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Mike Oosting and Kyle Wilfong each plan to return to action on Maywood Park’s Friday card. Both circuit drivers have been sidelined since they went down in a nasty looking spill last Saturday night at Balmoral Park. Oosting had Special Joe in strong contention in the ninth race when the 9-year-old pacer started to run about a sixteenth of a mile away from the finish line, stumbled, and went down on the track. Mike ended up being tossed out of his sulky. “I thought my shoulder blade was broke,” said Oosting. “It kept cramping-up and then it just popped. I had to put in back in the joint three times while on the racetrack because if kept popping out. “That’s what basically is holding me up from back driving. My ankle also got big on me and I couldn’t walk for a couple of days. My wrist and my hand also swelled-up. I was going to go in Wednesday night but my body was telling me to take some more time off.   “You can see watching the reply my horse took a bad step and starting stumbling before he went down. I would have been all right if I hadn’t got hit from behind. My horse was sliding so I think I would have been able to stay in the bike if I wasn’t run into from behind. “I think I’ll be okay enough to drive Friday night.” Wilfong was right behind when the stumbling Special Joe started to go down and his  horse ran into Oosting, sending the 25-year-old driver Donovan, Illinois native out of his bike and hard onto the track. Kyle’s leg got tangled-up with the lines of his horse Extravagant Art, who dragged him a long way before he was rescued. “When Mike’s horse went down right in front of me I had nowhere to go and I was knocked out once I hit the ground,” said Wilfong. You mean you don’t remember being dragged down the stretch by your horse. “Not at all,” replied Kyle. “I was unconscious. “I remember the wheel on my bike hitting Mike’s bike that’s as much as I remember, “I was lucky I wasn’t hurt a lot more seriously. “My left knee still hurts. The rest of my body feels okay. I’m shooting to be back for Friday’s card at Maywood. I’ll just have to see how I feel come Friday and then I’ll just go from there.” These type of spills reminder us just how dangerous it can be competing on a racetrack. Thankfully neither driver in this case was seriously injured. Domination: Thursday’s Maywood card was dominated by drivers Casey Leonard and Ryan Anderson. Between them they drove the winners of 9 of the 11 races. Casey bagged five while Ryan netted four. by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

Drivers Kyle Wilfong and Mike Oosting were involved in a nasty spill in Saturday's ninth race but both somehow managed to get away relatively unscathed with what appears to be just minor bumps and abrasions.   Oosting's mount Special Joe appeared to take a bad step and fell while in contention with less than a sixteenth of a mile to go, catapulting him to the track where he appeared to get hit by a trailing horse. Wilfong, who was driving Extravagant Art was trapped with nowhere to go right behind the fallen horse and was unseated from the bike but wound up being dragged down the track after becoming entangled in his driving lines.   Wilfong was checked on-site by paramedics and taken off the remainder of his drives while Oosting was transported to St.JamesHospital for observation after complaining of pain in his shoulder. Neither horse was injured.     Tom Kelley    

Ladiesith a total of 15 state-bred filly and mare pacers dropped into the entry box, Saturday's Sue Fee Stake was split into a pair of $13,250 divisions. The stake had been scheduled to go back on June 21st but was washed out when torrential rains caused the remainder of the card to be cancelled that evening. In the opening split Paula Smith, James Runyan and Frank Pike's Dallas Jones regained her early season form as she came charging through the lane to score by 2¼ lengths in 1:54.1 over a sloppy track for driver Tim Curtin. Unhurried early as Just By Design (Dave Magee) and then Auniqueaquistion (Dale Hiteman) put up splits of 27.3, 56.0 & 1:25.0 Curtin moved from fifth at the half-mile pole. Moving into a perfect second over spot in fourth as the field turned for home the Joel Smith trained four-year-old set sail for the wire, quickly gobbling up the tired leaders while slicing through a strong headwind. In full flight, the daughter of Sportsmaster--Cams Bett confidently cruised under the wire with her sixth victory of the year. Just By Design shook loose late at the pylons to finish second while Whistle Pig (Casey Leonard) rallied for the show dough. Sent off as the 9-2 choice in the wagering Dallas Jones returned $11.00, $4.40 & $3.60 while running her record to 6-3-3 in 29 starts with earnings of nearly $47,000. In the nightcap John Barnard's Ryleigh's Lilly came flying through the lane to post an impressive 1 ¾ -length victory in 1:53.0 with Mike Oosting at the controls. Ducked off the gate by Oosting, the four-year-old mare settled in fifth as Party Hangover (Todd Warren) led the field through splits of 27.4, 56.2 & 1:24.1. After getting caught up in a stalled outer flow as the field neared the top of the stretch, a confident Oosting tipped three and then four-wide around the tired challengers. Effortlessly picking off one rival after another the Bill Crone trained daughter of Western Hero--Fox Valley Chosen zipped past them all for her sixth victory of the season. State Street Liz (Robert Smolin) turned a ground saving trip into a second place check while Party Hangover held on for third. Sent off as the second choice in the wagering Ryleigh's Lilly returned $5.20, $3.20 & $2.20 while moving her record to 6-3-6 in 29 trips postward with earnings of just over $41,000. Live racing continues on Sunday, Nov. 23rd at BalmoralPark with a 10-race card getting underway at 7:10 p.m. (central). Sunday's $1 Pick 4 features a guaranteed pool of $25,000. With no racing on Thursday, Nov. 27th at MaywoodPark (Thanksgiving) BalmoralPark will present an 11-race card on Wed. Nov. 26th as well. by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park

