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
NEW KENT, VA. - Leading driver Chris Page directed Le-Sirenuse to his fifth straight victory at the Colonial Downs fall meet in wire to wire fashion Wednesday afternoon against five other pacers. Le-Sirenuse modestly controlled the $4,000-$5,000 claiming handicap pace from the start until mid-stretch when he pulled away from the field. He cut quarters in :26 4/5, :55 3/5 and 1:24 1/5 and won easily by five lengths over Outlaw Wild Thing in 1:51 4/5. The 4 year old Sportsmaster gelding made his first start in New Kent on September 26th and dominated by eight lengths in 1:52.0. He followed that up with a 3 ½ length win a week later in a lifetime best 1:50 4/5 and most recently, connected with a pair of outs after starting from post eight. The Todd Luther trainee has been in front at every quarter mark in the five wins except once in an October 12th race when he was surging three wide in second en route to the top spot seconds later. Le-Sirenuse is co-owned by Bruce and Patricia Soulsby of Powell, Ohio and Scott Wagner of Tonawanda, New York. Hillbilly Desire captured a tight victory over Chesapeake Bay and Our Flight in the $8,000 final leg of the Juniors Pacing Series Wednesday. Owner/trainer Amanda Jackson's 4 year old Real Desire mare won her third race of the meet in five starts, all coming with Frank Milby in the sulky. Fresh off a second leg "Juniors" triumph, Hillbilly Desire triggered panels of :27 2/5, :56 3/5 and 1:25.0 before engaging with fast closing Chesapeake Bay and Our Flight in deep stretch. Only a neck separated the trio at the finish in 1:52 2/5. Colonial Downs is the midst of its closing week. A ten race card will be contested Thursday at 1:00 PM followed by weekend programs Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 PM. Closing day is the $380,000 "Day of Champions". by Darrell Wood for Colonial Downs
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
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
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
The slogan “You’ve Come a Long Way,” wasn’t written with the Illinois-bred filly My Little Bit in mind but as the old proverb says: “If the shoe fits, wear it.” And the (horse) shoe does fit the Erv Miller star freshman according to her driver Casey Leonard. “This filly has come a long way from her last start at Maywood Park when I drove her,” said Casey after steering My Little Bit to a comfortable one-length win in last week’s first Violet elimination. “My Little Bit had the 8-hole the first night at Maywood and when she came out of that turn for the first time and saw the grandstand, she wasn’t sure what was going on. She has a much better idea now of what’s she’s doing.” Her June 27 race in Maywood’s Juxtaposition stake was My Little Bit’s very first start. She ended up sixth, beaten almost 15 lengths by the winner April May Dune, and was timed in 2:00.4. Last Friday she won in 1:55.2 and pretty much coasted the second half of the mile. It was season win No. 5 for the Sportsmaster filly who captured both State Fair titles with Marcus Miller and was second with the 22-year-old in the $200,000 Orange & Blue Filly Final on Super Night behind Thesleazyprincess, one of her main threats in Friday’s Violet Championship. My Little Bit was also second in late July in the $65,000 Loyal Opposition stake with Casey at her lines. “I’m really happy to be back driving this filly” said the 35-year-old Leonard. “She can get out of there really well and she won her elimination pretty easily. The race didn’t go as I expected so when one of the longshots (Fox Valley Rockn) made a quarter move at us I couldn’t let her (the 38-1 longshot) go so I let my filly out a notch.” My Little Bit needed a :28.1 first quarter to get command and a :28.3 second quarter to keep it. After that :56.4 first half, the issue wasn’t in doubt. You can count on fastest fractions throughout in tonight’s $48,000 Championship. The 2-1 morning line favorite My Little Bit can use her speed from the inside three-slot to likely race on or close to the front again which is where we also probably see last week’s second elimination victor Molly Go Lightly, the 3-1 programmed second choice. “The filly is sharp right now,” said driver Mike Oosting after Molly Go Lighty’s four-length victory in 1:55.4. “She’s a handy filly. “You can race her pretty much anyway you want.” The Nelson Willis trainee could very well get another favorable trip with the pole position and that's probably why we’ll see Oosting at her lines instead of Willis’ another filly in the race Thesleazyprincess (6-1). The Orange and Blue Filly champion landed Maywood’s dreaded eight-hole for new driver John Roberts, making her chances of a fourth season win an arduous task. She’ll race on Lasix for the first time Friday. The third program choice is Jesse and John De Long’s Party Hangover Two (p.p. 5), second behind My Little Bit a week ago Hoping to pull off a surprise victory in the ninth race Violet Final are Fox Valley Flora (15-1, Brain Carpenter), Fox Valley Amanda (12-1, Dale Hiteman), Green Valey (20-1, Bobby Smolin) and Fox Valley Shiver (8-1, Todd Warren). Pricey Pick: The 14-1 longshot Fox Valley Lena (John Roberts) was a $30 top winner for us last night at Maywood Park. By Mike Paradise The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association
