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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.

The first trotting stake of the 2014 season at Balmoral Park was contested on Sunday, April 13th as a compact field of five Illinois conceived and foaled three-year-old fillies battled in the $10,000 Trotting Tilly Stake. Using the inside post to her full advantage, the Robert Phillips owned and trained Vienna saved ground for most of the mile then split horses late to post a 1¼ length victory in 2:04.3 over a sloppy track. Perfectly handled by driver Kyle Wilfong, the daughter of Banderas Hall--Talcott Lori stayed inside as All Psyched Up (Robert Smolin) and Green Acres (Jon Anderson) took turns leading the field through splits of 32.3, 1:03 & 1:33.3.   Slipping to the outside behind a hard charging S V Spirit (John De Long) as the field turned for the money, Wilfong patiently waited for a seam to open between S V Spirit and Green Acres. With his filly responding perfectly, Wilfong then drilled Vienna between the two to rally for her first win of the year. S V Spirit was second while Green Acres held on for third.   The win was the third in 18 career starts for Vienna who despite being the leading career money earner in the field and having the inside post returned a healthy $19.80, $4.80 & $3.00 while upping her bankroll to $42,852.   Kyle Wilfong guided Vienna to her fourth career win in Sunday's $10,000 Trotting Tilly Stake at Balmoral Park. by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park

After posting win #999 in the final race on Saturday night at Balmoral Park, it did not take John De Long very long to reach the coveted 1,000 victory plateau as he guided Little Warriorette to victory in Sunday's (April 6th) third race, which was the first drive of the night for the 25-year-old resident of Clinton, Wisconsin.   Carving out a perfect two-hole trip with the Erin Elliott trained four-year-old, De Long roused a 28.3 final quarter from Little Warriorette as the mare went on to score in 1:56.3, knocking more than seven seconds off her previous career best.   De Long, who enjoyed his biggest year to date in 2013 when he posted 283 wins, 239 seconds and 235 thirds in 1789 starts with purse earnings of more than $1.9 million and a UDRS of .276 is off to another fast start this season with a .331 UDRS as he continues to rise through the driving ranks on the Chicago circuit.   The son of longtime horseman Jay De Long has been around horses his entire life working around the family's stable with younger brothers Austin, Ben and Eric for as long as he can remember. His first victory came in thrilling fashion as he guided West Bound Train to a nose victory in a track record time at the Keokuk County Fair at the age of 16.   After reaching the coveted milestone on Sunday night De Long took a moment to reflect on how far things have come in such a short time.   "Back when I won my first race I thought this would be a great thing do to as a hobby," said a beaming De Long. "But then it just gets in your blood and now I couldn't see myself doing anything but this."   Courteous as always and quick with a smile or a greeting, De Long in typical fashion wanted to be sure everyone else was acknowledged after Sunday's big night.   "I can't thank my family and friends enough for all their support throughout the years," said De Long who was joined by a large contingent in the winner's circle. "It's been a thrill and to get to a number like this is very gratifying. Without the support of all the horse owners and trainers who have used me to drive their horses something like this would never have been possible." by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park  

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

After opening his second season with two very impressive scores over "older open" company, Paula Smith and James Runyan's Fox Valley Deuce took his first crack at state-bred stakes company on Saturday night at Balmoral Park in the $10,000 Taurus Bomber Stake. The gelded son of Sportsmaster--Dodger Girl had no problem keeping his perfect slate intact as he cruised to an easy 4 ½ length score over five rivals in 1:56.1 for driver Casey Leonard. Hustled away from the outside post in the field of six, the Joel Smith trainee was parked through an opening quarter of 29.4. After grabbing command as the field straightened up onto the backstretch for Leonard, the issue was never really in doubt again as the good looking sophomore put up leisurely middle splits of 1:00.2 & 1:29.4.   Fit and fresh as he headed for the money Fox Valley Deuce finished off the mile in grand fashion, rattling off an eye opening 26.2 final split to make it three in a row in 2014. Orange & Blue winner Cotton Eyed Joe (Robert Smolin), who was making his sophomore debut, finished a fast closing second while Dune Dude (Dean Magee) turned in a solid try to rally for third.   With the win Fox Valley Deuce now boasts fives wins and a third in 18 lifetime starts with earnings of $28,147.   A trio of Newcomer Series finals were contested on Saturday night as well. The $7,800 Filly & Mare final was taken by Brett Wilfong's Chariots Afire (Jimmy Daniel) as she cruised to her second win in three starts this year. The home-bred daughter of Skydancer Hanover stopped the clock in 1:55.0. The $8,000 colt & gelding final was captured Nelson & Kay Willis's Shark Vision (Kyle Wilfong) as the royally-bred son of Cam's Cam Shark made it three in a row in 2014 while tripping the timer in 1:55.1.   On the trotting side of the docket, the Lester Banks owned, Steve Bauder trained Mary Queen (Dale Hiteman) was able to mind her manners again as she uncorked a big closing burst to knock off eight other diagonally gaited specialists in the $7,750 final of that series.The final time was a career best of 1:59.2.   There will be no live racing this Wednesday April 2, 2014 due to lack of entries.    By Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park

