Day At The Track
Search Results
49 to 64 of 138

Jubilation quickly turned to heartbreak in a pair of trotting events at Balmoral Park on Wednesday, July 9th as a pair of diamond gaiters looked to be home free only to have late miscues cost them what looked to be sure victories in these state-bred stake events.   In what looked like it was going to a replay of their last two encounters Macie Rae (Ryan Anderson) carved out splits of 28.0, 58.1 & 1:27.3 and appeared to be holding firm to the wire before going off stride with less than a sixteenth of a mile to go. That allowed the pocket sitting Bailey's Wish and driver Dave Magee to capitalize on their good fortune as they zipped right on by for the victory in the $10,000 Fox Valley Diva Stake for state-bred three-year-old trotting fillies. Macie Rae settled for the place spot while Lora Lee Breeze (Matt Krueger) was a distant third.   The three-quarter-length triumph in a career best of 1:56.1 pushed the daughter of Southwind Breeze--Jen's career record to 7-6-3 in 22 starts for owners James Bafia and Eugene White. The good looking brown filly has also banked a hefty $151,983 while under the guidance of conditioner Dirk Simpson who is zeroing in on the 1,000 victory plateau.   In the first of two $5,000 divisions of the Psychic Spirit Stake for ICF two-year-old trotting colts Southrncomfortzone (John De Long) looked to be home free after a pocket sitting journey behind Captain Greedy and driver-trainer J.D. Finn. That's when disaster struck for that colt as he "jumped it off" allowing Captain Greedy, who had put up splits of 29.3, 1:00.2 & 1:31.2 to reclaim the lead and cruise to a six-length triumph in 1:59.4. Cardinal Yankee (Mike Brink) rallied to be second while Pizzalicious (Dale Hiteman) was moved from fourth to third because of the disqualification of Southrncomfortzone.   The win was the third in four starts for the son of Yankee Valor--Tropical Trixie who now has $6,692 in career earnings.   The second division of the Psychic Spirit proved to be far less dramatic as the Herman Wheeler owned and trained Fox Valley Qatar made it three in a row to open his career posting an impressive 2 ¾ length victory in a career best of 1:58.3.   After saving ground while Allpowernoemotion (Ronnie Gillespie) put up splits of 30.1, 1:00 & 1:29.2, driver Todd Warren eased Fox Valley Qatar through the passing lane and the gelded son of Pizzazzed--Armbro Bahrain responded beautifully as he charged right by the tiring pace setter for an easy score. Allpowernoemotion held on for second while RT Habenero (Robert Taylor) rallied to be third.   Fox Valley Qatar now sports career earnings of $5,625 and looks like he'll be the one to beat heading into the State Fair Stakes at Springfield in August.   by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park

After playing second fiddle to division leader Tour Hall in their last three match-ups Curt and Craig Grummel's Fox Valley Veto turned the table on his chief rival Wednesday night as he posted a hard fought neck decision in the $10,000 Betzotic Stake for ICF three-year-old trotting colts. The final time of 1:55.4 was a career best for the Curt Grummel trainee. With only five diagonally gaited sophomores contesting this event driver John De Long placed Fox Valley Veto in third through the early going as Tour Hall (Dave Magee) led the field through splits of 28.4 & 58.4. Moving up first over on the far turn Fox Valley Veto began to carve into the pace setters lead as the field reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:28.3. Just as they did in the Southern Rocketop Stake back on June 14th, Tour Hall and Fox Valley Veto left the rest of the field in their wake as they battled tooth and nail through the final eighth of a mile. With the two colts racing side by side nearing the wire, Fox Valley Veto found a little something extra, poking a neck in front in the shadow of the wire for his first win of the season. Tour Hall was a game second while Bobby B Breeze (Todd Warren) was third, 5 ¾ lengths behind the winner. The win was the first in five starts this year for the gelded son of Pizzazzed--Yankee Victory who now sports career numbers of 2-6-0 in 15 starts with earnings of $90,666. The second choice in the wagering returned $5.60 & $2.40. There was no show wagering on the race. by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park      

