marker. Archetto Hanover then challenged on the outside and around the final turn pushed his nose in front and appeared to be an easy winner going into the stretch. However Odds On Rhodonite wouldn’t go away, and Total Sin found another gear and came up the inside lane, but at the wire Archetto Hanover keep his whiskers in front, winning by a head over Total Sin, while Odds On Rhodonite nabbed third. Archetto Hanover is owned by Paymaq Racing of Illinois,Greg Gillis of Ontario and Louis Willinger of Kentucky. by Kimberly A. Rinker for Maywood Park
Rossini and driver Peter Wrenn cruised to a 1:55.3 victory in the $110,000 Galt Stake for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Friday night, Nov. 15 at Maywood Park. The son of Classic Photo-Beverly Crusher is trained by Jim Raymer for the Harbor Racing Stable, LLC of Houston, Texas, and picked up his tenth win of the season in 22 starts. His seasonal earnings now stand at $213,250 and his career bankroll at $231,843. “It was a pretty easy task once we got out of the gate,”said winning driver Peter Wrenn. “I was a little concerned up the backside as I thought I might get bottled out, but this horse is really tough and I don’t think he’s gone too many poor races. Jim (trainer Raymer) is a great horse trainer and this horse is very tough and he handles the turns really well and that’s a bonus. This horse just isn’t going to quit.” Rossini finished half a length in front of Dewycolorintheline (Corey Callahan), with Pine Credit (Lewayne Miller) notching third-place money. Dewycolorintheline took the early lead to the :28.3 firstquarter and to the :58 half, before the hard-trying Lindy’s Tru Grit pulled first over, challenging the leader at the 1:26.4 three-quarter marker. Creampuff Macdaddy (Jody Jamieson) then wen tthree-wide around the final turn, while Rossini went past the tiring Lindy’sTru Grit to prevail by half a length. by Kimberly A. Rinker for Maywood Park
Fort Silky and driver Casey Leonard went wire-to-wire to capture the $30,000 Lester McKeever Stake in 1:53.3 on Nov. 15 at Maywood Park. The 7-year-old son of Ft. Apache Hanover is trained byTerry Leonard for owners John Prentice and Neve Jan Ikeler of Illinois. After sweeping through fractions of :28.1, :57.2 and 1:25.4, Fort Silky held off second-place finisher Uncle Smoothie (Matt Krueger)by three-quarters of a length. Mystical Walter (Lewayne Miller) finished third. Fort Silky added the $15,000 winner’s share to his seasonal bankroll of $237,795. “This race worked out exactly the way we wanted it to,”Leonard said. “My horse left well as I had him pretty reved up and I was a little surprised nobody left. Going into the last turn my horse felt really good. He doesn’t finish as well here as he does at Balmoral, but he was good enough to get the job done. I love horses that just get it, like he does. Sometimes the fastest horse doesn’t always win the race—sometimes it’s just the horse that keeps on trying.” Fort Silky scored his fourth consecutive victory andpushed his career earnings to $551,935. by Kimberly A. Rinker for Maywood Park
ANDERSON, Ind.-October 11, 2013-Mystical Victress made her Hoosier Park debut a winning one as she took top honors and produced a slight upset in the featured event, a $32,000 Invitational pace for fillies and mares, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, October 11. Shipping in from Balmoral Park, Mystical Victress, with Lewayne Miller at the lines, used a sharp front running effort to score her ninth win of the season with a final time of 1:51.4. As the gate closed, Sam Widger and American Girl made a quick jump on their rivals leaving alertly from post four and grabbed the early lead through the opening quarter in :26.3. Montenegro and Ricky Macomber Jr. found a spot along the rail in second while Mystical Victress was unable to find position along the rail and pressed on for the front. Betterluvnexttime and Tyler Smith were also caught on the outside and pressed on for a better position. Mystical Victress cleared to the front through the half mile time in :55.2 but was quickly challenged on the outside by Betterluvnexttime. The top pair continued to battle it out through the three-quarter clocking in 1:23.3 as the rest of the field closed in. Mystical Victress battled gamely to put away Betterluvnexttime and was able to hold off a late charge from Radar Contact and Dan Shetler late in the lane to score the victory. Radar Contact got up for the second place finish while Montenegro rounded out the trifecta. Mystical Victress pulled the slight upset and returned $13.20 to her backers at the windows. Trained by Erv Miller, Mystical Victress scored her ninth win from 27 seasonal outings as she pushed her seasonal bankroll over the $150,000 mark for her connections of Mystical Marker Farms and Peggy Hood. The six-year-old daughter of Sportsmaster is approaching the $1 million mark as she sports a career bankroll of $818,373. It was a four win night for driver Lewayne Miller on the 14-race card. He teamed up with trainer Erv Miller to find the winner's circle three other times on the evening and was also victorious with Walter Haynes' I'm Gracies Wigwam in Indiana Silver Sire Stakes action earlier on the card. Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, October 12 at its' regularly scheduled post time of 5:30 p.m. The 160 day, all harness racing meet with follow a Tuesday-Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 9. Emily Gaskin