The 2014 stake schedules for both Balmoral and Maywood Park have been released by racing secretary Doc Narotsky. The action kicks off at Balmoral on March 29th with the Taurus Bomber Stake for Illinois conceived and foaled three-year-old pacing colts. Maywood’s stake season gets underway on Friday, April 11th with sophomore pacing colts slugging it out in the Sportsmaster Stake. The first “major” state-bred stake of the season will be contested on Sunday, May 18th with three-year-old pacing fillies squaring off in the $45,000 Violet Stake at Balmoral. There will also be Violet and Cardinal Stakes for Illinois conceived and foaled pacers and trotters on Sunday, May 25th, Wednesday, May 28th, and Saturday, May 31st at Balmoral Park. Maywood’s first big event of the season will be the $100,000 Filly Maywood Pace for ICF three-year-old fillies on Friday, June 13th.  The $100,000 Maywood Pace for ICF sophomore pacing colts will be held the following Friday, June 20th. . The first Hanover Stakes of the season at Balmoral Park will feature a pair of events for three-year-old trotters on Saturday, June 7th.    The Southland Festival of Racing will provide a weekend filled with state-bred action at Balmoral on Saturday, July 26th and Sunday, July 27th with pacers and trotters squaring off in $50,000 battles like the Mini Me Stake, Loyal Opposition Stake, Incredible Finale Stake, Ann Vonian Stake, Kadabra Stake, Fox Valley Evita Stake, Fox Valley Flan Stake and Plesac Stake. A pair of $50,000 Hanover’s for two-year-old colt and filly pacers are scheduled for Saturday, August 2nd at the Crete oval while a pair of $60,000 events for freshmen trotters will be contested on Sunday, August 3rd. Balmoral will also play host to Illinois’ biggest night of racing, Super Night, on Saturday, Sept. 13th.  As always, the state’s top pacers and trotters will be on display as they battle for more than $1 million in purse money. The prestigious American National’s kick off on Wednesday, Sept. 17th with a pair of $90,000 trotting stakes for two-year-olds. October will be a busy month for the youngsters as the $100,000 Lady Lincoln Stake for two-year-old trotting fillies takes place on Wednesday, Oct. 1st while their male counterparts battle in the $100,000 Lincoln Land Stake on Sunday, Oct. 5th Balmoral Park. Maywood will also host the $60,000 Cardinal and Violet Stakes for two-year-old colt and filly pacers on Friday, Oct. 3rd. If the last few years were any indication of things to come then racing fans throughout the country will want to circle Saturday, Oct. 11th and Friday, Oct. 17th, on their calendars as some of North America’s best pacers and trotters are expected to visit the Chicagoland area as Grand Circuit action comes to town. Balmoral Park will play host to the $250,000 three-year-old colt pace, $225,00 American National three-year-old colt trot, $200,000 American National Aged Pace, $180,000 aged trot, $175,000 American National three-year-old filly pace, $150,000 three-year-old filly trot, $125,000 two-year-old colt pace and $125,000 two-year-old filly pace approximately one month earlier than in recent years.    Maywood’s biggest card of the season is just six days later on Friday, Oct. 17th with the $225,000 Windy City Pace for three-year-old pacing colts, the $130,000 Abe Lincoln Stake for two-year-old pacing colts, the $110,00 Galt Trot for three-year-old trotting colts and the $100,000 Cinderella Stake for three-year-old pacing fillies sharing the spotlight. The $30,000 Associates-McKeever Stake for ICF pacers is also scheduled for that same night. Below is a complete list of both tracks entire stake schedules. All purse values are estimated. Date       Day Track A-S-G ICF Name Est Purse 3/29/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Taurus Bomber 10,000 4/5/2014 Sat Bal 3+p ICF Song Cycle 17,000 4/5/2014 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Direct Balance 10,000 4/11/2014 Fri May 3cp ICF Sportsmaster 10,000 4/13/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Trotting Tilly 10,000 4/16/2014 Wed Bal 3ct ICF Speedy Rodney 10,000 4/18/2014 Fri May 3fp ICF Desperate Lady 10,000 4/26/2014 Sat Bal 3+p ICF Rambling Willie 17,000 4/26/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Betzotic 10,000 4/27/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Koochie 10,000 4/30/2014 Wed Bal 3ct ICF Iggy Magoo 10,000 5/2/2014 