Racing fans received their first look at some of this seasons Illinois conceived and foaled freshmen trotting and pacing sets as a pair of non-wagering events on Sunday, June 15th capped off a busy weekend of state-bred stakes action.   Pacers kicked off the early action on Sunday night with a field of four youngsters battling in the $10,000 Wicked Brew Stake. After biding his time at the back of the pack as Really Dave (Dean Magee) strolled through splits of 31.1, 1:00.3 & 1:30.2, the Dennis Brightwell owned Casey At Bat uncorked an eye catching 28.0 final quarter to roll right by his rivals for a neck decision in 1:59.2 with Casey Leonard at the controls. Gett'er Done Dune (Dave Magee) was second while Just Do It Jesse (Robert Smolin) was third.   The homebred son of Sportsmaster--Odds On Casey is conditioned is conditioned by Curtis Rice.   A field of five diagonally gaited freshmen went postward in the $5,000 Million Dollar Bye Stake a few minutes later. After a perfect pocket sitting journey while Captain Greedy (JD Finn) put up splits of 30.2, 1:00.3 & 1:32.1, driver Todd Warren popped out of the two-hole at the head of the stretch with the Herman Wheeler owned and trained Fox Valley Qatar and the youngster trotted home powerfully to post a three-length victory in 2:01.2. Captain Greedy held on for second while Arcs Conquest (Dave Magee) was third.   The winner who is a gelded son of Pizzazzed--Armbro Bahrain was a $7,000 Land Of Lincoln Sale purchase by Wheeler.   Pacers and trotters also shared the spotlight on Saturday, June 14th as a field of eight older state-breds met in the $20,000 Broadway Preview Stake while seven sophomore trotting colts squared off in the $10,000 Southern Rocketop Stake.   A pair of frequent visitors to the Balmoral Park winner's circle toted home top honors in these events as the Robert Phillips owned and trainer Al's Hammered zoomed right by the field with his potent closing burst to win by 2 ½ lengths in 1:49.4 while Tour Hall continued his dominance of the sophomore trotting set with a deceptively easy half-length victory in 1:55.2.   Reserved in the early going by driver Robert Smolin Al's Hammered circled around rivals on the final turn before unleashing a wicked 26.1 final quarter to win for the seventh time in 11 starts this season. Silver Devil (John De Long) shook loose late to rally for second while pace setter Ice Scraper (Todd Warren) held on for third.   Mike Brink and Loren Tournear's Tour Hall came into Saturday's stake riding a four-race winning streak and the overwhelming 2-5 favorite lived up to his hype as he shook loose in the lane after a perfect steer from Dave Magee, charging home in 28.2 to stop the clock in a career best. Fox Valley Veto (John De Long) battled hard but was relegated to the runner-up role for the Third Straight week while Bobby B Breeze (Todd Warren) was third. by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park

With a total of 14 filly and mare pacers dropped into the box Friday's Violet Stake for Illinois conceived and foaled distaffers, three-year-olds and up, was split into a pair of $21,390 divisions. Both splits provided eye-catching payouts as Fox Valley Touche, a 25-1 outsider came flying through the lane to score by a neck in 1:53.2 for driver Dale Hiteman to open the action. Just four races later The Bruzilian Blur employed similar tactics as James Kennedy steered the mare to a 1 ½ length come from behind score in 1:54.2 at odds of 12-1. Always a threat in this division Fox Valley Touche was reserved through the early stages of her division as Poco Granny (Todd Warren) zipped through splits of 27.1 57.0 & 1:24.4.   That's when Hiteman began his bid with the Joel Smith trained six-year-old, circling up three deep from sixth as the ladies moved around the final turn. Swinging to the outside as the field straightened for the money the daughter of Sportsmaster uncorked a big 27.4 to overtake the pace setter in the final strides. Poco Granny held on for second while the heavily favored No Respect (John De Long) faded to third after a tough first over journey.   A career winner of more than $497,000 for the partnership of James Runyan and Paula Smith Fox Valley Touche returned $52.20, $10.80 & $3.80 while winning for the 27th time in her illustrious career.   In the nightcap Julius Millman's The Bruzilian Blur overcame a tough first over journey after getting away fifth, eventually grinding her way into contention at the top of the stretch to engage Dune In Red (Todd Warren) after that mare had put up splits of 27.0, 56.0 & 1:25.3.   Shrugging off the difficult journey the Kathy Millman trained daughter of Ft. Apache Hanover zipped right by Dune In Red and then kept the pocket sitting Feel Like Dancing (Kyle Wilfong) at bay through the lane for her third win in 13 tries this season. Feel Like Dancing was forced to settle for the bridesmaid role while Dune In Red was third.   With the win The Bruzilian Blur now boasts eight wins, nine seconds and five thirds in 51 lifetime starts with earnings of more than $70,000. Overlooked at the windows The Bruzilian Blur returned $27.80, $7.00 & $3.40.   With no elimination's needed for next Friday's (June 13) $100,000 Filly Maywood Pace some of the state-bred sophomores expected to compete in that affair used "conditioned" events on Friday's card as tune-ups for next week's big showdown.   Among those in action who looked very good in their tighteners were Sawgrass Farms Molly Go Lightly who cruised to an easy win in 1:56.2, Ervin Miller Stables & Omer Miller's M A Refling, who overcame a spot in the second tier to win by four lengths in 1:56.4 and the Joel Smith trained Fox Valley Amanda who also overcame a second tier starting spot to rally for a sharp win in 1:57.1. by Tom Kelley, for Maywood Park  