Through the years fast miles have been the norm on the mile clay oval at Springfield. The fastest in a pari-mutuel race was eight years ago when My Boy David sped to a 1:47.4 clocking with Andy Miller in 2006. While many may remember My Boy David’s fastest mile in Springfield history that came in his Illinois State Fair Stake elimination race, most fans may not know that the 3-year-old Homer Hochstetler trainee didn’t go on to win that $50,000 Final four days later. Fox Valley Tribal, driven by Tim Tetrick for trainer Bob Sanders, took the championships in 1:49 flat, a half-length ahead of Thisbigdogwilfight. My Boy David settled for third (1:49.2), beaten two lengths. My Boy David would bounce back to take the Dudley Hanover title at Du Quoin and the Pete Langley Memorial Championship on Super Night and would go on to compete into 2012 at the age of nine, amassing over $1.3 million for owner Shirley Le Vin of Barrington Hills. My Boy David winning at Balmoral The great Mack Lobell holds the Springfield record for a trotter when he motored to a 1:52.1 clocking with John Campbell in the 1987 George Alexander Memorial as a 3-year-old. The fastest mile ever paced on the Springfield big track came in a time trail in 1993 when Cambest (Bill O’Donnell) stopped the timer in a sizzling 1:46.1. The oldest Springfield track record goes back to the year 2000 when the Erv Miller Stable’s Incredible Tillie (Andy Miller) took the 3-year-old filly pace in 1:49.2 some 14 years ago. The newest track record belongs to PQ Three, another Erv Miller trainee.  Last year Mike Oosting drove PQ Three to a 1:50 flat victory in the 2-year-old colt pace championship, bettering the old mark by 2/5’s of a second shared by Hot N Sporty (2005) and Lucky’s Z Tam (2006). To view Archived Notes and Quotes click here     County Fair Report   EFFINGHAM COUNTY FAIR AT ALTAMONT   Tuesday Afternoon-1 pm FIRST: $1,125 2 and 3-Year-Old Pace: Horse (Driver)                                     Time (Track Fast) Perfectly Clear (Kyle Wilfong)                       2:00.2  Trainer: Bob Rittof. Owners: Angela Coleman and Bob Rittof. SECOND: $1,125 2 and 3-Year-Old Pace: Togetherforver (Michael Johnson)                  2:02.4 Trainer: Michael Johnson. Owner: Rhonda Manship. THIRD: $1,300 Open 3-Year-Old Trot: Morgans Majestic (Ladarrius Whitaker)         2:0.2 Trainer: Ladarrius Whitaker. Owner: Gloria Gillis. FOURTH: $1,300 Non-Winners of $7,500 LT Pace: Ava Destruction (Darla Martin)                      2:00.3 Trainer: Joan Brown. Owners: David and Joan Brown. FIFTH: $1,900 ICF Maidens Trot: At Risk (Darla Martin)                                    2:06.4 Trainer: Darla Martin Owner: Darla Martin. BOONE COUNTY FAIR AT BELVIDERE   Tuesday Afternoon-Noon FIRST: $3,575 NICA 2-Year-Old Filly Pace: Horse (Driver)                                     Time (Track Slow) Rockin Cassinova (Jay Garrels)                      2:15.1 Trainer: Jay Garrels/ Owners: William and Wm. Pat De Long. SECOND: $3,496 NICA 2-Year-Old Colt Pace: Miss Mascoutin (Robert Yohn)                      2:25.1 Trainer: Robert Yohn. Owners: Philips Krogman and Robert Yohn. THIRD: $6,039 NICA 2-Year-Old Trot: New Achiever (Orval Bronkhorse)                 2:21.3 Trainer: Orval Bronkhorse. Owner: Orval Bronkhorst. FOURTH: $3,300 ICF 4-Year-Olds and Up Trot: Fall Creek Bandit (John Roberts)                   2:13 Trainer: Don Brown. Owners: Don and Vicky Brown. FIFTH: 1,000 Non-Winners of $1,500 Trot: Foxiesbandofgold (Robert Yohn)                  2:14.4 Trainer: Robert Yohn. Owner: Richard Thompson. SIXTH: PACE, 2 and 3-Year-Old Pace: Elusive Return (Gary Rath)                            2:11.1 Trainer: Gary Rath. Owners: Gary and Kathryn Rath. WILLIAMSON COUNTY FAIR AT MARION     Tuesday Afternoon: 1 pm FIRST: $5,852 ECS 3-Year-Old Pace: Horse (Driver)                                     Time (Track Fast) Cypress Hill Rose (Clay Simpson)                  1:59.2 Trainer: Donald James. Owner: Donald James. SECOND: $5,752 ECS 3-Year-Old Trot: Battleshoe King (Clay Simpson)                    2:04.3 Trainer: Clay Simpson. Owners: Buddy and Clay Simpson. THIRD: $800 Non-Winners of $3,500 LT Trot: Hoosier Jared (Cleon Woods)                         2:03.4 Trainer: Cleon Woods. Owner: Cleon Woods. FOURTH: $800 Free For All Pace: Smoke Rings (Larry Ward)                             2:00.3 Trainer: Larry Ward. Owner: Larry Ward. FIFTH: $6,700 ICF 4-Year-Old and Up Trot: Hong Kong Kwyne (Dennis Gardner)           2:04.4 Trainer: Dennis Gardner. Owner: George Knackmuhs. By Mike Paradise The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association

