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Illinois conceived and foaled three-year-olds shared top billing on the Sunday night card at Balmoral Park as a pair of Super Night Stake Consolation's headlined the 10-race harness racing card.   Trotters kicked off the action with a field of seven diagonally gaited sophomores squaring off in the $20,000 Su Mac Lad Consolation. This test turned into a stroll in the park for Ron Marino and David Hermann's Nino Marino as he stormed right to the front and never looked back in a three-length victory. The final time was 1:56.1.   Confidently handled by driver Dean Magee, the gelded son of Pizzazzed--Charger's Affair gunned to the top from post six and proceeded to put up splits of 28.2, 57.2 & 1:26.1 while opening up a 5 ½ length advantage at the top of the stretch.   On cruise control the rest of the way the Randy Tuftie trainee was threatened as he reported home with his second win in 16 starts this season. Saint Simeon (Rick Schrock) rallied late to finish second while Photo Surprise (Todd Warren) was third.   The $21,900 Grandma Ann Stake Consolation for three-year-old pacing fillies also produced a wire to wire winner as Sawgrass Farms Molly Go Lightly bested six rivals by a half-length in 1:54.0 for driver Dave Magee.   Using an inside draw to perfection Magee put the daughter of Lexington Legend--Waggle right on the front where she proceeded to step through splits of 28.0, 57.4 & 1:26.1.   After opening up a three-length advantage by the mid-stretch call the Nelson Willis trainee then held on gamely as a late rushing Fox Valley Shiver (Todd Warren) came charging late to get the place money. Kiwi Party (John De Long) finished third.   The win was the third in 15 starts this season for Molly Go Lightly who now boasts career earnings of just over $98,000. Tom Kelley

Going into the Du Quoin State Fair it appeared that a couple of the upcoming Super Night championships pretty much looked like slam-dunks but in horse racing things can change in a hurry, and they did in the ICF 3-year-old colt and gelding trotting division. Fox Valley Veto had dominated the group, winning every major ICF stake including the Mike’s A Mystery against older ICF foes but the Curt Grummel trainee was passed at Du Quoin in the stretch by the 9-1 longshot Nino Marino, raising the hopes his trainer, and others in the division, for the upcoming Su Mac Lad Final on Super Night. “I have to admit I’m more optimistic about our chances for Super Night now than I was going into the State Fairs,’ said Randy Tuftie, the trainer of Nino Marino. “I knew we had a good trotter but I didn’t know if we could beat Fox Valley Veto but we did.”   In his freshman season Nino Marino won over $26,000 for his owners Ron Marino of Ft. Myers, Florida and Dave Herman of Ottawa, winning his Lincoln Land elimination but the gelding began his 3-year-old season winless in his first 12 starts. “He started off as a 2-year-old slowly going through some growing issues but he got good as the season went on.” continued Tuftie. ‘”Nino Marino is a big horse and he also started slowly this year. He raced better at Springfield when he was fourth and I thought he would be good for Du Quoin. “It turned out he was better than just good. Nino Marino can leave pretty well and he’ll settle into a hole and race well that way. At Du Quoin he got a good trip behind Fox Valley Veto and when Dean pulled him, Nino Marino looked that horse right in the eye and went pass him. “As I’ve told my owners, if we stick around you never know what’s going to happen. Going into Du Quoin Fox Valley Veto looked unbeatable but you never know what’s going to happen in a horse race.” The ICF 3-year-old colt division may be of the eight Super Night championships that may not be need eliminations next weekend. Elims weren’t necessary at Springfield and only seven trotters went postward in the Pronto Don Championship at Du Quoin. A $1,500 starting fee is needed to enter Wednesday morning for the Su Mac Lad and the Lady Ann Reed for 3-year-old ICF trotting fillies. The starting fess for the 2 and 3-year-old championships is $2,000. The Tony Maurello and Lorna Propes for older ICF pacers both have $1,250 starting fees. The circuit’s leading driver Casey Leonard brought home five winners last night. Trotter Bought: The ICF 3-year-old trotter Big Bill Breeze, successful in his last 10 straight races on the Illinois Fair Circuit, was sold last week by Amy and Derek Jacobus and trainer Nick Prather to Donald Edmond of Taunton, Massachusetts. Big Bill Breeze, winner of 17 of 25 lifetime starts, is eligible for the $100,000 Su Mac Lad on Super Night (September 13). Entries for Illinois most anticipated night of racing will be taken this Wednesday morning at Balmoral Park. by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