Sophomore trotting colts received top billing on Wednesday night at Balmoral Park as a field of 10 state-bred three-year-olds battled in a $47,100 Cardinal Stake. Once again the sidewinders in this division provided another thrilling finish as Mike Brink & Loren Tournear's Tour Hall stuck a nostril in front right at the finish line to edge Fox Valley Veto in 1:56.1. Sent to the top by driver Dave Magee Tour Hall led the field through an opening quarter in 28.4.   After relinquishing the lead on the backstretch to a hard charging Big Bill Breeze (Dale Hiteman), Tour Hall enjoyed a pocket ride through middle splits of 58.4 & 1:28.3.   The garden spot almost turned out to be the undoing of the 7-5 favorite though as a first over Fox Valley Veto (John De Long) stormed into command as the field turned for home.   After being forced to patiently wait for room in the passing lane as Big Bill Breeze began to fade, Magee finally revved up the Mike Brink trained gelding with a sixteenth of a mile to go.   This year's Betzotic and Speedy Rodney Stake winner then showed the mettle that made him the division favorite coming into the year as he gamely overtook Fox Valley Veto in the final stride to win for the third time in four starts this season. Bobby B Breeze (Todd Warren) rallied late to finish third.   With the win Tour Hall who returned $4.80, $3.20 & $2.60 now boasts a career record of 7-4-1 in 14 starts with earnings of $109,851. by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park

State-bred trotting colts were back in action on Wednesday, May 14th as a field of seven diagonally gaited specialists gathered for a $10,000 Betzotic Stake. After a tough luck loss in his last appearance Mike Brink and Loren Tournear's Tour Hall returned to his winning ways as he "gutted" out a nose decision over Bobby B Breeze in 1:58.1 over a track listed as "good". After battling the hard leaving Bobby B Breeze (Todd Warren) through an opening quarter in 29.3, driver-trainer Mike Brink worked the give and go to perfection reclaiming the top spot as the field raced by the half-mile mark in 1:00.2.   Continuing to show the way by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:30.1, the gelded son of American Native--Broadway And Fifth set sail for home with Bobby B Breeze sitting right on his back. With his chief rival drilling through in the passing lane, a game Tour Hall dug in with all he had, trotting home in a brisk 28.0 while just managing to hold Bobby B Breeze at bay. Big Bill Breeze (Nick Prather) finished third, 4½ lengths behind the top pair. Vin, who came into the race off back to back scores and drew plenty of attention at the betting windows as the 3-5 favorite, made a break behind the gate and was never a factor in the race.   With the win Tour Hall now boasts six wins, four seconds and one third in 16 career starts with earnings of $86,301. The winner returned $5.20, $3.40 & $2.20. by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park     -    