With the 2013 racing season in the books a couple of very familiar faces on the Chicago circuit toted home top honors in the training and driving ranks as veterans Perry Smith and Mike Oosting each completed “daily doubles” by sweeping the training and driving titles respectively at Maywood and Balmoral Park. The 62-year-old Smith who is a Crete, Illinois resident began his career back in the mid-1970’s as a driver-trainer before becoming a full-time trainer in 1989. Since then Smith trained- horses have racked up 1296 victories and more than $8.3 million in purse money. Currently, Smith has 35 head in training at Sawgrass Farms. “I did a lot of racing at both tracks this year,” said Perry. “The key to being successful is knowing where your horses fit and getting them in those spots. If you’re realistic about them and put them in the right spots you can be successful and make money with them.” In the Maywood standings Smith recorded 69 victories from 347 starts for a 19.9% win ratio. David Mc Caffrey finished second with 56 winners from 426 starters while Angie Affrunti was third with 50 wins in 221 starts. The Balmoral title came down to the final weekend but when the smoke cleared it was Smith edging out another veteran, Nelson Willis by a 71-69 margin. Smith sent out 422 starters at the Crete oval for a 16.8% win ratio. Mike Brink finished third with 52 trips to the winner’s circle. On the driving side of the docket, Mike Oosting continued to dominate the ranks defeating Casey Leonard by a margin of 219-201 at Maywood Park and 270-197 at Balmoral Park for his “daily double”.  John De Long finished third in the Maywood standings while Dave Magee was third at Balmoral. The Balmoral title was the eighth in the last nine years for the Beecher, Illinois resident who now sports 5,651 career wins and more than $35.5 million in purse earnings. It also marked the eighth straight year the 52-year-old Oosting has finished with a U.D.R. of higher than .300.   For complete stats and information on both tracks including the big Meadowlands Handicapping contest taking place at Maywood Park and the Illinois O.T.B.’s which starts on Friday, Jan. 3rd visit www.maywoodpark.com and www.balmoralpark.com. by Tom Kelley for Balmoral and Maywood Park