ANDERSON, Ind.-September 11, 2013-Hoosier Park Racing & Casino highlighted their 20th season of live Standardbred racing with the annual Hoosier Champions night on Wednesday, September 11. Eight new Indiana Sire Stakes champions were crowned on the evening that featured a 14-race card boasting record purses over the $1.8 million mark. The Anderson track played host to four $200,000 Indiana Sire Stakes finals for three-year-old trotters and pacers and four $200,000 Indiana Sire Stakes finals two-year-old trotters and pacers. The evening was highlighted by two track record performances, marking sixteen track records that have been re-established over Hoosier Park's seven-eighths mile oval this season. "Tonight was a celebration for Indiana harness racing," Hoosier Park's vice president and general manager of racing, Rick Moore noted. "We brought the best of the best together to compete for record purses. We continue to be impressed with the quality of horses that are being bred in Indiana and the track records and competitive racing we watched tonight are a direct reflection of that improving quality." U R It BB became Hoosier Park's newest track record holder with a 1:53 victory in the $200,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes final for two-year-old pacing fillies. With Brett Miller at the lines, U R It BB was able to find late racing room deep in the stretch to track down the bettors' choice, Color's A Virgin and Jason Dillander, to win by a nose. Trained by Ron Burke, the freshman filly lowered a 14-year-old track record of 1:53.1 that was previously held by Musical Dreamer and driver Don Irvine Jr. "This filly raced really tough tonight," Miller noted of his mount. "They didn't tell me much about her coming into the race but when we got behind the gate she felt good and it didn't look like anyone was leaving. I was able to get good early position and coming around the last turn, I knew if I could find room, I had enough horse to win. When I asked her for more, she dug in all the way to the wire." From the second crop of Always A Virgin, U R It BB notched her second win from seven seasonal outings and pushed her career bankroll over $120,000 for her connections of Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, and Frank Baldachino. The two-year-old pacing colts did not disappoint and followed suit with a track record performance in the $200,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes final when Bluehourpower and Ricky Macomber Jr. found the wire in 1:52. Dismissed at the windows at 14-1, Bluehourpower rallied from well off the pace to notch his third win of the season. Trained and owned by Wilbur Eash, the gelded son of Sand Shooter established a new lifetime best mark and lowered the track record by a full second. The previous track record for three-year-old pacing geldings was 1:53, a mark set by Next Thing Smoke'N and Tyler Smith in the last leg of the $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes action on September 3, 2013. "He's been such a nice colt to train all winter," Eash noted in the winner's circle. "He is a real easy going colt that I think races better from off the pace. The trip worked out for him tonight and he was able to find racing room when he needed it, I couldn't be happier with him." The freshman trotting counterparts opened up the million dollar night and did so in impressive fashion. Andi's Alana and Lewayne Miller overcame a tough trip to score in 1:57.1 in the $200,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes final for two-year-old trotting fillies. Trained by Erv Miller, the daughter of Swan For All became the sport's newest $100,000 earner and notched her sixth win from seven seasonal outings for owners Paymaq Racing, Greg Gillis, and Harvey Eisman. The two-year-old trotting colts were up next and it was Justice Jet and Ed Hensley who pulled a 10-1 to upset to score in 1:57.3. Trained by Roger Welch, the gelded son of Justice Hall battled gamely in the stretch to score his sixth win from eight seasonal outings. Welch and Hensley teamed up once more to find the winner's circle with Always About Katey scoring in a lifetime best effort of 1:51.3 in the three-year-old filly pacing ranks. An Indiana Sire Stakes champion at two, Always About Katey used a sharp, front running effort to defend her title and notch her fourth win of the season. Right Touch and Ray Paver also defended their title and scored a second Indiana Sire Stakes championship trophy when they rallied home a winner in the $200,000 final for three-year-old pacing colts in 1:50.1. The Verlin Yoder-trained trotting duo of Lady Blitz and Natural Herbie were heavily backed at the windows and did not disappoint as they found the winner's circle in each of their respective finals. Owned, trained, and driven by Verlin Yoder, Lady Blitz was home a winner in 1:55 in the three-year-old trotting filly final and just two races later, Natural Herbie followed suit in 1:55.2 in the final for three-year-old colt and gelding trotters. Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, September 12 with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m. The 160-day, all harness racing meet began on April 2 and will be conducted through November 9. Photos: 1) U R It BB and Brett Miller winning the $200,000 final for two-year-old pacing fillies 2) Bluehourpower and Ricky Macomber Jr. winning the $200,000 final for two-year-old pacing colts. Photos Courtesy of Linscott Photography. Emily Gaskin