After a nasty thunderstorm caused a 35 minute delay to start the Sunday, May 11th card at Balmoral Park the action was hot and heavy the rest of the evening as a pair of state-bred events shared top billing on the program. The stakes action kicked off with trotters as a field seven three-year-old fillies met in a $10,000 Betzotic Stake. Despite being away since last October, Donald Huddleston's Macie Rae looked fit and fresh as she came splashing through the passing lane to post a 1 ¼ length victory in a career best of 1:59.1 for driver Ryan Anderson.   Hustled away from the outside starting spot by Anderson, the daughter of Powerful Emotion--Fox Valley Poetry settled perfectly into third through the early going as High Balance (Casey Leonard) led the field through splits of 31.1, 101.2 & 1:30.0.   With High Balance and last year's division Bailey's Wish (Lewayne Miller) battling tooth and nail through the lane, Anderson patiently maneuvered the Mike Rogers trained miss into the passing lane where she quickly gobbled up the embattled leaders to post her ninth win in 20 lifetime starts. Bailey's Wish was forced to settle for the runner-up role while High Balance hung on for third.   With the win Macie Rae, who returned $8.40, $5.20 & $3.40 boasts career numbers of 9-3-3 in 20 trips postward with earnings of $27,867.   A $10,000 elimination for the first "major" stake of the 2014 season was contested on Sunday as well but with the field of 10 Illinois conceived and foaled three-year-old pacing fillies knocked down to seven because of scratches this wound up being a "prep" for next week's $44,700 Violet Stake.   Nonetheless trainer Nelson Willis had to be happy as a pair of fillies trained by the veteran conditioner wound up in the top two spots with the Sawgrass Farms & Kay Willis owned Cuzimalegend overtaking last season's division leader Thesleazyprincess to score by a half-length in 1:57.2 for driver Dale Hiteman.   Using the inside starting spots to perfection driver Todd Warren put Thesleazyprincess right on the lead from the word go. With Hiteman and Cuzimalegend sitting in the garden spot, Thesleazyprincess paced through splits of 30.3, 1:00.3 & 1:29.2. Fit and fresh after the two-hole journey a determined Cuzimalegend gradually wore down her stablemate with a sharp 27.3 to post her first lifetime victory. Thesleazyprincess was forced to settle for the bridesmaid role while favored My Little Bit (Casey Leonard) finished third.   The home-bred daughter of Lexington Legend--Cuzurinittowinit, who was scheduled to be coupled in the wagering with the scratched Molly Go Lightly (sick) returned $7.80, $4.00 & $2.10 while pushing her bankroll up to $10,093.   Live racing continues at Balmoral Park on Wednesday, May 14th win a nine-card card getting underway at 7:10 pm (central). The Wednesday Pick 4 will have a $10,000 guaranteed pool and will entail races six through nine. Past performances for the Pick 4 races, courtesy of Trackmaster can be found at www.ustrotting.com. by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park

Illinois conceived and foaled pacing fillies stepped into the spotlight on Saturday night as a field of nine sophomores were sent to battle in a $10,000 Betzotic Stake. While she may be lightly raced, Pm Investment's Buoncammino looked like a seasoned veteran in this event as she stormed home from the back of the pack to record a three-quarter-length victory in 1:55.0 for driver John De Long. Getting away eighth as last year's top fillies Molly Go Lightly (Dave Magee) and Thesleazyprincess (Todd Warren) battled through splits of 28.0, 57.0 & 1:26.3, De Long moved the Richard Schrock trained miss three-wide as the field turned for the money. Gobbling up one filly after another in effortless fashion, this daughter of Yankee Skyscaper--Mcjates Shadow went from eighth to first with a wicked 27.1 final quarter to record her third win in six career starts. Fox Valley Amanda (Dale Hiteman) turned in a hard fought effort to be the bridesmaid while Thesleazyprincess held on for third. Unraced at two, Buoncammino who was pounded at the betting windows despite the outside post, returned just $5.80, $3.80 & $3.60 while upping her bankroll to $11,590. by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park