With all the preliminary action in the books it’s now “go-time” for everyone involved in Illinois’ biggest night of standardbred racing as Super Night 2013 is just six nights away at Balmoral Park. After a hectic weekend which saw 12 elimination tussles on Saturday the action slowed down just a bit on Sunday night with six more elimination’s contested for a trio of Super Night events. Kicking off the action were three-year-old trotting colts as a total of 17 diagonally gaited sophomores battled in a pair of $15,000 Su Mac Lad Stake elimination’s.The top five finishers in each division will be back on Saturday, Sept. 14th for the $121,000 final. In the first elimination “Bill” Wright and Mystical Marker Farms King Mufasa continued his domination of this division as he rolled to a one-length victory in 1:56.3 with Mike Oosting at the controls. Sent to the front by Oosting after an opening quarter in 29.1 the gelded son of Powerful Emotion—Foxy N Diamonds was in complete control the rest of the way as he rattled off middle splits of 58.1 & 1:28.1. With the “soft” middle half under his belt, the Mike Brink trainee had plenty in reserve for the stretch drive, trotting home in an effortless 28.2 for his 11th win in 12 starts this season. Semper Fit (Dave Magee) finished a nice second despite leaving from the outside post while Fox Valley Camo (Jamaica Patton) was third.Happy Balance finished fourth and Riet’s Kid was fifth. The division leader has now banked over $156,000 this year for his proud connections and he figures to be an overwhelming favorite on Super Night. In the second elimination Mystical Marker Farms and Jack & Peggy Hood’sPowerful Poe shed the runner-role he had assumed seven times already this season knocking off eight rivals by two-lengths in 1:56.2 with Todd Warren handling the driving duties. Despite leaving from an outside post the gelded son of Powerful Emotion—Fox Valley Poetry landed in a good early spot as Powerful Valor (Jared Finn) and Skyline Road (Marcus Miller) battled through splits of 30.0 58.4 & 1:28.1. After securing racing room in the lane Warren asked the Dirk Simpson trainee for his best and the gelding responded beautifully as he trotted home in a brisk 27.3 to post his third win in 14 starts this year. Fox Valley Legend (Dale Hiteman ) rallied well to be second for red-hot trainer Joel Smith while Fox Valley Dubai (Dave Magee) finished third. Skyline Road and Powerful Valor finished fourth and fifth respectively to earn the last two spots into the Su Mac Lad final. Next up were three-year-old trotting fillies as a field of 10 looked for nine spots in next week’s $106,000 Lady Ann Reed Stake. They will be joined in the finale by Divination who received a bye into the Super Night tussle. Flashing the form that netted her divisional honors in her two-year-old season, James Bafia, Eugene White and Samuel Daddono’s Trot Fudge Sundae reported home with a half-length victory in a career best of 1:56.0 with “Mr. Super Night”, Dave Magee in the bike. Givena confident steer by Magee the Dirk Simpson trained daughter of American Native—What A Joy shot right to the front from post six putting up splits of 29.1, 59.3& 1:28.1 while under a snug hold from her Hall of Fame pilot. Fit and fresh as she straightened for the money, the long striding bay put up a 27.4 final quarter to secure her 14th career victory in her 26th lifetime start. Little Ms Chrissy (Robert Taylor) finished a game second while Sara The Spy (Todd Warren) was third. Also securing spots in the final were Just For Fun, Fox Valley Yavonne, Powerful Goddess, American Empress, Kelsey’s Star and High Stepper. A total of 25 filly and mare pacers, three-year-olds and up, were entered for the $123,000 Lorna Propes Stake necessitating a trio of $15,000 elimination tussles. The top three in each division along with one fourth place finisher,(drawn by lot) will be back for the big cash next Saturday night. In the first elimination James Strzalka, Nancy Magnus, Norma Schulfer and James Skvarla’s Fox Valley Absolut exhibited the form that has netted her more than $361,000 in career earnings as she shook off a tough first over trip to score by 2 ¾ lengths in 1:52.4 for driver Robert Smolin. Taking advantage of a nice inside draw the seven-year-old daughter of