Fri May 3cp ICF Taser Gun 10,000 5/3/2014 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Betzotic 10,000 5/11/2014 Sun Bal 3fp ICF Violet Eliminations 10,000 5/11/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Betzotic 10,000 5/14/2014 Wed Bal 3ct ICF Betzotic 10,000 5/16/2014 Fri May 3cp ICF Gosox 10,000 5/18/2014 Sun Bal 3fp ICF Violet 45,000 5/18/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Violet Eliminations 10,000 5/21/2014 Wed Bal 3ct ICF Cardinal Eliminations 10,000 5/24/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Cardinal Eliminations 10,000 5/25/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Violet 40,000 5/28/2014 Wed Bal 3ct ICF Cardinal 40,000 5/31/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Cardinal 45,000 6/1/2014 Sun Bal 2cp ICF Jimmy Sunshine 5,000 6/4/2014 Wed Bal 2fp ICF Egyptian Grande 5,000 6/5/2014 Thur May 3fp ICF Filly Maywood Pace Elim 10,000 6/7/2014 Sat Bal 3ct Hanover 35,000 6/7/2014 Sat Bal 3ft Hanover 35,000 6/8/2014 Sun Bal 2cp ICF Bingo Johnnie 5,000 6/11/2014 Wed Bal 2fp ICF Misty Misty Misty 5,000 6/13/2014 Fri May 3cp ICF Maywood Pace Elim 10,000 6/13/2014 Fri May 3fp ICF Filly Maywood Pace 100,000 6/14/2014 Sat Bal 3+p ICF Broadway Preview 30,000 6/14/2014 Sat Bal 3ct ICF Southern Rocketop 10,000 6/15/2014 Sun Bal 2cp ICF Wicked Brew 10,000 6/15/2014 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Million Dollar Bye 5,000 6/18/2014 Wed Bal 2fp ICF Incredible Tillie 10,000 6/18/2014 Wed Bal 2ft ICF Star Slinger 5,000 6/20/2014 Fri May 3cp ICF Maywood Pace 100,000 6/21/2014 Sat Bal f&m p ICF Sue Fee 20,000 6/22/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Betzotic 10,000 6/25/2014 Wed Bal 3ct ICF Betzotic 10,000 6/26/2014 Thur May 2fp ICF Juxtaposition 10,000 6/27/2014 Fri May 2cp ICF Enzo The Baker 10,000 6/28/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Betzotic 10,000 6/29/2014 Sun Bal 3fp ICF Mystical Victress 10,000 7/2/2014 Wed Bal 3ft ICF Sorce Ann 10,000 7/4/2014 Fri May 3+p ICF Cook County 30,000 7/5/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Hot Head 10,000 7/5/2014 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Ohyouprettything 10,000 7/6/2014 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Vaporize 10,000 7/9/2014 Wed Bal 2ct ICF Psychic Spirit 10,000 7/9/2014 Wed Bal 3ft ICF Fox Valley Diva 10,000 7/10/2014 Thur May 2fp ICF My Metallica 10,000 7/11/2014 Fri May 2cp ICF Fox Valley Barzgar 10,000 7/12/2014 Sat Bal 3cp Hanover 45,000 7/12/2014 Sat Bal 3fp Hanover 40,000 7/13/2014 Sun Bal 3ct ICF Brandenburg 10,000 7/19/2014 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Mini Me Elim 10,000 7/19/2014 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Loyal Opposition Elim 10,000 7/19/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Incredible Finale Elim 10,000 7/19/2014 Sat/Sun Bal 3ct ICF Kadabra Elim 10,000 7/19/2014 Sat/Sun Bal 3fp ICF Ann Vonian Elim 10,000 7/19/2014 Sat/Sun Bal 3ft ICF Fox Valley Evita Elim 10,000 7/20/2014 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Plesac Eliminations 10,000 7/20/2014 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Fox Valley Flan Elim 10,000 7/26/2014 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Mini Me 50,000 7/26/2014 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Loyal Opposition 50,000 7/26/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Incredible Finale 50,000 7/26/2014 Sat Bal 3ct ICF Kadabra 50,000 7/26/2014 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Ann Vonian 50,000 7/27/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Fox Valley Evita 50,000 7/27/2014 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Plesac 50,000 7/27/2014 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Fox Valley Flan 50,000 8/2/2014 Sat Bal 2cp Hanover 50,000 8/2/2014 Sat Bal 2fp Hanover 50,000 8/3/2014 Sun Bal 2ct Hanover 60,000 8/3/2014 Sun Bal 2ft Hanover 60,000 8/3/2014 Sun Bal 3+T ICF Mikes A Mystery 25,000 8/16/2014 Sat Bal 3+P ICF Big Tom 40,000 8/16/2014 Sat Bal f&m p ICF Parklane Powerful 40,000 8/29/2014 Fri May 3+p ICF Egyptian 30,000 9/6/2014 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Orange & Blue Elim 15,000 9/6/2014 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Filly O&B Eliminations 15,000 9/6/2014 Sat/Sn Bal 3+p ICF Tony Maurello Elim 15,000 9/6/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Pete