The sophomore trotting set was back in the spotlight on Wednesday night at BalmoralPark as a field of seven diagonally gaited state-breds tangled in the $10,000 Iggy Magoo Stake.   After a thrilling stretch long duel, it was Tom L. Graham & Tom L. Graham Jr's Vin who prevailed by the slimmest of margins over 1-9 favorite Tour Hall in 1:59.1 for driver Casey Leonard.   Positioned in mid-pack as Nino Marino (Dean Magee) and Tour Hall (Dave Magee) led the field through splits of 29.4 & 1:00.0 Leonard sent the Thomas Graham trained colt on a power sweep around the far turn, pulling to within a head of Tour Hall as the two passed the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:31.0.   With the two sophomores battling tooth and nail through every inch of the 1,360 foot stretch, Vin was able to hold off one final surge from the division leader to record his first win in 12 career starts. Tour Hall was a tough luck second while Bobby B Breeze (Todd Warren) finished third.   Dispatched at odds of 8-1, the son of Powerful Emotion--Valli Gram returned $18.80, $4.60 & $2.60 while pushing his career bankroll up to $9,000.   With a carryover of $7,665 the wagering public once again showed a great deal of support for the Balmoral Park signal pushing another $45,166 into the pool for a total of $52,831 in the 50 Cent Pick 5 pool to get the Wednesday night card underway!   by Tom Kelley, for Harnesslink.com

Taking advantage of mid-race speed duel, driver John De Long slid 24-1 longshot Silver Devil to the outside of horses on the backstretch the final time then rallied sharply in the lane to post a half-length upset in Friday's $34,380 Cardinal Stake for older state-bred pacers at Maywood Park. The final time was 1:53.3. Using post position two to perfection De Long positioned the handsome roan son of Duneside Perch along the pylons while Elkhorn Damien (Todd Warren) and Crankin' It Up (Kyle Wilfong) battled through a 27.3 opening quarter.   After letting the field settle into position through that opening split driver Casey Leonard sent 4-5 favorite Fort Silky on his way from fifth as the field headed into the stretch the first time prompting some strong urging from Warren with Elkhorn Damien. With these two quickly engaged in a speed duel the dominant Fort Silky made a very uncharacteristic break as the field moved to the half-mile mark in 56.1.   Quickly righting the ship with Fort Silky, the top two continued to battle tooth and nail as the field raced by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:24.3. By this point De Long had slipped to the outside with Silver Devil and had the four-year-old gelding powering up three wide around the top pair as the field moved into the final turn.   Sweeping around the tiring leaders as the field turned for home, the Nick Giberson trainee paced home in 28.3 for his first win of the season, holding off a big late move from another longshot, Fancy Creek Elusiv (Ryan Anderson) who made a huge four-wide surge around the last bend. Elkhorn Damien held on for third.   After an impressive 11-win campaign in his first season of action in 2013, Silver Devil who returned $50.80, $20.40 & $7.40 now boasts career earnings of nearly $105,000 for the ownership group of Amy Giberson, Stephanie Winship, Carl Lacy and Monty Thompson.   The two longshots helped produce a $435.00 return on a $2 exacta wager and a whopping $1771.00 trifecta payout. The 20-cent Pick 6 wager also went unclaimed for the second straight night so there will be a carryover of $2,242.15 in the pool when live racing resumes next Thursday night at Maywood Park. Post time will be 7:10 p.m.   John De Long guided the good looking Silver Devil to an upset score in Friday's $34,380 Cardinal Stake at Maywood Park. by Tom Kelley, for Maywood Park