Pertty Music used a three-wide move around Maywood’s final turn to win the $73,000 Cinderella Stake for freshman pacing fillies in 1:53.2. John DeLong piloted the Tom Harmer trained, owned and bred daughter of Jereme’s Jet-My Metallica to her fifth win of the season and sixth career victory She went off at odds of 8-1 and paid $19.40 to win.. “I got away fourth but didn’t want to be first over against Always About Katey,” said DeLong. “I raced her over here a couple of weeks ago but she bled pretty bad, but she was much better tonight and this is her home turf. She had the nine-hole in the American National and the field was a bit softer this week. She’s a very nice filly. I was a little nervous for a few seconds in the stretch but she’s a professional and got the job done tonight.” Pertty Music sat in the middle of the field of seven fillies while Always About Katey (Todd Warren) led the field through fractions of :27.2 and :56. Auniqueaquisition (Mike Oosting) pulled first over with a mild bid but failed to gain ground as thef ield went by the 1:24.2 three-quarter marker. Pertty Music then stormed to the outside around the final turn and stormed by her rivals, winning by half a length over Always About Katey, with State Street Liz (Robert Smolin). The victory pushed Pertty Music’s seasonal earnings to$110,236 and her career earnings to $134,292. by Kimberly Rinkler for Maywood Park  

Bee A Magician kept her perfect record unblemished as she stormed through the inside to win the $118,500 American National 3-Year-Old Filly Trot in 1:55.2. The sophomore daughter by Kadabra was driven handily by Brian Sears for trainer Nifty Norman and owners Melvin Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffy to her 16th seasonal victory. The win increased her 2013 earnings to $1,420,804 and her lifetime bankroll to $2,187,456. Andy Sophia (David Miller) took the field to a :28.2 first quarter clocking before being overtaken by Bee AMagician. The latter then yielded to a hard-trotting Frau Blucher (Ron Pierce), who stormed by the half in :56.2 and the three-quarters in 1:26.2. It appeared in the stretch that Bee A Magician might not get out, as she was stuck behind Frau Blucher on the rail. However, with just a 1/16 of a mile to go, Frau Blucher moved over just enough and Bee A Magician squeezed out for the win. Andie Sophia was second, while Handover Belle (Tim Tetrick) got up for third. Frau Blucher finished fourth but was disqualified and placed fifth for causing interference to Lady Laker (Mike Oosting). “I really wanted to control the race, but because of the wind I thought it was good to take a seat around theturn,” said Sears. “She was comfortable until the last eighth, but was able to slide down on the inside and get the job done. She’s the best filly I’ve ever driven, no question. She’s a handy filly and likes racing off the pace much more than off the front. But being that she’s usually the favorite, she’s been on the front a lot. She’s tested every week and it’s not that easy to do that week after week.” Video attached by Kimberly Rinker for Balmoral Park  

With a busy weekend of two-year-old action in the books the countdown to one of Balmoral Park’s biggest events in history, American National Stake Night will begin in earnest. A pair of American National elimination tussles for freshmen pacers headlined the Saturday, Nov. 2nd action with 10 two-year-old pacing fillies battling for a purse of $18,530. The top eight finishers will return on Saturday, November 9th to battle for $115,000.   Using a two-hole trip to perfection, driver Todd Warren guided the Roger Welch trained Always Electric to a one-length victory in 1:54.2.   After being used hard to grab control of the proceedings Warren elected to allow a hard charging Shell Bell (Dale Hiteman) go after pacing through an opening quarter in 28.0.   Sitting in the garden spot through middle splits of 56.4 & 1:26.0 the Roger Welch trained miss was locked and loaded as the field turned for home. Maneuvering his charge into the passing lane, Warren sent the daughter of Always A Virgin—Miss Yankee Doodle on her way and the filly responded beautifully as she swallowed up her rivals with a 28.1 final quarter to post her sixth win in 13 starts. Shell Bell held on for second while Thesleazyprincess (Mike Oosting) was third. Also gaining spots in the final were Jaded Dream, Boxed Chocolates, One Jazzy Lady, Game of Dreamers and Tough Rose.   Another field of 10 was sent postward in the $17,330 colt elimination with the top eight again moving on to next week’s $113,000 final.   Once again a perfect two-hole journey proved to be the winning ticket as the Chris Ryder trained Bushwacker zipped by his rivals in the lane to score by a deceptively easy length in a career best of 1:51.4 with Mike Oosting at the controls.   Taking advantage of an inside starting spot Oosting positioned the son of Rocknroll Hanover—Dolphins Can Talk, who was a $135,000 yearling purchase, in the garden spot as Somesizesomestyle (Brett Miller) ripped through splits of 27.0, 54.1 & 1:22.1.   Moving out of the pocket at the top of the lane Bushwacker overpowered the pace setter with an eighth of a mile to go then drew clear in the shadow of the wire for his second win in five lifetime starts. Somesizesomestyle held for second while Wicked Business (Travis Seekman) finished third. Also gaining spots in the final were Odds On Rhodonite, Archetto Hanover, Rocknroll Reality, Unlocked and Traffic Cop.   State-bred trotters were in action on Sunday, Nov. 3rd as a field of nine diagonally gaited fillies met in the $10,000 Monee Stake. After struggling with breaking problems in two of her last three outings Dr. Patrick Graham’s Fox Valley Lotus was on her best behavior on Sunday and the filly showed the type of ability she has with a sharp 2 ½ length come from behind win in 2:00.4.             Patiently saving ground as Bailey’s Wish (Dave Magee) put up splits of 30.0, 59.1 & 1:29.0 the daughter of Pizazzed—Love You More shook loose in the lane and zipped right by the pace-setter for her second win in 11 lifetime starts. Bailey’ Wish held on for second while Fox Valley Skylar (Dale Hiteman) finished third. The win helped push the Curt Grummel trainee’s career bankroll over the $50,000 plateau.   by Tom Kelley for Balmoral Park  