Langley Mem Elim 15,000 9/6/2014 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Grandma Ann Elim 15,000 9/6/2014 Sat/Sn Bal f&m p ICF Lorna Propes Elim 15,000 9/7/2014 Sun Bal 3ct ICF Su Mac Lad Elim 15,000 9/7/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Lady Ann Reed Elim 15,000 9/10/2014 Wed Bal 2ct American National Elim 15,000 9/10/2014 Wed Bal 2ft American National Elim 15,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Orange & Blue Cons 25,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Orange & Blue 250,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Filly O&B Cons 25,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Filly O&B 225,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 3+p ICF Tony Maurello Cons 25,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 3+p ICF Tony Maurello 115,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Pete Langley Mem Cons 25,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Pete Langley Mem 170,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 3ct ICF Su Mac Lad 100,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Grandma Ann Cons 25,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Grandma Ann 170,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 3ft ICF Lady Ann Reed 100,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal f&m p ICF Lorna Propes Cons 25,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal f&m p ICF Lorna Propes 115,000 9/14/2014 Sun Bal 3ct ICF Su Mac Lad Cons 25,000Date Day Track A-S-G ICF Name Est Purse 9/14/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Lady Ann Reed Cons 25,000 9/17/2014 Wed Bal 2ct American National 90,000 9/17/2014 Wed Bal 2ft American National 90,000 9/20/2014 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Yates Eagle 15,000 9/20/2014 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Thrifty Way 15,000 9/24/2014 Wed Bal 2ft ICF Lady Lincoln Land Elim 15,000 9/26/2014 Fri May 2cp ICF Cardinal Elim 10,000 9/26/2014 Fri May 2fp ICF Violet Elim 10,000 9/27/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Bye Bye Byrd 15,000 9/28/2014 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Lincoln Land Elim 15,000 9/28/2014 Sun Bal 3fp ICF Direct Dottie 15,000 10/1/2014 Wed Bal 2ft ICF Lady Lincoln Land Cons 25,000 10/1/2014 Wed Bal 2ft ICF Lady Lincoln Land 100,000 10/1/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Betzotic 10,000 10/3/2014 Fri May 2cp ICF Cardinal 50,000 10/3/2014 Fri May 2fp ICF Violet 60,000 10/5/2014 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Lincoln Land 100,000 10/5/2014 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Lincoln Land Cons 25,000 10/11/2014 Sat Bal 2cp American National 125,000 10/11/2014 Sat Bal 2fp American National 125,000 10/11/2014 Sat Bal 3cp American National 250,000 10/11/2014 Sat Bal 3ct American National 225,000 10/11/2014 Sat Bal 3fp American National 175,000 10/11/2014 Sat Bal 3ft American National 150,000 10/11/2014 Sat Bal ap American National 200,000 10/11/2014 Sat Bal at American National 180,000 10/17/2014 Fri May 2cp Abe Lincoln 130,000 10/17/2014 Fri May 3+p ICF Associates-McKeever 30,000 10/17/2014 Fri May 3cp Windy City Pace 225,000 10/17/2014 Fri May 3ct Galt 110,000 10/17/2014 Fri May 3fp Cinderella 100,000 10/18/2014 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Beecher 10,000 10/19/2014 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Violet Elim 10,000 10/22/2014 Wed Bal 2ct ICF Cardinal Elim 10,000 10/26/2014 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Violet 40,000 10/26/2014 Sun Bal 3ct ICF Betzotic 10,000 10/29/2014 Wed Bal 2ct ICF Cardinal 40,000 10/30/2014 Thur May 3ft ICF Speed N The Tunnel 10,000 10/31/2014 Fri May 3cp ICF Betzotic 10,000 10/31/2014 Fri May 3fp ICF Giggles The Clown 10,000 11/1/2014 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Crete 10,000 11/2/2014 Sun Bal 2fp ICF Betzotic 10,000 11/2/2014 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Monee 10,000 11/5/2014 Wed Bal 2ct ICF Betzotic 10,000 11/6/2014 Thur May 3ct ICF Lifes A Holiday 10,000 11/14/2014 Thur May 3fp ICF Betzotic 10,000 11/15/2014 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Betzotic 10,000 11/21/2014 Fri May 3cp ICF Cole Muffler 10,000 11/22/2014 Sat Bal f&m p ICF Fox Valley Memory 15,000 by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral & Maywood Park