Sportsmaster was able to save ground through opening splits of 27.2 & 56.2 before moving to the outside as the field headed around the final bend. Grinding her way towards the top the Mike Schulfer trainee was right on the pace setting Tamarac Sassy’s flank as the field reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:25.2. Seemingly finding another gear as the distaffers moved through the lane Fox Valley Absolut swallowed up the pace setter with a 27.1 final quarter as she began to widen her margin while scoring for the fifth time in 25 starts this year. Kimberley R (Dale Hiteman) shook loose late to be the bridesmaid while Tamarac Sassy (Casey Leonard) held on for third. Willow Gram finished fourth. In the middle split the Terry Leonard owned and trained Whistle Pig looked like a princess as she pulled off an 18-1 stunner, scoring by a neck in a career best of 1:52.0 with Casey Leonard handling the driving chores. Placed near the back of the pack despite leaving from post position three the six-year-old daughter of Park Place moved into the outer flow on the far turn as Rev Me Up (John Roberts) sped through splits of 27.2, 55.4 & 1:24.0. Moving up with live cover Leonard tipped his mare four deep turning for home and she responded beautifully, speeding home in 27.1 to put up a career best. Fox Valley Touche (Dale Hiteman) closed well to finish second while Mystical Victress (Mike Oosting), the 1-9 favorite in the race finished third. Kate The Great was fourth. In the final elimination east coast invader Let’s Go Higher made it known that she will be a force to be reckoned with next week as the Heidi Rohr trained five-year-old posted an eye catching eight-length romp in 1:50.4 with John DeLong at the controls. Perfectly positioned in third as Party Hangover charged through splits of 26.3 & 54.2 De Long moved the daughter of Park Place to the outside as the field moved mid-way around the final turn. Leaving the others in her wake Let’s Go Higher sped by the three-quarter-mile station in 1:22.3 as she set sail for the wire. Finishing off the mile in grand fashion Let’s Go Higher sped home in 28.1 to post her eighth win of the year for owner Jesse De Long. Just By Design (Dave Magee) finished second while Tune In (John Roberts) finished fourth but was moved up to third via a disqualification of Fox Valley Hermia who was cited for interfering with several horses near the top of the stretch. Cole Blue finished fifth but was moved up to fourth because of the DQ. Sunday’s 50 cent Pick 5 wager was not hit so there will be a carryover of $10,416 into Wednesday night’s pool. There will now be a $30,000 guaranteed pool on Wednesday’s Pick 5. The Pick 5 entails races 2-6 each night. Handicappers across North America can get a headstart on their competition with free 12 line program pages for the guaranteed pool courtesy of the USTA Strategic Wagering Initiative and Track Master on the handicapping section at www.ustrotting.com. Tom Kelley ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- KING MUFASA POSTED HIS 11TH WIN IN 12 STARTS THIS SEASON AS Mike Oosting STEERED THE DIVISION LEADER TO AN EASY WIN IN THE FIRST OF TWO SU MAC LAD STAKE ELIMINATIONS ON SUNDAY NIGHT. TROT FUDGE SUNDAE AND HALL OF FAMER Dave Magee TEAMED UP TO WIN THE LADY ANN REED STAKE ELIMINATION IN 1:56.0 ON SUNDAY NIGHT. LET'S GO HIGHER ROMPED TO AN EIGHT-LENGTH DECISION WITH JOHN DE LONG AT THE CONTROLS IN THE LAST OF THREE LORNA PROPES STAKE ELIMINATION'S ON SUNDAY NIGHT. THE 5YO DAUGHTER OF Park Place STOPPED THE CLOCK IN A BLISTERING 1:50.4. -----Original Message----- From: David Baum To: Tom Kelley ; Mike Paradise Sent: Sun, Sep 8, 2013 9:09 pm
The count down to Illinois biggest night of racing action, Super Night 2013, began in earnest on Saturday, Sept. 7th at Balmoral Parkas 12 eliminations battles were contested by some of Illinois top pacers. Kicking things off were a trio of $15,000 Orange & Blue Stake elimination’s for two-year-old pacing colts. The top three finishers in each elimination as well as one fourth place finisher (drawn by lot) will advance to next Saturday’s $200,000 est. final. In the first division Obermeier & Quaid Stable’s PQ Three continued his recent winning streak as the Erv Miller trainee posted a 1 ¼ length decision in 1:54.1. Sent right to the front from his outside starting spot by driver Mike Oosting the son of Yankee Skyscaper—Sweltering cruised through splits of 28.2, 57.3 & 1:26.2 while easily keeping his rivals at bay throughout the mile. Overloaded (Kyle Wilfong) sat right on the winner’s back the entire way to earn the place money while Cotton Eyed Joe (Robert Smolin) rallied to be third. Dave’s Skyscaper was fourth. The win was the sixth in 10 starts this year for PQ Three who now boasts $114,399 in career earnings. In the second elimination Paula Smith & James