ANDERSON, Ind.—August 28, 2013—Hoosier Park Racing & Casino played host to a pair of $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes divisions for two-year-old trotting fillies on Wednesday, August 28 and the freshman fillies were the featured attraction on the evening’s 13-race card. Miss Isolde and Sam Widger made quick work of the opening division of stakes action as they made the front just past the half and never looked back winning in 1:58.3. Dictating fractions of :59.4 and 1:30.1, Miss Isolde remained uncontested as the field turned for home. Skyway Jaylo and Larry Lee Smith were the first to take aim at the leaders from fourth but proved to be no match for the leader. Miss Isolde began to sprint away from the rest of the field as she used a :28.2 final panel to win by three lengths. Skyway Jaylo battled gamely to finish second while Earls Dixie Darlin and Trace Tetrick staged a big rally late in the lane to finish third. As the publics’ choice, Miss Isolde returned $5.00 to her backers for the win. Trained by Valerie Wells, Miss Isolde notched her second win from three seasonal outings and established a new lifetime best mark with the 1:58.3 performance. Sired by Swan For All, the freshman filly recorded her first sire stakes win and has now bankrolled over $20,000 for owner, Dennis Reisert. Huntingforpennies pulled a 13-1 upset in the second split of the sire stakes action as she overcame a tough trip to score in a lifetime best of 1:58.2. Upset minded from the start, Tetrick sent Huntingforpennies away from the gate alertly to land along the rail in fourth. Summit City Flo and Sam Widger dictated fractions of :27.1 and :59.1 while the heavy betting favorite, Andi’s Alana and LeWayne Miller, sat in the pocket. As the field approached by the three-quarter clocking in 1:30.1, Tetrick gave his mount the green light only to pick up cover from the pocket sitting Andi’s Alana. Summit City Flo was able to put away Andi’s Alana but was no match for a hard closing Huntingforpennies. Using a :28.0 final panel, Huntingforpennies charged home to get the win by two lengths. Andi’s Alana had her five-race winning streak snapped as she finished second as the 1-5 favorite while Jessie’s Song and Ed Hensley rounded out the trifecta. Dismissed at the windows, Huntingforpennies returned $28.20 for the win. Trained by Tom T. Tetrick, the freshman filly notched her third win from eight seasonal starts. Sired by Pinetucky, Huntingforpennies has now earned over $18,000 for owners Tom D., Mary Alice, and Tom T. Tetrick. The statebreds return to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, August 30 with one division of the $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes for three-year-old colt and gelding trotters. Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, August 29 with a 14-race card that begins at 5:30 p.m. The 160-day, all harness racing meet will follow a Tuesday-Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m. by Emily Gaskin
ANDERSON, Ind.—August 21, 2013— A pair of the sport’s top freshman filly trotters were showcased at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, August 20 with two $108,050 divisions of the Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes highlighting the evening’s 13-race card. Andi’s Alana made her home state proud in her first start against open company as she romped home a winner in the opening division of the stakes action in a track record performance. Extending her win streak to five, the two-year-old daughter of Swan For All set a new track record of 1:56.4 for two-year-old fillies on the trot. The previous track record of 1:58 was established by Universal Victory and Jimmy Takter in August of 2001. Andi’s Alana established a new lifetime best mark and is now undefeated in five lifetime outings. The 1:56.4 victory marks twelfth track record that has been lowered over Hoosier Park’s seven-eighths mile oval in the 2013 season. Driven by LeWayne Miller, Andi’s Alana was unhurried off the gate and settled along the rail in fifth. Scream and Shout and Jimmy Takter were the first to get a call and dictated early fractions of :28.0 and :58.1 before ever being contested. Swan Yankee and Tyler Smith, the other part of the Erv Miller trained entry in the field, were the first to take aim at the leader with Andi’s Alana in tow. Using a :29.1 final panel, Andi’s Alana