After yet another winter storm pounded the Chicagoland area and the south suburbs with another five to eight inches of snow Balmoral Park has announced that qualifying races originally scheduled for today (Wed. March 12th) have been canceled and will be re-scheduled for Thursday, March 13th at 9:30 a.m.   Additional horses may be added for the Thursday qualifiers if done in a timely fashion. For complete information visit www.balmoralpark.com by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park    

In advance of yet another expected winter storm that is expected to dump several inches of snow throughout the Chicagoland area throughout the early morning hours, Balmoral Park has announced that the starting time for Wednesday's (March 12th) qualifiers has been moved back to 2 p.m. (central).   A total of eight qualifying races are scheduled Wednesday, March 12th..   For complete information on both tracks visit www.maywoodpark.com and www.balmoralpark.com by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park

Balmoral Park has announced that Wednesday's (Jan. 29th) qualifiers have been cancelled due to the severe cold that continues to grip the region.   Balmoral will conduct qualifiers on Friday, Jan 31st. Entries for that qualifying day will close at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30th. Starting time for that day is scheduled for 10 a.m. (central).   Maywood Park will conduct qualifiers on Thursday, Jan. 30th. Entries will close at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 29th. Qualifiers will begin at 10 a.m. The first draw for the anticipated Wednesday, Feb. 5th start date at Balmoral Park will be held on Friday, Jan. 31st. A 45-day qualifying standard will be in effect at both ovals. For complete information on both tracks visit www.maywoodpark.com and www.balmoralpark.com by Tom Kelley for Balmoral and Maywood Park  

Balmoral Park has announced in advance of another impending "Polar Vortex" that the first of two qualifying days, originally scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 28th, will now be moved to Wednesday, Jan. 29th due to the extreme cold that is expected to grip the region early next week. The starting time will also be moved back to noon (central) for the Wednesday, Jan. 29th qualifiers and entries will now be due by Tuesday, Jan. 28th at 10 a.m. (central). Balmoral will also conduct qualifiers on Friday, Jan 31st. Entries for that qualifying day will close at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30th. Starting time for that day is still scheduled for 10 a.m. (central).   Maywood Park will conduct qualifiers on Thursday, Jan. 30th. Entries will close at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 29th. Qualifiers will begin at 10 a.m. The first draw for the anticipated Wednesday, Feb. 5th start date at Balmoral Park will be held on Friday, Jan. 31st. A 45-day qualifying standard will be in effect at both ovals. For complete information on both tracks visit www.maywoodpark.com and www.balmoralpark.com by Tom Kelley for Balmoral Park  