Runyan’s Fox Valley Deuce prevailed in a thrilling three-horse photo, winning by a nose in a career best of 1:54.3 for Dale Hiteman. Perfectly positioned while saving ground in fourth as Fox Valley Cupid (Ryan Anderson) carved out splits of 28.2, 58.1 & 1:26.4 the Joel Smith (2 wins) trainee pulled as the field neared the top of the stretch. Battling tooth and nail through the lane the son of Sportsmaster—Dodger Girl managed to get a nose in front in the final strides to earn his second win in 10 tries. Fox Valley Cupid held on for second while I Bizel The Shizel (John De Long) rallied up the passing lane to be third. Manny’s Z Tam was fourth. The final division was taken by Jack & Peggy Hood, Mystical Marker Farms and Dirk Simpson Stables Traffic Cop who reported home with a 3 ½ length score in a lifetime best of 1:54.2. Zipped right to the front as 4-5 favorite Badger Quinn went off stride right at the start, driver Todd Warren did a nice job of directing the proceedings as he rolled through splits of 28.1, 58.1 & 1:27.3. After turning away a first over challenge from Duneside Art in the lane the son of Sportsmaster-Dixiegirl proceeded to draw away from her rivals for her second win in 10 lifetime appearances. One Sure Apache (Mike Oosting) rallied to be second while Fox Valley Van (John De Long) finished third. Duneside Art was fourth. Next up were sophomore pacing fillies as a total of 18 ladies looked for 10 starting spots in next week’s $173,000 (est.) Grandma Ann Stake. In the first of two $15,000 elimination tussles John Carver’s Auniqueaquistion gave the chalk players a thrill as she shook loose from a precarious position in mid-stretch to win by a half-length in1:53.0. Positioned near the front by driver Mike Oosting as the lead changed hands several time through splits of 28.4, 57.4 & 1:26.1 the daughter of Cole Muffler—Shesoluvabull was desperately searching for racing room behind a tiring leader as the field turned for the money. Maneuvering outside then back inside again with the Donna Lee Ozment trained miss Oosting finally secured racing room with just less than a sixteenth of a mile to go. Responding beautifully, Auniqueaquistion bulled her way to the front and steadily began to draw clear for her 12th win in 21 career starts. Schmatie (John De Long) finished a game second while Aliyah Maria (Dave Magee) was third. Dune In Red & State Street Liz also gained spots in the final. In the second elimination Paula Smith, James Runyan and Frank Pike’s Dallas Jones continued an amazing second season transformation as she came flying home to win by 1 ¾ lengths in 1:53.1. Well-handled by a red-hot Casey Leonard the daughter of Sportsmaster—Cams Bett was reserved through the early stages as Feel Like Dancing (Kyle Wilfong) and Mystical Danica (Marcus Miller) battled through splits of 27.4, 56.4 & 1:24.4.Tipping four deep as the ladies turned for home the Joel Smith trained miss then picked off one rival after another on her way to her eighth win of the season. Mystical Danica held on for second while Thank You Doc (Mike Oosting) rallied sharply to finish third. Feel Like Dancing was fourth while Fox Valley Isabella was fifth. A total of 17 sophomore pacing colts were dropped into the box for a pair of $15,000 Pete Langley Memorial eliminations. Once again the top five will be back on Super Night to go for an estimated purse of $173,000. The first division provided a thrilling finish as Paymaq Racing, D&M Trading & Mystical Marker Farms Mystical Walter emerged with a hard fought three-quarters of a length victory in 1:51.0. Confidently handled by driver Casey Leonard the gelded son of Yankee Skyscaper—Yankee Blue ranged up first over to engage Crankin’ It Up (Kyle Wilfong) after watching that rival post splits of 27.3, 56.0 & 1:23.3. After battling head and head through the lane Mystical Walter finally began to pull clear in the final one-hundred yards, notching his 10th career win in 20 starts for trainer Erv Miller. Crankin’ It Up was a sharp second while Alequash Hotspur (Dale Hiteman) finished third. Fox Valley Norman was fourth while Big Brad was fifth. In the second Langley elimination Stephanie Winship, Carl Lacy, Amy Giberson & Monty Thompson’s Silver Devil parlayed a perfect pocket sitting trip into a 1 ¾ length victory in 1:52.2. Riding along in the pocket while Monopoly Man (John De Long) strolled through splitsof 28.0, 57.3 & 1:25.1 driver Casey Leonard patiently waited for the passing lane to make his move with the Nick Giberson trainee. Swinging down to the inside with a sixteenth to go the roan son of Duneside Perch—Armbro Wahine came charging home in 26.4 to secure his seventh win in this his first season of action. Monopoly Man held on well to finish second while Ready (Brian Carpenter) used a pylon skimming journey to get the show dough. Fancy Creek