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Illinois conceived and foaled trotters and pacers were back in the spotlight on Saturday night at Balmoral Park as the Crete plant played host to four stakes or consolations for Super Night participants as part of the big 13-race harness racing program.   Freshmen pacing fillies kicked off the action with a field of nine going postward in the $13,900 Thrifty Way Stake.   Avenging a pair of recent tough trips that led to sub-par efforts Quaid Racing's Angel Demon came steamrolling down the center of the track to record a 3 ½ length victory in a career best of 1:54.2 for driver John De Long.   Saving ground the entire way, the daughter of Sportsmaster--Miss Swift appeared to be hopelessly shuffled out of contention before De Long managed to shake loose from the pylons.   Storming down the center of the track Angel Demon blew right by a leg weary Girls Hunt Too to pick up her first career victory. Longshot Desi Dune (Todd Warren) turned in a nice effort to finish second while Girls Hunt Too was third.   Now in the barn of conditioner Erin Elliott, Angel Demon returned $5.00, $3.60 & $3.40 while pushing her bankroll to $48,113.   Trotters were next to hit the track as a field of seven diagonally gaited three-year-old fillies battled in the $20,000 Lady Ann Reed Consolation.   Making amends for her costly break in the rich Super Night final of this event, Donald Huddleston's Macie Rae was on her best behavior as she made every call a winning one, reporting home by 4 ¾ lengths in 1:57.1.   With trainer Mike Rogers climbing into the bike for this battle the daughter of Powerful Emotion--Fox Valley Poetry stormed right to the front, putting up splits of 29.1, 58.1 & 1:27.0.   After opening up a big lead at the top of the stretch, Rogers let his filly drift a bit through the stretch and she responded beautifully to that careful handling as she widened her margin while notching her 11th victory in 15 starts this season. Bands Alexis (Todd Warren) tried to follow the winner's every move but was forced to settle for a runner-up role while Fox Valley Skylar (Dale Hiteman) finished third.   Heavily backed off her sparkling record Macie Rae returned just $2.80, $2.80 & $2.20 while upping her career earnings to $89,520 with career win number 19.   Freshmen pacing colts jumped into the fray with a field of nine youngsters battling in the $13,900 Yates Eagle Stake.   Taking advantage of a perfect two-hole trip, Fox Valley Elijah came rolling through the passing lane to win by 1 ½ lengths in a career best of 1:54.2.   Perfectly positioned by driver Todd Warren, the gelded son of Sportsmaster--Eternal Gift had all the best of it while C Note (Travis Seekman) carved out splits of 29.0, 58.3 & 1:27.0.   Fit and fresh off that journey the Nelson Willis trainee gradually wore down the pace setter, drawing clear in the shadow of the wire for his second lifetime win for the partnership of Kay Willis, Engel Stable Of Illinois and Haugen Stables. C Note held on gamely to finish second while Casey At Bat (Dean Magee) found room late to rally for the show dough.   Part of a Willis owned entry Fox Valley Elijah returned $9.60, $4.20 & $4.00 while moving his bankroll to $15,890.   Last but not least were sophomore pacing colts as a field of nine three-year-olds squared off in the $22,400 Pete Langley Memorial Consolation. This race provided the biggest shocker of the night as 19-1 longshot Fox Valley Cupid parlayed a perfect trip into a thrilling nose decision in a career best of 1:52.3.   Hustled off the wings of the gate by Robert Smolin the gelded son of Yankee Skyscaper--Fox Valley Cherub landed in the garden spot right on the back of favored Uncle Ugly as that one put up hot splits of 26.3, 55.1 & 1:23.2.   Moving into the passing lane the Mike Schulfer trainee gradually wore down the favorite and then held on for dear life as Overloaded (Kyle Wilfong) came flying late to just miss. The other half of that Tom Simmons trained entry; Fox Valley Van (Dale Hiteman) was a fast closing third.   The win was just the second in a 34-race career for Fox Valley Cupid who has still managed to earn a "cool" $115,830 for owner James Strazlka, Mike Schulfer, James Skvarla and Nancy Magnus. Those lucky enough to back the bay sophomore were rewarded with mutuels of $40.80, $12.80 & $5.80.   Saturday's 50 cent Pick 5 wager was not hit so there will be a carryover of $6,168 added to Sunday's pool. Thus, there will now be a GUARANTEED POOL OF $50,000 for Sunday's Pick 5 wager. The Pick 5 is contested on races 2-6 on Sunday's.   Past performances courtesy of Trackmaster for the 50 Cent Pick 5 and the $1 Pick with its $25,000 guaranteed pool can be found at ustrotting.com   Tom Kelley  