State-bred pacers took center stage on Saturday night at Balmoral Park as trainer Robert Phillips and driver Robert Smolin teamed up for a pair of impressive victories with two of the stables stars as Al's Hammered romped to a 5¾ length victory in the $15,000 Rambling Willie Stake while Cotton Eyed Joe rolled to a 2¾ length win in the $10,000 Betzotic Stake.   With a compact field of five of the state's top older pacers facing the gate for the Rambling Willie Stake, Al's Hammered found himself much closer than usual to the early action as Ice Scraper (Todd Warren) rattled off splits of 27.0, 56.0 & 1:23.4.   Smolin then maneuvered the son of Droppin'thehammer off the pylons as the field turned for the money. As he's done so often, the bay five-year-old absolutely exploded through the stretch, charging home in a wicked 25.4 to secure the victory in 1:50.1 for his owner-trainer Phillips. Fort Silky (Casey Leonard) parlayed a perfect pocket sitting journey into a second place check while Fancy Creek Elusiv (Dave Magee) finished third.   With the win Al's Hammered who has overcome serious injury to return to stardom now boasts a career record of 25-8-11 in 64 starts with earnings of more than $340,000   Sophomore pacing colts were also in action on the chilly Saturday night card and when the smoke cleared from the $10,000 Betzotic Stake the Phillips-Smolin pairing were back in victory lane as Cotton Eyed Joe turned a two-hole trip into an easy win over seven other state-breds, stopping the clock in 1:54.1.   Perfectly positioned on the back of odds-on favorite Fox Valley Deuce (Casey Leonard) as he clicked off splits of 27.3, 57.1 & 1:26.4, Smolin patiently waited for the passing lane as the field headed for the wire. After securing room with a sixteenth of a mile to go, the gelded son of Big Green Machine--Secret Dial flew home in 27.0 to nab his second win in four starts this season. Fox Valley Deuce held for second while Dune Dude (Dean Magee) turned in a late rally to finish third, four lengths behind the winner.   A four-time career winner, last season's Orange & Blue champion now boasts career earnings of more than $121,000 for owner-trainer Bob Phillips.   by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park     COTTON EYED JOE AND DRIVER Robert Smolin CHARGED THROUGH THE PASSING LANE TO SECURE VICTORY IN SATURDAY'S $10,000 BETZOTIC STAKE.     AL'S HAMMERED UNCORKED A WICKED 25.4 TO BLOW BY HIS RIVALS IN SATURDAY'S $15,000 RAMBLING WILLIE STAKE.       -----Original Message----- From: David Baum <baum.photography@gmail.com> To: Tom Kelley <tkelleyatbal@aol.com>; Mike Paradise <michaelfparadise@hotmail.com> Sent: Sat, Apr 26, 2014 9:31 pm        

After closing out his freshman campaign with a stakes victory here at BalmoralPark back in November, Tour Hall picked up right where he left off on Saturday night as the talented youngster cruised to an easy 1 ½ length triumph over three other sophomore trotting colts in the $10,000 Speedy Rodney Stake. The final time was 1:59.3. Given a confident steer by co-owner and trainer Mike Brink, the gelded son of American Native grabbed command right from the start leading the field through leisurely splits of 29.3, 1:00 & 1:31.2.   With plenty still in reserve Tour Hall sprinted home in 28.1 while easily keeping his rivals at bay for his fifth career win in 14 starts. Bobby B Breeze (Todd Warren) parlayed a pocket sitting journey into a second place finish whileVin (Casey Leonard) was third.   With the win Tour Hall now boasts a career record of 5-3-1 in 14 starts with earnings of $78,801 for Brink and co-owner Loren Tournear.   With the Easter holiday on Sunday, April 20thBalmoralPark will be "dark" for live racing.   However, Wednesday night action will return at the Crete oval on April 23rd with a nine-race card getting underway at 7:10 p.m. (central). There will be a $10,000 Guaranteed Pool on Wednesday's Pick 4 which will entail races six through nine.   Program pages will be available courtesy of Trackmaster and the USTA at www.ustrotting.com. Just click on the handicapping section of that website. Also, the 50 Cent Pick 5 wager will begin on the first race of the night on Wednesday.

State-bred pacing fillies took center stage on Saturday, April 5th at Balmoral Park as a field of seven three-year-olds squared off in the $10,000 Direct Balance Stake. After an adventuresome mile it was the Perry Smith owned and trained Susan Sarandune who wound up prevailing by three-lengths in a career best of 1:57.0. Hustled to the front by driver Kyle Wilfong, the daughter of Duneside Perch--Magical Kit led the field through an opening quarter in 29.2.   Heading down the backside, a hard charging Fox Valley Amanda (Dale Hiteman) swept from third to first leading the field past the halfway point in 58.1.   Around the far turn Fox Valley Amanda continued to show the way while Buoncammino (Dave Magee) came calling first over as the field reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:27.2.   That's when disaster struck for Buoncammino as the lightly raced filly went off-stride for the second time in the mile leaving Fox Valley Amanda alone on the lead. That advantage was short lived though as the pocket sitting Susan Sarandune quickly began to cut into the leader's margin. With the effects of a 22-week layoff finally starting to get the best of her a tired Fox Valley Amanda surrendered at the sixteenth pole while a fit and fresh Susan Sarandune zipped right on by for her second win in four tries this season. Fox Valley Amanda held on for second while Bright Light (Todd Warren) finished third.   Overlooked at the windows despite a 7-2 morning line Susan Sarandune returned a healthy $16.40, $4.60 & $2.80 while pushing her career bankroll up to $27,721.   by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park