Elusiv was fourth while Fox Valley Action was fifth. With a total of 21 three-year-olds and up entered for the Tony Maurello Stake a trio of $15,000 elimination’s were needed. Once again the top three along with a fourth place finisher (drawn by lot) will be back for next week’s $125,000 final. In the first elimination Stevanna Turner’s NJ’s Big Deal rallied in the final strides to win by a head in 1:50.1 for driver Mike Cox. After leading the way through an opening quarter in 28.1, Cox elected to let a hard charging Uncle Smoothie (John De Long) go, winding up in the three-hole as the field sped through middle splits of 55.3 & 1:23.0. The John Fletcher trainee was then moved to the outside at the top of the stretch where he gamely wore down Ice Scraper (Kyle Husted) and Uncle Smoothie (John De Long) for his11th win of the year. Whirlwindiplomacy was fourth The middle elimination provided no surprises as heavily favored Fort Silky cruised to an easy 1 ¾ length victory in 1:51.1 for owners John Prentice and Neva Jane Ikeler. Sent to the front by driver Casey Leonard after a quarter in 27.0 the seven-year-old gelding then went unchallenged through middle splits of 55.4 & 1:24.3.Setting sail for home the Terry Leonard trainee sealed the deal in fine fashion, rattling off a final quarter in 26.3 to notch his 12th win of the year. Cole Heat (John De Long) finished second while Fox Valley Yukon (Marcus Miller) was third. Uncle Bud finished fourth. Chalk players were dancing again in the final Maurello elimination as Paymaq Racing, Mystical Marker Farms, Ken Duffy & Shim Racing’s A Cool Card notched his fourth straight win rolling to a one-length decision in 1:50.4 with Marcus Miller in tow. Working out a perfect second over trip as King’s Legend (Todd Warren) put up splits of 27.3, 56.0 & 1:23.4 A Cool Card tipped three-wide off his cover as the field straightened for home. The Erv Miller trainee then stormed home in a wicked 26.2 to record his sixth win in 10 starts this year. Iam Bonasera (Kyle Wilfong) finished a hard knocking second while Gibbs (Dave Magee) rallied to be third. Sports Fanatic wound up fourth. Freshman pacing fillies closed out the elimination action with a total of 20 youngsters battling in a pair of $15,000 Filly Orange & Blue elimination’s. The top five in each will return on Super Night to slug it out for a $200,000 jackpot. In the first elimination Team Miller clicked once again as Marcus (2 wins) made a successful return to the local scene guiding Obermeier & Quaid Stable’s (2wins) My Little Bit to an easy one-length triumph in 1:54.1, giving his father Erv, his fourth training win of the night. Powering to the front after an opening quarter in 28.1, the daughter of Sportsmaster-Parade Of Love rattled off middle splits of 58.1 & 1:26.1. With plenty still in reserve the good looking filly paced home in 28.0 to win for the fourth time in eight life time starts. Party Hangover Two (John De Long) was second while Thesleazyprincess (Mike Oosting) was third. Fox Valley Amanda was fourth while Simplyirresistible was fifth. In the second division Sawgrass Farms Molly Go Lightly took advantage of a ground saving trip as she charged up the passing lane to win by a half-length in1:55.0. Perfectly handled by Mike Oosting (3 wins) the daughter of Lexington Legend-Waggle was forwardly placed while skimming the pylons through splits of 29.0, 58.3 & 1:27.3. With the fillies fanning out for the stretch drive, Oosting moved the Nelson Willis trainee up the inside where she rallied gamely for her second win in eight trips postward. Kiwi Party (John De Long) overcame post nine to be the bridesmaid while Mae Flynn (Dave Magee) was third. Tessa finished a hard fought fourth while M A Refling overcame a miscue at the start to finish fifth. The elimination action for Super Night continues on Sunday, Sept. 8th at Balmoral Park as a trio of Lorna Propes Stake elimination’s (three-year-old & up filly & mare pacers), a pair of Su Mac Lad Stake elimination’s (three-year-old trotting colts) and one Lady Ann Reed (3yo trotting filly) will all be contested. Post time on Sunday is 7:10 p.m. (central). Tom Kelley