Thursday’s $12,000 Life’s A Holiday Stake at Maywood Stake turned into quite a nail biter for chalk players as the heavily favored entry of Skyline Road and King Mufasa both made breaks during the mile. The 1-9 favorites still made good on their favored status though with Skyline Road prevailing by 3 ¼ lengths in 2:00.4 over a sloppy track. After speeding to the top from post position eight King Mufasa (Mike Oosting) appeared to take a bad step just after leading the field through an opening quarter in 28.0. After making a nasty break, Oosting did a magnificent job of gathering up the division leader on the turn but not before they had dropped all the way back to seventh as Riet’s Kid (Dean Magee) led the field through a half in 59.2. Circling around rivals as the field moved onto the backstretch the Mike Brink trainee, who had won 14 of 15 starts this season, was back in front as the field hit the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:30.2. Meanwhile, entry mate Skyline Road and driver Casey Leonard, who made a break early in the race and was last at the opening call, was circling up from th eback of the pack picking off one rival after another as he moved up to challenge as the field moved into the final turn. In full flight as the diagonally gaited sophomores moved around the final turn Skyline Road trotted right by his entrymate as the field straightened for the money, eventually drawing away for his fourth win of the season. King Mufasa turned in an unbelievable effort to finish in the runner-up role while Mack’s Gold Band (John De Long) was third. Sent off at odds of 1-9 the overwhelming favorites returned $2.20 & $2.10. There was no show wagering on the race. With the win Skyline Road now sports a record of 4-3-2 in 17 starts this season with earnings of $54,775 for “Bill” Wright, Geis Enterprise and the Ervin Miller Stable. by Tom Kelley for Maywood Park  

Fresh off the two biggest wins in his career, Jerry Graham’s Photo Surprise continued his late season surge towards divisional honors among the Illinois conceived and foaled two-year-old colt trotting set as he cruised to an easy 3 ¾ length victory in Wednesday’s $42,200 Cardinal Stake at Balmoral Park. Confidently handled by driver Mike Oosting the gelded son of Powerful Emotion—Gloria Wyoming was unhurried early from his inside post content to trot along in third as Nino Marino (Dean Magee) and Tour Hall (Dirk Simpson) battled through an opening quarter in 30.0. Heading up the backstretch Oosting moved the Nelson Willis trainee to the outside where hemade a steady advance to the front finally taking command just as the field moved by the half-mile in 59.0. Heading around the far turn Photo Surprise continued to show the way past the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:28.4. Leaving the field in his wake as he splashed through the lane, this year’s Lincoln Land & Hanover Stake winner was on cruise control the rest of the way widening his margin all the way through the wire while posting his fourth win in nine starts. Fox Valley Veto (John Roberts) rallied from far back to be a sharp second while Nino Marino held onfor third. The even-money favorite returned $4.00, $3.00 & $2.60 while upping his career bankroll to $96,825. by Tom Kelley for Balmoral Park  