Fresh off a game wire to wire win in her career debut, the Peter Dora owned and trained Lyrics Fall made it two in a row to open what looks like a promising career as the speedy youngster knocked off five other Illinois conceived and foaled two-year-old pacing fillies by 2¾ lengths in the $10,000 Juxtaposition Stake on Thursday night at Maywood Park. The final time was 1:57.2. Hustled off the gate from post position four by driver Casey Leonard the daughter of Yankee Skyscaper--Fall Colors led the field through an opening quarter in 28.3. After relinquishing the lead to a hard charging BS Tyrichess (Brian Carpenter) as the field moved by the half in 57.4, Leonard did not wait long before sending his filly back to the front, charging by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:28.1 with a 1 ¾ length advantage. Comfortably in front of their rivals around the final bend and into the stretch, the $1,800 yearling purchased looked like a "million bucks" as she cruised home with her second win in as many tries while under no pressure whatsoever. Duneside Splash (Travis Seekman) finished second while Gracie On My Mind (John De Long) rallied to finish third. Sent off as the odds on choice after the win in her debut, Lyrics Fall returned $3.60 $2.20 & $2.10 while moving her bankroll up to $10,000 for her owner-trainer. by Tom Kelley, for Maywood Park

Continuing to show that he is going to be a force to be reckoned with among this seasons ICF three-year-old colt pacing set Paymaq Racing's Uncle Ugly turned Friday's $92,000 Maywood Pace into nothing more than a stroll in the park as he cruised to a beautiful five-length victory in 1:53.3 for driver John De Long. Gunned away from post position five by De Long, the gelded son of Yankee Skyscaper---Yankee Blue took an early tuck behind longshot Fox Valley Cupid (Robert Smolin) before looping that rival as the two sped by an opening quarter in a brisk 27.1. "I was a little surprised that horse (Fox Valley Cupid) was able to get away from the gate as quickly as he did," said De Long. "I never anticipated having to take an early tuck but I knew that horse was a longshot and I wanted to be in control of things so I waited for things to settle down just a bit then just sent my horse back on his way." Rolling along through the heavy humid air Uncle Ugly proceeded to put up middle splits of 55.2 & 1:23.3 while his rivals struggled to maintain a deteriorating outer flow. After turning aside a first over bid from PQ Three (Ryan Anderson) and watching the overwhelming 1-2 favorite Unlocked (Dave Magee) make a break while trying to move up three-wide, De Long and Uncle Ugly began to draw away from the pocket sitting Fox Valley Cupid as the field moved into the final turn. "I was a little nervous heading into that last turn because I knew some of Erv's (Miller) other horses were still looming out there but my horse just picked up the bit again and really started to dig in," said a smiling De Long. Dig in he did, quickly sprinting away from the rest of the field as he left no doubt as to who was the best on this night while cruising under the wire with his fifth win in 10 lifetime starts. Fox Valley Cupid, the 28-1longshot did well to hold on for second while Beach Boy Brody (Casey Leonard) overcame a miscue at the half-mile mark to rally for the show dough. The second choice in the wagering, Uncle Ugly returned $4.80 & $4.80. Show wagering was not allowed on the race. Unraced as a two-year-old, Uncle Ugly, who was a $19,000 yearling purchase now boasts a record of five wins, two seconds and two thirds in 10 starts with earnings of $84,012 while under the watchful eye of trainer Erv Miller. by Tom Kelley, for Maywood Park