With Super Night a little more than one week away let’s reflect on the Marty Engel home-bred who posted back-to-back champions on Illinois gala evening in 2007 and 2008. A son of Sportsmaster out of Engel’s broodmare Something Sleazy, Mucho Sleazy earned over $902,000 in 91 career starts, winning 20 races, with 20 more seconds and 14 third place finishers. As a 2-year-old Mucho Sleazy captured the Springfield Championship before dropping a photo to King Of Kings at Du Quoin in the Governor’s Cup. The gelding made a break in his Orange and Blue elimination but then rebounded in a big way by winning Balmoral’s $145,000 American National Final, beating freshman like Art Official, Lets Get It Stared and Sand Shooter. After a first season campaign that saw Mucho Sleazy earn $180,0546, the pacer had an even more spectacular sophomore season when he raked in $474,255 and he did it not only facing the best in the Midwest but the top pacers throughour North American. Mucho Sleazy picked-up fourth place checks in the finals of both $1 million-plus stakes, the North American Cup at Mohawk in Canada and the Meadowlands Pace in New Jersey. The horse took Maywood’s $50,500 Cardinal Final, won a second straight Springfield championship, this one with a sizzling 1:48.4 mile, and then avenged his loss as a freshman at Du Quoin to King Of Kings with a seven-plus length win in the Dudley Hanover on the Southern Illinois clay track in 1:49 flat. The Ken Rucker trainee then bagged his first Super Night title with a 1:50 flat clocking in the Pete Langley Memorial Final. As a 4-year-old Mucho Sleazy campaigned the first eight months of the year out east before he came back to Illinois for Super Night 2009 and captured the Maurello Championship with Andy Miller at his lines. Mucho Sleazy put another $151,940 on his card in his 4-year-old campaign and added $96,205 more in 2010 as a 5-year-old his last season of racing for his Buffalo Grove, Illinois owner. Pick 4 Pool at 25 Grand: Maywood Park will offer a guaranteed Pick-4 pool of $25,000 Thursday night which is on races 9 through 12. There’s a $12,271 carryover into the pool with a 15 per cent take out. All Is Well: One of the two Mike Price Shots for Wednesday came through at Balmoral when All Dune popped at an even $15 in race three with Casey Leonard. Mike Oosting drove 5 of the10 winners on the card. By Mike Paradise The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association
Illinois’ top older pacers were back in action on Friday, August 30th at Maywood Park as a field of eight classy veterans squared off in the $30,000 Egyptian Stake. When the smoke cleared it was Sawgrass Farms Uncle Smoothie who emerged victorious as the four-year-old gelding shot right by the pace setting NJ’s Big Deal on the backstretch in route to a 1 ½ length victory in a blistering 1:52.0 over a track that was rated as “good” after a nasty storm rolled through the area earlier in the night. Confidently handled by driver John DeLong the son of Sportsmaster pulled from the three-hole after watching NJ’s Big Deal (Mike Cox) and heavily favored Fort Silky (Casey Leonard) battle through splits of 26.3 & 56.1. In full stride heading down the backstretch for the final time the Nelson Willis trainee blew right by NJ’s Big Deal essentially getting the “jump” on division leader Fort Silky while that gelding was forced to wait for racing room as the field reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:24.0. The issue was never really in doubt from that point on as Uncle Smoothie continued strong to the wire for his third win in 16 starts this season. Fort Silky was forced to settle for the runner-up role while NJ’s Big Deal finished a distant third, 12-lengths behind the winner. Sent off as the 7-2 third choice in the wagering Uncle Smoothie returned $9.60, $3.80 & 2.40 while moving his career bankroll up to $242,251. Friday’s $1 Pick 4 wager was not hit so there will be a very healthy carryover of $12,271 into next Thursday’s (Sept.5) pool. The Pick 4 is held on races 9-12 on Thursday’s Maywood card. by Tom Kelley
A pair ofstate-bred stakes, each split into two divisions, along with two carry over pools and two big guaranteed pools highlighted a busy Saturday night of harness racing action at Balmoral Park. With a total of 15 distaffers dropped into the box for the Parklane Powerful Stake a pair of $30,000 splits kicked off the “Elvis Night” action. In the first division Mystical Marker Farms and Peggy Hood’s outstanding mare, Mystical Victress cruised to her 44th career victory as she rolled under the wire with a one-length decision in 1:51.2 for driver Mike Oosting. Confidently handled by Oosting the six-year-old daughter of Sportsmaster came away fourth as Rev Me Up rolled through opening splits of 27.4 & 55.1. Tipping to the outside on the final turn, the Erv Miller trained miss quickly pulled alongside the pace setter as the field reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:23.2. With the money on the line Mystical Victress set sail for the wire easily gobbling up the leader with a 27.3 final quarter to post her sixth win of the season. Fox Valley Matinee(Brian Carpenter) turned a ground saving trip into the place check while Whistle Pig (Casey Leonard) was third. Bet as though defeat was clearly out of the question Mystical Victress returned $2.20, $2.10 & $2.10 while upping her career bankroll to $758,973. In the second division Joshua Carter’s Just By Design used a big backside brush to power into command and never