was able to track down the leader to get the win at the wire. Trained by Erv Miller, Andi’s Alana remains flawless in 2013 while bankrolling over $82,000 for her connections of PayMaq Racing, Greg Gillis, and Harvey Eisman. It was a driving triple for LeWayne Miller as he also scored with Wilbur Eash’s Electric Albert and once again with Erv Miller’s Fly’n With Royalty in the $30,000Indiana Gold Sire Stakes. The second division of the Grand Circuit stakes action was captured by Dancing for Money piloted by Jimmy Takter to a 1:58.1 score in gate to wire fashion. As the heavy betting favorite, Takter sent the daughter of Muscles Yankee to the front and she dictated fractions of :29.0, :59.3, and 1:28.4. As the field rounded the final turn, Dancing For Money put her talent on display as she began to trot away from the rest of the field. The freshman filly was well in hand at the wire as she established a new lifetime mark, finishing eight lengths in front of her closest competitor. Trained by Paula Wellwood, Dancing For Money notched the second win from five seasonal outings. Owned by the partnership of P.C. Wellwood and Karen Carroll, Dancing For Money pushed her bankroll over the $100,000 mark with the win. Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, August 22 with a 14-race card that will be highlighted by Indiana Silver Sire Stakes action. The 160-day all harness racing meet will follow a Tuesday-Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m. by Emily Gaskin
ANDERSON, Ind.—August 20, 2013—So Shay pulled off a stunning upset at 49-1 to highlight the $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies on the evening’s 13-race card at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, August 20. With Trace Tetrick at the lines, So Shay was able to stage a determined rally in the final strides of the mile to score the upset and establish a lifetime best mark of 1:52 in the process. Upset minded from the word go, So Shay and Tetrick left alertly from the rail spot to land along the pylons in third. It was a cavalry charge to the front as the gate folded but it was Always About Katey and Ed Hensley who were quickest and reached the front through the opening panel in :26.3. Bliss Hanover and Pete Wrenn also left alertly but yielded for the pocket seat. Ricky Macomber Jr. sent Mandy’s Mattjesty firing off the gate but they were relegated to fourth through the opening splits. Always About Katey remained uncontested through the half mile mark in :55.2 before feeling a threat on the outside from Mandy’s Mattjesty. Harmony Oaks Quike and Mike Micallef were well placed second over with Crazy on You and LeWayne Miller next in line and in hot pursuit of the leader. The pace began to quicken and the field began to tighten as they approached the three-quarter mark in 1:24 with Always About Katey still calling the shots. Bliss Hanover and Pete Wrenn were able to wear down the tiring leader mid-way through the stretch as So Shay and Tetrick loomed large in the background. Steering through traffic, Tetrick asked his filly for more and she responded with a :27.3 final panel to pull the upset and win by two lengths. Always About Katey held on for second while Crazy On You got up for the third place finish. Dismissed at 49-1, So Shay returned $100.00 to her backers at the window. The trifecta including So Shay, Always About Katey, and Crazy On You lit up the tote board and returned $1,158.05. Trained by Marty Rodgers, So Shay notched her second win of the season from eleven seasonal outings. Sired by Gunthatwonthewest, the sophomore filly has now won four of 18 lifetime outings while bankrolling over $30,000 for owner Marla Bednarsh. So Shay bested her lifetime best mark by nearly four seconds with the 1:52 score. The fourth and final round of the $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies will continue on Tuesday, September 3 at Hoosier Park. The four-leg series will culminate with a $200,000 series slated for Wednesday, September 11 at Hoosier Park as part of the annual Hoosier Champions Night. Live racing continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, August 21 with a 13-race card that will be highlighted by two $108,050 divisions of the Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday-Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m. by Emily Gaskin
Illinois conceived and foaled trotters closed out a big weekend of racing action at Balmoral Park on Sunday, August 4th as a field of eight three-year-old colts battled in the $25,000 Mikes A Mystery Stake. As has been the case throughout the entire 2013 season, H. “Bill” Wright & Mystical Marker Farms King Mufasa toted home top honors as he posted a hard fought head decision in 1:55.1 for driver Mike Oosting. Leaving from post eight the gelded son of Powerful Emotion—Foxy N Diamonds was unhurried early on allowing Maplegrove Shaelyn (Jamaica Patton) to dictate terms through splits of 28.4, 58.3 & 1:27.2. Getting underway as the field moved towards the half-mile mark Oosting tried to flush cover as he proceeded his march towards the front but with his rivals electing