With Super Night 2014 less than three weeks away (Saturday, Sept. 13) a number of division leaders have established themselves as clear-cut heavy favorites after sweeping their respective championships at both Illinois State Fairs. However the Randy Tuftie Stable’s Nino Marino surprise victory in the $22,000 Darn Safe showed that division leader and multiple stake champion Fox Valley Veto is indeed vulnerable in the Su Mac Lad Final for ICF 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Fox Valley Veto entered the Darn Safe with five consecutive victories, taking both the $41,000 Kadabra at the end of last month and the $25,000 Springfield crown on August 14. In between “Veto” beat older state-bred trotters in Balmoral’s Mike’s A Mystery. The talented Curt Grummel trainee was bet down to 10 cents on the dollar and had command turning in the lane in the Darn Safe but was overtaken by the 9-1 longshot Nino Marino who was winless in 12 season starts going into the Du Quoin final. The son of Piazzazzed, out of the dam Never Ms Still, ended up one length the best, trotting a career fastest 1:56.1 mile, more than three full seconds better than the gelding’s best previous clocking of 1:59.3, taken as a 2-year-old for owners Ron Marino (Fort Myers, FL) and David Herrmann (Ottawa, IL). The Erv Miller trainees Unlocked (Dave Magee) and Mr. Leland’s Filly continued their dominations in their respective divisions and will be heavy favorites in the Langley and Orange and Blue Filly championships on Super Night. Lucpark’s (Dave Magee) victory in the Governor’s Cup came at the expense of Springfield champion Thisishowewroll. Mini Me champ King Of The Swamp sat-out Du Quoin while the Governor’s Cup post-time favorite, Engine One O One went off stride in the first turn. With not much time left until the Orange and Blue Colt showdown, it’s anybody’s guess which freshman will wind-up in the winner’s circle draped with this 2-year-old stake blanket. Macie Rae bounced back from her defeat to filly Bailey’s Wish at Springfield and romped in Du Quoin’s Windy Skeeter, winning by almost 10 lengths 1:55.1 for owner Donald Huddleston. The Mike Rogers trained filly had won her previous nine times this season on the front-end but at Du Quoin it was Bailey’s Wish cutting the fractions before Macie Mae blew past, setting up another big battle in the Lady Ann Reed. With five consecutive triumphs in ICF competition that included Balmoral’s Ann Vonian and the Springfield championship, My Little Bit was a disappointing third in Du Quoin’s Time Dancer, beaten eight lengths by the 9-1 longshot Thesleazyprincess (Dave Magee). Thesleazyprincess was the division’s champion as a 2-year-old with almost $160,000 banked but the Matry Engel Stable’s homebred started off her 3-year-old campaign with 11 consecutive losses and less than $10,000 earned before joining the Erv Miller Stable a couple of weeks ago. Thesleazyprincess was raced inside at Springfield and despite a fourth place finish, she motored home in :26.1 and was beaten only 1 and 1/ 2 lengths. At Du Quoin her 1:52.2 mile put the Sagebrush filly a half-length ahead of Maywood Filly Pace champion Fox Valley Amanda and insuring an enticing Grandma Ann Final on Super Night 2014. The Du Quoin meet’s driving title was won by Dave Magee with six winners to John De Long’s four. Erv Miller successfully defended his trainer’s crown. by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

State-bred trotting colts were in the spotlight on Sunday, Sept. 29th as a field of eight youngsters looked for spots in next week’s $105,000 Lincoln Land Stake final and 46-1 long shot Ryleigh's Lilly scored a major upset in the Direct Dottie final. With four of the eight starters making early breaks in the race things were up for grabs from the word go. When the smoke cleared it was Ron Marino & David Hermann’s Nino Marino who emerged with a three-quarter-length victory in 1:59.3 for driver Dean Magee. Benefiting from a perfect pocket sitting trip as Big Bad Bob (Dale Hiteman) put up splits of 29.3, 58.2 & 1:29 the Randy Tuftie trained son of Pizzazzed—Never Ms Still overtook the pace setter with an eighth of a mile to go and eventually drew clear for his second win in five lifetime starts. Big Bad Bob held on for second while Battleshoe King (Buddy Simpson) was third. Also gaining spots in the final where they will be joined by Tour Hall, Bobby BBreeze and Fox Valley Veto were Photo Surprise, Battleshoe Crown, Polars BigSpender and Finnster. Sophomore pacing fillies were also in action on Sunday night as a field of 10 Illinois conceived and foaled three-year-olds battled in the $14,000 Direct Dottie Stake. This test produced the biggest surprise of the night as John Barnard’s Ryleigh’s Lilly lit up the tote board at odds of 46-1 with a half-length victoryin a career best of 1:54.1. Reserved through the early going by driver Robert Smolin the daughter of Western Hero—Fox Valley Chosen moved up third over through the final five-eighths of a mile. Exploding off her cover in the lane, the Bill Crone trained miss flew home in 27.1 to secure her second win in 16 starts this year. Aliyah Maria (John DeLong), who provided live cover for the winner was a game second while Zumba (Matt Krueger) rallied from far back to be third as the early speed collapsed in the lane. Returning $95.20, $30.00 & $15.60, Ryleigh’s Lilly helped key a $7,394.00 trifectapayout. by Tom Kelley for Balmoral Park

Continuing an impressive start to her second season of harness racing action David Hermann's Divas Photo posted her biggest win to date on Sunday night (May 27) as she knocked off nine other Illinois conceived and foaled three-year-old trotting fillies in the $50,000 Violet Stake at Balmoral Park.

A pair of Illinois conceived and foaled stakes shared top billing during another busy weekend of harness racing action at Balmoral Park. On Saturday, May 5th a field of 10 sophomore pacing colts battled in the $12,000 Betzotic Stake while Sunday, May 6th's program featured a pair of $10,000 divisions for three-year-old trotting fillies in another edition of Betzotic Stake action.

Illinois conceived and foaled trotting fillies squared off for the first time in 2012 on Wednesday night (April 18) at Balmoral Park as a pair of $10,000 harness racing divisions of the Trotting Tilly Stake attracted a total of 15 participants.

Elimination harness racing action for next Saturday's Super Night 23 (September 16) continued on Sunday night at Balmoral Park as both trotters and pacers were in action in the Lady Ann Reed Stake & Lorna Propes Stake preliminaries.

After some very impressive efforts by the youngsters in Saturday's Southland Festival of Racing elimination's at Balmoral Park the preliminary harness racing action continued on Sunday night with three-year-old trotting fillies battling in a pair of Fox Valley Evita Stake eliminations. State-bred sophomore pacing fillies were also in action as field of 10 met in $7,000 Ann Vonian Stake elimination.

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