Racing Secretary "Doc" Narotsky has announced qualifying dates for both Balmoral Park and Maywood Park in anticipation of a February 5th starting date to kick off the 2014 harness season in the Prairie State. Balmoral Park will hold qualifiers on Tuesday, Jan. 28th and Friday, Jan 31st. Entries for each qualifying date will close at 10 a.m. the day prior to each qualifying date. Starting time for both days will be 10 a.m. as well. Maywood Park will conduct qualifiers on Thursday, Jan. 30th. Entries will close at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 29th. Qualifiers will begin at 10 a.m. The first draw for the anticipated Wednesday, Feb. 5th start date at Balmoral Park will be held on Friday, Jan. 31st. A 45-day qualifying standard will be in effect at both ovals. For complete information on both tracks including the continuing Meadowlands Handicapping contest taking place at Maywood Park and the Illinois O.T.B.'s visit www.maywoodpark.com and www.balmoralpark.com by Tom Kelley for Balmoral & Maywood Park  

Cal Expo will be backup host track if Meadowlands can't go

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

After a day off to celebrate the Christmas holiday, the Chicago racing circuit gets back in action on Thursday, Dec. 26th and the 10 cent Pick 6 wager at Maywood Park could give players a chance to make a nice score heading into the New Year. The 10 cent wager went unclaimed last Thursday, (Dec. 19) & Friday, (Dec. 20th) so there will be a two-day carryover of $2,789 for tonight's action. With the help of Maywood Park management and the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative, Maywood Park will offer a guaranteed Pick 6 pool of $7,500 on Thursday, Dec. 26th. Once again the Pick 6 can be played for as little as a .10 cent investment giving all gamblers, regardless of the size of the their bankrolls, a chance to play for a nice payday tonight. There will also be a $7,500 guaranteed Pick 4 pool on races 10-13 this evening. Handicappers across North America can get a head start on their competition with free 12 line program pages for the guaranteed pools courtesy of the USTA Strategic Wagering Initiative and Track Master on the handicapping section at www.ustrotting.com. Post time for the opener on Thursday, Dec. 26th at Maywood Park is 7:10 p.m. (central) and the fifth race, which kicks off the guaranteed pool action in the Pick 6, is expected to go sometime around 8:30 p.m. (central). by Tom Kelley for Maywood Park      

Balmoral Park will offer a guaranteed Pick 5 pool of $30,000 on Sunday, December 22nd. Because the 50 cent minimum wager was not hit on Saturday, December 21st, a carryover of $4,860 will be added to Sunday's wagering pool. The popular low cost Pick 5 wager is offered on races 2 thru 6 each racing night. In addition to the Pick 5 guarantee fans will have a chance to walk away with a big payday later in the night as Balmoral will also offer a $25,000 guaranteed pool on their $1 Pick 4 wager. The Pick 4, which is on races 7-10 on Sunday night features a low takeout of just 15%. Handicappers across North America can get a head start on their competition with free 12 line program pages for the guaranteed pools courtesy of the USTA Strategic Wagering Initiative and Track Master on the handicapping section at www.ustrotting.com. Post time for Sunday's opener at Balmoral is 7:10 pm (central). With Balmoral being closed on Wednesday, Dec. 25th for the Christmas Holiday this will be your last chance to grab some Holiday cash! by Tom Kelley for Balmoral Park  

A pair of carryover pools and a low 15% take-out on the $1 Pick 4 wager at Balmoral Park created a nice spike in handle on Wednesday, Dec. 18th at Balmoral Park.   The total handle for the 10-race card was $841,102, up more than $115,000 from the two previous Wednesday programs at the Crete oval.   The final pool on the $1 Pick 4 was a whopping $135,375 while the 10 cent Hi-Five wager generated more than $53,000 in money through the windows.   Below is a breakdown of the Pick 4 and the advantage that players throughout the country were more than happy to take advantage of.   PICK FOUR SYNOPSIS   NEW MONEY $ 107,138 CARRYOVER $ 28,237 FINAL POOL $ 135,375   15% TAKEOUT WEDNESDAY $ 16,070   NET POOL $ 119,305   MINUS NEW MONEY $ 107,138   EQUALS SURPLUS $ 12,167   IN OTHER WORDS, AFTER ALL WEDNESDAY PICK FOUR BETS WERE MADE, THE NEW MONEY OF $107,138 WAS PLAYING FOR $119,305.   PLAYER ADVANTAGE 11.3 PER CENT   ONE DOLLAR PAYOUT $ 496.50   WIN PRICES 6.00 4.60 10.40 9.20   $2 PARLAY 330.10 $1 PARLAY 165.05 LESS THAN ONE THIRD OF THE $1 PICK FOUR PAYOUT   HORSEPLAYERS ----- KNOW THE GAME UNDERSTAND THE INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITIES IN RACING THAT MATHEMATICS CREATES.      

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