State-bred trotting fillies took center stage as the ICF stakes season continued to wind down on Sunday, October 27, with a field of nine diagonally gaited freshmen taking to the track to slug it out in the $42,500 Violet Stake. With the move back into the state-bred ranks after finishing fifth against “open”company in the Hanover Stake last time out, James Bafia & Eugene White’s Bailey’s Wish continued to solidify her spot as the “queen” of this division as she rolled to an easy 2 ¼ length victory in 2:00.2 for driver Dave Magee. Using the same tactics that netted them a victory in the Lady Lincoln Land on Oct. 2nd, Magee allowed the daughter of Southwind Breeze—Jen to settle in early before moving her to the top after longshot Macie Rae (Mike Rogers) led the field through an opening quarter in 29.0. Effortlessly sweeping into control on the backside, the Dirk Simpson trained miss led the field through middle splits of 58.1 & 1:28.2 as her rivals struggled to stay within striking position of the good looking brown filly. Through the lane, the issue was never in doubt as Bailey’s Wish received only mild urging from her Hall of Fame pilot while easily keeping her rivals at bay for her fifth win of the season. Fox Valley Hosana (Mike Oosting), who tried to make a first over bid to challenge the winner at the top of the stretch wound up in the bridesmaid role while Wacko (John De Long) rallied late to finish third. With the win Bailey’s Wish now sports a record of 5-2-2 in 13 lifetime starts with earnings of $108,210. The 6-5 favorite of the betting public returned $4.60, $3.20 & $2.60 to her legion of backers. David Baum   

Just as he’s done all season long “Bill” Wright and Mystical Marker Farms King Mufasa continued to rule the Illinois conceived and foaled three-year-old colt trotting ranks as he cruised to a very easy five-length victory in 1:56.1 while overpowering five rivals in Sunday’s $12,000 Betzotic Stake. Confidently handled by leading driver Mike Oosting, the gelded son of Powerful Emotion—Foxy N Diamonds was unhurried away from the inside starting spot, landing in third as Semper Fit (Dave Magee) and Fox Valley Camo (Jamaica Patton) battled through an opening quarter in 28.2.   After straightening up on the backstretch, Oosting then moved the Mike Brink trainee to the outside where he quickly rushed to the front, swallowing up the leaders with no trouble while showing the way through middle splits of 56.3 & 1:26.2.   With plenty still in reserve “The King” began to drawn clear with every stride, leaving his rivals in his wake while cruising under the wire with his 13th win in 14 starts this season.  Fox Valley Camo held on well to finish second while Semper Fit finished third.   Bet as though defeat was out of the question, King Mufasa returned $2.40 & $2.10. Show wagering was not allowed in the race. With the $6,000 winner’s check, the good looking brown gelding now boasts a bankroll of $209,840 in 2013.    by Tom Kelley for Balmoral Park  

A pair of state-bred stake events for two-year-olds shared top billing on Saturday, Oct. 19th at Balmoral Park as a field of eight freshmen pacing fillies squared off the $12,000 Beecher Stake while seven of their male counterparts met in the $12,000 Crete Stake. Continuing her late season run at divisional honors Sawgrass Farms Molly Go Lightly parlayed a perfect two-hole trip into her fifth straight victory as she prevailed by a well-measured length in 1:54.2.   Perfectly positioned in the pocket behind Fox Valley Amanda (Dale Hiteman) by driver Mike Oosting, the homebred daughter of Lexington Legend—Waggle saved ground the entire way as the pace setter put up splits of 29.1, 57.4 & 1:27.0.   Sitting behind their cover until the eighth-pole, Oosting then maneuvered the Nelson Willis trainee to the outside eventually wearing down the leader with a 27.1 final quarter to post her sixth win in 13 career starts. Fox Valley Amanda was forced to settle for the bridesmaid role while Thesleazyprincess (Casey Leonard) was third, five lengths behind the winner.   With the win the 1-5 favorite in the betting who returned $2.40 $2.10 & $2.10 now boasts a record of 6-1-3 with $56,895 in career earnings despite missing the division’s richest event of the year, the Filly Orange & Blue on Super Night.             Fresh off an impressive win in a $12,000 Betzotic Stake last week, Jack and Peggy Hood, Mystical Marker Farms and Dirk Simpson Stables Traffic Cop curbed six rivals for the second straight week as the Dirk Simpson trainee cruised to a 2 ½ length score in 1:52.2.       Taking advantage of perfect two-hole trip that driver Todd Warren worked out for the son of Sportsmaster-Dixiegirl the bay gelding was fit and fresh after sitting on the back of heavily favored Unlocked (Mike Oosting) as that colt clicked off splits of 28.0, 57.0 & 1:25.0.   Quickly swallowing up the pace setter in the stretch, Traffic Cop sped home in 27.0 to notch his fourth win in 15 tries. Unlocked was forced to settle for the runner-up role for the second straight week while I Bizel The Shizel (John De Long) finished a distant third, 9 ¾ lengths behind the victor.   The win moved Traffic Cop’s career earnings up to $77,635 on the strength of a 4-4-2 record in 15 starts. The 2-1 second choice returned $6.00 & $2.80. There was no show wagering on the race. by Tom Kelley for Balmoral Park  