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

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  

When trainer-driver Tom Harmer speaks of his homebred filly Pertty Music, he does so with the beaming pride of a proud parent.  And with good reason. Harmer not only bred, trains and owns the 3-year-old brown lass, but he also owned, trained, and drove the filly’s parents, Jereme’s Jet and My Metallica.   Harmer conditioned and drove Jereme’s Jet to earn $1,519,321 from 35 starts, with 16 wins, five seconds and one third.  The bay stallion took a time trial mark of 1:47 at Lexington’s Red Mile on Sept. 9, 2007.      Harmer also bred, trained and owns My Metallica, a daughter of Partyatartsplace who earned $287,851 from 13 wins, ten seconds and nine thirds in 60 career starts.  She took a mark of p, 3, 1:51.1 en route to winning a $40,000 Hanover Stake by nearly nine lengths on Aug. 2, 2006.   Even more unique is the story behind the pairing of Jereme’s Jet and My Metallica that produced Pertty Music, who’ll go postward in Friday’s $73,000 Cinderella Stake for sophomore pacing fillies.   On Sept. 17, 2005, My Metallica entered the Balmoral Park winner’s circle after capturing the $260,000 Orange & Blue Filly Stake in 1:52.3 for driver Tony Morgan.   The celebrating Harmer just happened to glance up at a TV at that precise moment, and saw his other charge, Jereme’s Jet, leaving the Mohawk winner’s circle in Canada, after just winning the $840,000 Metro Stake with driver Paul MacDonell in 1:50.4.   “I didn’t think about breeding them to each other at that moment, but then later when I thought about, I thought about how cool it was that one was coming in the winner’s circle and the other was leaving at the same time and I told (my wife) Debbie that we just had to breed them someday,”  Harmer explained.   Another coincidence:  Pertty Music is from Jereme’s Jet second crop, and she is also My Metallica’s second foal.   “Jereme’s Jet was a trainer’s dream,” Harmer acknowledged. “I don’t think anybody could have messed him up, he was a no brainer. I qualified him and drove him in his first start. He was absolutely gorgeous, and all of his babies are gorgeous, and they’re all good gaited, smart, and pleasant. None of them are mean.”   Pertty Music raced ten times as a freshman, earning $24,056.  She took a mark of p, 2, 1:56.2 on Aug. 5, 2012 en route to winning a Balmoral overnight for driver Todd Warren.    “She was a perfect filly to train down; the kind of filly you dream about.  She did everything you asked her to do,” Harmer recalled. “I qualified her at Maywood as a freshman, and then sent her up to Canada to trainer Greg McNair.”   Pertty Music began her sophomore campaign by qualifying at Maywood on April 4, winning in 1:57 for driver John DeLong.  She won her first two starts in Balmoral overnighters with DeLong at the lines—in 1:53.12 (on April 20) and in a career best 1:52.1 (on April 27), before heading to Canada.   “She qualified well and had a couple of good wins before I sent her north to Greg (trainer McNair),” Harmer said. “She won her first start up there for him in 1:53, but after that really didn’t race was well as I was hoping. She’s never had a lameness problem of any kind, but just hasn’t been as good as I thought she’d be.”   Pertty Music has won four starts this season in 19 tries, with two seconds and two thirds, with $72,736 added to her coffers this season. Prior to finishing sixth in last Saturday’s $161,000 American National 3-Year-Old Filly Pace at Balmoral, she scored a 1:54 triumph for DeLong at the Crete one-miler in a conditioned test. Lifetime she’s amassed $97,792 from 29 starts.   “It’s really exceptional when you’ve raced both the parents of a youngster, and then you get the thrill of being the breeder, because you figured out the right combination,” Harmer admitted. “They, it becomes double-special when they turn out to be something that you’ve trained and driven, and gotten to the races.  It’s just a great feeling.”   by Kimbery Rinker for Maywood Park  

49 to 64 of 138