to sit in King Mufasa pulled alongside of the pace setter as the diagonally gaited sophomores hit the top of the stretch. Zipping right by Maplegrove Shaelyn Oosting and King Mufasa then dug in gamely to hold off a late surge from the ground saving Powerful Poe through the final sixteenth of a mile for his eighth win in nine starts this year. Powerful Poe settled for the runner-up role for the eighth time in 11 starts this season while Monticello Lane (Robert Taylor) benefitted from a disqualification to move into the show spot. The Mike Brink trained King Mufasa now boasts 10 wins and 2 seconds in 17 career starts with earnings of $117,452. Grand Circuit action highlighted the Saturday, August 3rd program as a pair of Hanover Stakes for two-year-old attracted 27 colt and filly pacers. An overflow field of 12 colts were sent postward for a $46,100 jackpot and when the smoke cleared it was Lawrence Gary’s good looking Quik Pulse Mindale—Hast yDewer colt Blooming Genius who emerged on top with a wire to wire score in1:54.1 for driver Dave Magee. Despite making only his third career start, the Todd La Fountaine trainee looked like a seasoned pro as he took full advantage of the inside starting spot while leading the field through splits of 28.0, 57.1 & 1:25.1. With plenty in reserve Blooming Genius sealed the deal with a 29.1 final marker towin for the second time in three starts. PQ Three (Mike Oosting) rallied nicel yto finish a fast closing second despite being outside every step of the mile while another Erv Miller trainee, Badger Quinn (Lewayne Miller) finished third. Fresh off his back to back wins after finishing second in his career debut Blooming Genius now boasts $26,475 in career earnings. With a total of 15 fillies dropped into the entry box the filly tussle was split into a pair of $29,600 divisions. In the opening battle Engel Stable of Illinois’ Marzy Bearzy came up with a career best as she rallied from mid-pack to score by a half-length in 1:54.3 with Casey Leonard at the controls. After saving ground through splits of 28.0 56.3 & 1:25.2 Leonard moved the Nelson Willies trained daughter of Rocknroll Hanover—Sleazebiscuit to the outside as the field headed around the final bend. Hitting her top gear with an eighth of a mile to go Marzy Bearzy cruised right by the leaders with a 28.2 final quarter to notch her second win in four starts. Rock Groupie (Brian Carpenter)battled through a tough first over trip to finish in the bridesmaid role while Boxed Chocolates (Dave Magee) was third. In the second division the Jesse De Long owned and trained Delco Voracious pulled off the upset as the Running Aces invader found room late and rallied sharply for a 2 ¾ length triumph in a career of 1:53.1 with John De Long handling the lines. The home-bred daughter of Voracious Hanover—Gypsys Good Girl used her inside starting spot to perfection, saving ground throughout the mile as Western Dame(Casey Leonard) put up splits of 28.2, 57.2 & 1:26.0. After finding racing room in the lane Delco Voracious unleashed a wicked 27.0 final quarter to roll right by for her fourth win in five career starts. Western Dame held on for second while Thesleazyprincess (Mike Oosting), the even-money favorite was forced to settle for the show dough after a tough first over journey. Sent off at 19-1 despite opening her career with three straight wins in Minnesota Delco Voracious returned $40.20 while pushing her career bankroll over the $24,000 mark. by Tom Kelley
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.
MM's Lucky Boy made his local debut a winning one on Friday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Yonkers invader was the Open trot's even money harness racing favorite despite coming off a three month layoff.
As a youth, he always envisioned himself in the sulky, but LeWayne Miller, because of his background, never ever thought his most ardent desire would become reality. 'Growing up I always dreamed of driving,' explained the 25-year-old. 'We used to race ponies, but I grew up Amish, so I never really thought I would be good enough to do something like that and they don't allow harness racing.'
Clear skies are forecast for the next few days in Lexington, setting the stage for more intriguing two year old racing in the International Stallion Stakes (INSS). Friday (October 5) brings with it nearly $600,000 in harness racing purses for the taking on the clay carpet.
New York Sire Stakes preliminary leg competition concluded its downstate dance card Thursday night, with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $286,600 Lew Barasch Trot for harness racing's 2-year-old colts and geldings. The event again honored the memory of the legendary publicist and Harness Hall of Famer, whose work at Roosevelt Raceway in general and with the International Trot in particular helped keep harness racing in the sporting mainstream.
Drink The Wine and Pine Credit won divisions of Thursday night's $138,196 Historic Stakes for 2-year-old trotters, while driver Jim Morrill, Jr. collected six victories during the 65th harness racing program of the year at Vernon Downs.