A busy stakes-filled night of action was contested on Sunday, October 13th as the Crete plant welcomed Grand Circuit action back to town. On tap was a pair of $27,950 splits for two-year-old filly trotters while their male counterparts slugged it out later in the night for a $46,700 jackpot. In the first Hanover split for the freshman trotting fillies Bobby Brower and Mystical Marker Farms Petticoat Affair had no trouble living up to her favored status as she cruised to a 4 ¾ -length triumph in 1:57.1 with Brad Hanners at the controls. Sweeping from fifth to first on the backside after watching Dancing Dynamite (Dean Magee) cruise through an opening quarter in 28.2, the daughter of Valley Victor—Katie Hall was in complete control of the proceedings as she rolled through middle splits of 58.0 & 1:27.3. With plenty still in reserve the Bobby Brower trained miss trotted home in 29.3 while continuing to put daylight between herself and her five rivals to notch her fifth win in eight starts this year. Dancing Dynamite held on for second while Fox Valley Lotus (John Roberts), who made a break leaving the gate, rallied to finish third. Sent off as the 4-5 favorite Petticoat Affair returned $3.60, $2.40 & $2.40 while upping her career bankroll to $185,124. In the second division the Brower-trained, Hanners-driven connection clicked again as Victory Hill Farms and Bobby Brower’s Pray With Me demolished six rivals by seven-lengths in 1:58.4. After saving ground in third while Dress For Success (Dale Hiteman) carved out leisurely splits of 30.0 & 1:00.1, Hanners set the daughter of Broadway Hall—Hail Mary Hanover on a mission for the lead heading into the final bend.  Effortlessly sweeping past her foes on the turn, the Brower trained miss was in front by a length and starting to leave her rivals in her wake as she stepped by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:29.4.  Leaving no doubt as to who was the best in this group Pray With Me trotted home in 29.0 to post her third win in eight lifetime starts. Simply Class (Joe Putnam) finished second while Pinking Of You (Casey Leonard) was third. Bet as though defeat was out of the question Pray With Me returned $2.40, $2.20 & $2.10 while upping her bankroll to $64,026. A field of nine two-year-old trotting colts was sent postward for the $46,700 Hanover and when all was said and done it was last week’s Lincoln Land Stake winner Photo Surprised who emerged victorious as he trotted to a one- length victory in a career best of 1:57.4 for driver Mike Oosting. Gamely “toughing it out” first over as Nino Marino (Dean Magee) put up splits of 28.2 & 58.1 the Nelson Willis trainee swept past his rivals on the far turn and began to draw away from the field as he rolled by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:28.1. Continuing in full stride as he headed for the wire the state-bred son of Powerful Emotion—Gloria Wyoming was straight and strong as he continued his late season surge with his third win in eight career starts. Big Bad Bob (Dale Hiteman) rallied late to finish second while Explosive Cash (Casey Leonard) was third. Fresh off that win in the biggest event of the year for diagonally gaited Prairie State freshmen the Jerry Graham owned gelding returned just $3.80, $2.40 & $2.10 while running his career bankroll up to $76,725. State-bred pacing fillies were also in action on the busy Sunday night card as a field of eight youngsters squared off in a $12,000 Betzotic Stake. In a re-match of the Violet Stake at Maywood Park last week, Sawgrass Farms Molly Go Lightly once again proved best as she reported home with a three-quarter-length triumph in 1:54.1 with Mike Oosting at the controls. Content to bide her time in the middle of the pack as Mae Flynn (Ryan Anderson) put up splits of 28.3, 57.2 & 1:26.1 Oosting maneuvered his charge into a live outer flow as the field moved around the final turn. Tipping three and then four wide from her third over position, the Nelson Willis trained miss then uncorked a blistering 27.0 final quarter to blow right by her rivals for her fifth win in 12 lifetime starts. Fox Valley Amanda (Dale Hiteman) came up with a solid effort to finish second while Fox Valley Shiver (Todd Warren) was third. With the win the daughter of Lexington Legend—Waggle sports a record of 5-1-3 in 12 career starts with earnings of $50,895.  David Baum