looked back as she reported home with a 2 ¾ length victory in 1:52.2 for driver Dave Magee. Reserved early on as Tamarac Sassy (Casey Leonard) led the field through an opening quarter in 27.3 Magee pulled from sixth as Leonard tried to put on the brakes with the field moving towards the half-mile mark. Rushing up to challenge the pacesetter as the field hit the half in 57.1, Just By Design easily cleared to the front on the turn as was in complete command as she passed the three-quarter mile mark in 1:25.0. Fit and fresh down the stretch, the Mike Brink trained five-year-old sealed the deal with a 27.2 final split to post her second win of the season. Pardon (John De Long) turned in a solid effort to be the bridesmaid while Tamarac Sassy held on for third. The daughter of Sportsmaster returned $6.80, $3.60 & $2.80 while pushing her 2013 record to 2-3-2 in 13 starts. With the win Just By Design now boasts $212,702 in career earnings. A total of 13 older pacing horses were entered for the Big Tom Stake with each division each carrying a jackpot of $30,000. Once again trainer Erv Miller and driver Mike Oosting teamed up to get another prohibitive favorite home as Mystical Marker Farms, Paymac Racing, Shim Racing and Kenneth Duffy’s A Cool Card continued his impressive comeback with a1 ¾ length triumph in 1:51.1. Hustled from fourth to first after watching Park Lane Deputy (Todd Warren) lead the field through an opening quarter in 27.3 A Cool Card was comfortably in front through middle splits of55.4 & 1:23.4. Shrugging off a mild challenge from Whirlwind Diplomacy (Casey Leonard) in the lane, the five-year-old son of Cole Muffler paced home in 27.2 to secure his fourth win in eight starts this season. Park Lane Deputy came on again to finish second while Whirlwind Diplomacy wound up third. After missing part of 2011 and all of 2012 with a cracked knee the bay gelding is showing signs of regaining the form that turned heads here during his three-year-old season. With Saturday’s win A Cool Card boasts career numbers 11-1-2 in 16 starts with earnings of $126,900. He returned $2.20, $2.10 & $2.10 to his legion of backers. In the nightcap John Prentice and Neva Jane Grevengoed’s Fort Silky continued to enjoy his finest season to date as the seven-year-old gelding scored by a hard fought neck in 1:51.1 with Casey Leonard at the controls. Hustled away from post position six the gelded son of Ft. Apache Hanover led the field through an opening quarter in 27.0. Facing immediate pressure from a head strong NJ’s Big Deal (Mike Cox) Leonard briefly released that rival before moving back to the front where he led the field through middle splits of 56.2& 1:24.0. Despite making two moves during the mile the Terry Leonard trainee gamely held off a late bit up the inside from the pocket sitting NJ’s Big Deal with a 27.1 final quarter to post his 37th career victory. Uncle Smoothie (Mike Oosting) finished third. Another heavy favorite of the betting public Fort Silky returned $3.00,$2.20 & $2.10 while upping his career bankroll to $458,834 on the strength of a 2013 record of 11-8-1 in 23 starts. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A Cool Card continued an amazing comeback as he rolled to victory in the first of two divisions of the $30,000 Big Tom Stake. Just By Design and driver Dave Magee teamed up to win the second of two divisions of the $30,000 Parklane Powerful Stake. Fort Silky notched his 11th win of the year by knocking off six rivals in 1:51.1 in the second of two divisions of the Big Tom Stake. Mystical Victress posted her 44th career victory as Mike Oosting steered to the six-year-old to a 1:51.2 clocking in the first of two divisions of the Parklane Powerful Stake. Tom Kelley
Harness racing at the Springfield State Fair gets underway this afternoon with a 10-race card mostly for ICF 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. First post is 12 noon. Elimination races for next week’s $45,000 Illinois State Fair Colt Stake Championships were needed for each of the freshman trot and pace events. A pair of $10,000 ICF championships will be also decided. Squaring off in the eighth race trotting stake showdown (program odds listed) are Westbound Darin (6-1), Ants Iner Pants (12-1), Maplegrove Shaelyn (5-1), Miss Kylie (8-1), Fox Valley Sienna (8-1), B Fly McQueen (4-1) and Ruby’s And Pearls (3-1). Back to defend her title in the 10th race Illinois State Fair Filly and Mare Championship is Fox Valley Touche (3-1) and the Joel Smith trainee landed the rail in the nine-horse field. Last summer the Sportsmaster mare took her lifetime mark of 1:50.4 in this Springfield stake. Taking on Fox Valley Touche are TJ’s April Angel (6-1), Just By Design (4-1), Nina Coleada (10-1), Cole Blue (12-1), Willow Gram (8-1), Sleazy Does It (8-1), Pardon (5-1) and Miss Kelley Lynne (12-1). With six starters in 4each of the 2-year-old colt eliminations only one youngster in each split won’t advance to that $45,000 final. The opening elim has Polar’s Big Spender (10-1), Finnister (6-1), Rory Borealis (8-1), Gray N Cloudy (4-1), Big Bad Bob (3-1) and Just Leo (5-1). The second race lines up with Nono Marino (10-1), Tour Hall (3-1), Bobby B Breeze (2-1), Fox Valley Veto (5-1), Big Bill Breeze (4-1) and Battleshoe Crown (6-1). The first five finishers in the fourth and fifth race eliminations for 2-year-old trotting fillies return for next Thursday’s $45,000 championship. With Fox Valley Flan champion Vienna not at Springfield, the pre-stake favoritism looks to be between “Flan” runner-up Bailey’s Wish for Springfield based trainer Dirk Simpson, and S V Spirit, a three-time victor in five career starts for trainer Roger Welch who wasn’t eligible to the Fox Valley Flan. Eliminations for the freshman filly pace are races 6 and 7 with the second division pitting recent Hanover stake runner-up Western Dame (3-1, John De Long) against Loyal Opposition champ Thesleazyprincess (4-1, Mike Oosting). They’ll be challenged by Fox Valley Thyme (12-1), Kiss This Perch (8-1), Fox Valley Flora (6-1), First Lady’s Z Tam (5-1), My Girl Pippa (8-1) and Fox Valley Roxanne (10-1). The first filly pace elim 3-1 favorite is My Little Bit (p.p. 6, Casey Leonard), runner-up in the Loyal Opposition who hails from the always strong Erv Miller Stable. She’s owned by Obermeier & Quaid Stables of Evergreen Park, Illinois. Also looking to finish in the top five and advance to next week’s final are Ms Solongbyebye (10-1), Fox Valley Shiver (6-1), Fox Valley Amanda (4-1), Perfectly Clear (6-1), Amazing Summer (5-1), Rds Master Revrac (8-1). April May Dune (12-1) and Ineverkissandtell (12-1). A single elimination will be raced in the 2-year-old colt pacing division where only the 11th place finisher won’t make that final. Posts 1 through 10 will be manned by Fancy Creek Mitch (10-1), Fox Valley Cupid (8-1), Badger Quinn (3-1), Traffic Cop (5-1), Duneside Mike (12-1), Sky Cam (12-1), Fox Valley Deuce (8-1), PQ Three (4-1), Unlocked (6-1), and Rio’s Z Tam (8-1). Fox Valley Van starts in the second tier at program odds of 12-1. Unlocked (Dave Magee) is unbeaten in five career starts that include a trio of stake wins in June at Balmoral and the July 5 Fox Valley Barzgar at Maywood. Nick Prather trains the Duneside Perch colt for Chicago owner Megan Rogers. By Mike Paradise The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association County Fair Report EFFINGHAM COUNTY FAIR AT ALTAMONT Thursday Afternoon, August 8 FIRST: Free For All Pace, 1st Div, Purse $980: Horse (Driver) Time (Track Fast) Annrenee (Jared Finn) 2:03.2 Trainer: Dane May. Owner: Dane May. SECOND: Free For All Pace, 2nd Div, Purse $980: Richard Traci (Jared Finn) 2:02 Trainer: Dane May. Owner: Dane May. THIRD: Free For All Pace, 3rd Div, Purse $980: Spill The Beans (Dillon Cox) 2:01.3 Trainer: Mike Cox. Owner: Mike Cox. FOURTH: Non-Winners of $1,000 or 2 Races LT Trot, Purse $1,320: So Photogenic (Jerome Daniels) 2:05.4 Trainer: Jerome Daniels. Owners: Jerome Daniels and Cornelius Cavett. FIFTH: Non-Winners of $1,000 or 2 Races LT Pace, 1st Div, Purse $1,020: Frontier Rose (Harold Finn Jr.) 2:06.2 Trainer: Philip Finn Jr. Owner: Philip Finn Jr. SIXTH: Non-Winners of $1,000 or 2 Races LT Pace, 2nd Div, Purse $1,000: Wings (Merle Finn Jr.) 2:06.3 Trainer: Merle Finn Jr. Owner: Merle Finn Jr. SEVENTH: Non-Winners of $1,000 or 2 Races LT Pace, 3rd Div, Purse $980: Who Called Kellie (Ronnie Gillespie) 2:05.3 Trainer: Ronnie Gillespie. Owner: John Carver. EIGHTH: Non-Winners of $1,000 or 2 Races LT Pace, 4th Div, Purse $980: American Desire (Ronnie Gillespie) 2:03 Trainer: Ronnie Gillespie. Owner: John Carver: NINTH: Amateur Driving Race, Purse $580: AR Sissy (Raymond Morgan) 2:02.3 Trainer: Michele Morgan. Owners: Michele Morgan, Raymond Morgan, Janet Betley and Todd Weinmann.
Bad As Bart (Sportsmaster) continued his hot streak on Wednesday night at Saratoga as the four year old pacer posted a lifetime mark for the second consecutive week.
The USTA's Back To The Track weekend kicked off on Friday night and along with food, fun and some great giveaways, Maywood Park celebrated the harness racing event with a pair of state-bred stakes events featuring both the young and older stars of the Illinois Conceived and Foaled circuit.
Racing took place in front of a packed house as the annual Independence Day celebration filled the facility on Wednesday at Saratoga Casino and Raceway.
Scioto Downs Racino tried a new harness racing claiming series for 2013 with the additional money from VLTs - the Columbus Claiming Series - which gave horses that race in $5,000 claimers the opportunity to race for a purse three times what they usually go for.