Day At The Track
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Fresh off an impressive win over 'open' company in a Hanover Stake last time out William Wright & Mystical Marker Farms King Mufasa returned to state-bred harness racing competition on Sunday night and once again the good looking gelding ruled supreme as he cruised to an easy four and a quarter length victory in a career best of 1:54.1 while taking the $12,000 Brandenburg Stake.

With the sounds of summer serenading harness racing fans on the apron as Balmoral Park enjoyed its yearly 'Beach Party', the 2013 Hanover Stake season kicked off on Saturday night with a $37,100 event for three-year-old trotting colts.

State-bred trotters were in action before the rains and high winds pelted Balmoral Park on Wednesday night as a field of five diagonally gaited three-year-olds squared off in the $12,000 Southern Rocketop Stake, which was contested as a non-wagering event prior to the scheduled start of the regular card which wound up getting wiped out by severe storms.

Sophomore trotting colts were on display on Wednesday night as a field of eight diagonally gaited state-breds were sent postward in a $12,000 Betzotic Stake which was contested as a non-wagering event prior to the start of the regular 10-race harness racing program on Wednesday night.

A weekend full of Betzotic Stakes continued on Sunday, May 5th as a field of nine Illinois conceived and foaled harness racing three-year-old trotting fillies squared off in a $12,000 Betzotic Stake.

The first ICF trotting stake race of the season for 3-year-old colts and geldings will head up Wednesday's Balmoral harness racing program with a pair of sons of the stallion Powerful Emotion likely to get a good portion of the public support.

The first trotting stake of the 2013 harness racing season was contested on Sunday night at Balmoral and when the smoke cleared it was the Dane May owned and trained Sara The Spy who took home top honors, winning the $12,000 Trotting Tilly Stake by a diminishing neck in 1:59.3

With harness racing victories in five of his last six starts Mystical Marker Farms and Jack & Peggy Hood's Powerful Poe figured to be a huge favorite in Wednesday's $12,000 Betzotic Stake at Balmoral Park.

Taking advantage of a miscue by heavily favored Trot Fudge Sundae at the start of Sunday's $12,600 Monee Stake, Jerry Graham & Mystical Marker Farms Powerful Goddess trotted to a one-length victory in 2:00.3 for harness racing driver-trainer Mike Cox.

It was all treats and no tricks for Mystical Marker Farms and Jack & Peggy Hood's Powerful Poe on Wednesday night as the division leader among the Illinois conceived and foaled two-year-old colt trotting set put another notch in the win column knocking off five other harness racing youngsters by two and a half lengths in the $43,500 Cardinal Stake.

Despite rain, hail and winds in excess of 30mph throughout the day Sunday night's (October 14) stake action at Balmoral Park went off without a hitch with the harness racing action being headlined by a pair of Hanover Stakes for two-year-old trotters and Betzotic Stake for Illinois conceived and foaled two-year-old pacing fillies.

Taking advantage of the defection of top contender Semper Fit (scr-injured) and a perfect trip, Mystical Marker Farms and Jack & Peggy Hood's Powerful Poe crushed nine other harness racing two-year-old trotting colts, winning Sunday's $119,00 Lincoln Land Stake by nine-lengths in a career best of 1:56.3 for driver Todd Warren.

Elimination's for next Sunday's $118,000 Lincoln Land Stake, the richest harness racing trotting event of the season for Illinois conceived and foaled two-year-old trotting colts, were contested on Sunday, Sept. 30th with a total of 17 youngsters battling in a pair of $15,000 elimination's.

Just as they did the night before with Fox Valley Steffen, harness racing trainer Joel Smith and driver Dale Hiteman teamed up to pull off another upset, this time getting Powerful Star home with a half-length triumph in the $51,000 Fox Evita Stake final for Illinois conceived and foaled three-year-old trotting fillies on Sunday, July 29th.

Illinois conceived and foaled trotters hit the track on Wednesday, July 11th as a total of 14 youngsters were sent to battle in a pair of $5,000 Psychic Spirit Stake splits which were contested as non-wagering events before the start of the regular harness racing program.

Buyers from 25 states, several Canadian provinces, and Europe rolled into Delaware, Ohio, for the 64th annual fall harness racing sale. The 1,226 horse catalogue featured a wide variety of green prospects, young racehorses, seasoned campaigners, broodmares, weanlings, and yearlings. However, it was the bidding wars for Ohio bred yearlings that had the crowd buzzing.

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