Freshmen pacing colts received top billing on Saturday, October 12th at Balmoral Park as a field of eight state-breds gathered for the $12,000 Betzotic Stake. When the smoke cleared it was Jack and Peggy Hood, Mystical Marker Farms and Dirk Simpson Stables Traffic Cop who came away with the top honors as he rallied for a three-quarter-length victory in 1:52.1. Given a perfect steer by driver Todd Warren the gelded son of Sportsmaster—Dixiegirl came away third while heavily favored Unlocked (Mike Oosting) rattled off splits of 27.3, 56.3 & 1:24.3. Things looked bleak for the rest of the field as Unlocked sped away to a 3 ½ length lead at the mid-stretch call but Warren angled his charge to the outside where the Dirk Simpson trainee began to cut into the leader’s margin. With a six-week layoff finally beginning to take a toll on Unlocked, a hard charging Traffic Cop curbed the pace setter with 100 yards to go and eventually drew clear with a 27.0 final quarter to notch his third win 14 lifetime starts. Unlocked held on for second while I Bizel The Shizel (John De Long) finished third, 5 ½ lengths behind the winner. With the win Traffic Cop now sports a record of 3-4-2 in 14 starts with earnings of $71,635. David Baum

The $21,750 Lady Lincoln Land Consolation is for ICF 2-year-old filly trotters who didn’t finish in the top four in last week’s $105,000 championship so it’s somewhat surprising to find a trio of past stakes winners in Wednesday’s starting field. Nonetheless that’s the case. Going postward in the third race feature is S V Spirit, a Springfield elimination winner and the Downstate Classic champion at Lincoln, Du Quoin’s Shawnee victor Fox Valley Hosana, along with Vienna who won the Fox Valley Flan Final at the end of July at Balmoral. “Hosana” was fifth best in the Lady Lincoln Lane Final for trainer Dirk Simpson, Bob Phillips’ Vienna broke and ended up seventh, and S V Spirit went off stride in contention and finished eighth for the Roger Welch Stable. The trio could get the bulk of the money bet in Wednesday’s Consolation event. S V Spirit, the 8-5 beaten favorite in the final, will open as the 5-2 choice with Todd Warren Wednesday. Fox Valley Hosana (Mike Oosting) is at 5-1, while Vienna (Kyle Wilfong) is at first flash odds of 6-1. They’ll be challenged by Say No Mo (Dale Hiteman), another Simpson trainee who will race un-coupled with Fox Valley Hosana and is the 4-1 second programmed choice, Green Acres (8-1, Jon Anderson), High Balance (12-1, Lavern Hostetler), Macie Rae (8-1, Mike Rogers) and Graceful Spirit (10-1, Casey Leonard). Macie Rae, a first-time Lasix user, was an eight-time winner with past summer fair circuit and took the Country Fair Challenge at Do Quoin by over 13 lengths in 2:00.4 with Rogers. Stakes Aplenty: There are a half-dozen more stakes raced to be contested this week starting with a pair of $12,000 Betzotic’s at Maywood. The ICF 3-year-old filly pacers vie on Thursday night while the state-bred sophomore colts tangle on Friday. Grandma Ann champion Auniqueaquistion makes her first start since Super night in the eighth race Thursday feature. Fox Valley Norman and Silver Devil, the 1-2 finishers in the recent Bye Bye Byrd at Balmoral are in Friday's ICF stake. There’s another $12,000 Betzotic Saturday at Balmoral and it’s for Illinois bred 2-year-old colts and geldings. The freshman filly version goes on Sunday evening where it’ll be joined by the last two Hanover stakes for this season. Both the 2-year-old colt and filly Hanover’s have estimated purses of $60,000. Recent Lady Lincoln Land champion Bailey’s Wish will head up the local contingent of freshman distaff trotters Muscle Network, a 1:53.2 winner last Friday, the fastest of a trio of $86,000 International Stallion stakes decided at The Red Mile, is eligible for Sunday’s Hanover colt trot and is a likely starter for trainer Tony O’Sullivan. Photo Surprise and Fox Valley Veto, the one-two-finishers in last Sunday’s $105,000 Lincoln Land Final, are both expected to also enter. Oosting Moves Up. With 10 winning drives over the weekend at Balmoral Mike Oosting is now at 447 for the season, moving him into sixth place in dash winners throughout the country and Canada. The Michigan native entered this week only one winner out of fifth. By Mike Paradise The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association

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