Illinois conceived and foaled freshmen shared top billing on Wednesday, June 18th at Balmoral Park as a pair of events once again showcased both pacers and trotters from the state-bred ranks. A full field of 10 two-year-old pacing fillies were dropped into the box for the $10,000 Incredible Tillie Stake. With a wicked lighting storm approaching the Crete oval, which eventually wound up delaying the races right after the finish of this event, Peter Dora's Lyrics Fall turned in an electrifying effort scoring by a neck in wire to wire fashion while stopping the clock in 1:56.2 over a "good" racetrack. Speeding away from post position six for driver Ronnie Gillespie, the bay daughter of Yankee Skyscaper--Fox Valley Evelyn put up splits of 29.2, 59.0 & 1:28.3 while rolling along unchallenged on the front end. After opening up a four-length advantage by the mid-stretch call the $1,800 yearling purchase was all out to hold off the late charge of Gracie On My Mind (Dave Magee) who came flying home in 27.1 to finish second. Fox Valley Redhead (Dean Magee) also uncorked a big late move to wind up third. A field of six trotting fillies went postward in the $5,000 Star Slinger Stake and when the smoke cleared it was Cynthia Demarlie & Jason Ward's Bi Polar Rose who emerged victorious, scoring by 1 ½ lengths in 2:02.0 over a track listed as "good". Sent right to the top by Travis Seekman the daughter of Polar Winner--I Still Owe rattled off splits of 31.2, 1:03.3 & 1:33.1. After repelling a first over bid from Fox Valley Macy (Ronnie Gillespie) at the top of the lane, the Rod Allums Jr. trained miss trotted home in a sharp 28.4 to make her debut a winning one. Persuasive Look (Dave Magee) overcame a miscue behind the gate to rally for the bridesmaid spot while Patient I D (Dale Hiteman) followed the winner's every move while garnering the show dough.   Bi Polar Rose made her debut a winning one as she scored in wire to wire fashion for Travis Seekman in Wednesday's Star Slinger Stake.   Lyrics Fall (inside) held off a late bid from Gracie On My Mind (outside) to take the $10,000 Incredible Tillie Stake for 2yo pacing fillies in her career debut.   by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park

Despite getting off to a nice start in her sophomore season Paula Smith, Lucas Smith, James Runyan and Kathleen O’Neill’s Fox Valley Amanda was a bit overlooked at the betting windows in Friday’s $89,000 Filly Maywood Pace for ICF three-year-olds. The home-bred harness racing filly wound up making her “doubters” pay though as she parlayed a perfect pocket sitting trip into a half-length victory in a career best of 1:55.1 with Dale Hiteman at the controls.   Taking advantage of post position two, Hiteman positioned the daughter of Yankee Skyscaper—Thongundrcolrsoops right on the back of My Little Bit (Casey Leonard) as that filly led the field through splits of 27.3, 56.4 & 1:25.1. After being softened up by a first over bid from Molly Go Lightly (Ryan Anderson), a game but leg weary My Little Bit could not hold off the open stretch move of Fox Valley Amanda as she powered home in 29.3 to post her fourth win in nine starts this season. My Little Bit held to be the bridesmaid while Molly Go Lightly finished third, three-lengths behind the top filly. Dispatched as the 5-1 third choice in the wagering the Joel Smith trained Fox Valley Amanda returned $12.80, $3.60 & $2.20 while running her career record to 5-7-3 with earnings of nearly $139,000. State-bred pacing colts were in action as well on Friday night as a field of eight squared off in a Maywood Pace elimination. The top seven finishers will be back next Friday (June 20) to join Unlocked in one of tracks signature events. Despite a tough trip Megan Rogers Stables Beach Boy Brody posted an impressive 2 ¼ length victory for driver Dave Magee in 1:53.1. He will be joined in the final by Uncle Ugly, PQ Three, R Duneshine, Fox Valley Cupid, Fox Valley Van and Traffic Cop. The 20 cent Pick 6 wager went unclaimed for a third straight card so thanks to a carryover of $4,283 there will be a Guaranteed Pool of $15,000 for Thursday, June 19th. Tom Kelley

Living up to his status as the even-money favorite, Paymaq Racing's Uncle Ugly made it look pretty in Saturday's $48,100 Cardinal Stake Final for ICF three-year-old pacing colts at Balmoral Park as he cruised to a 2 ¾ length victory in 1:51.2 for driver John De Long.   Zipped away from post position seven by De Long, the gelded son of Yankee Skyscaper--Yankee Blue was under wraps as he led the field through splits of 27.1, 55.2 & 1:23.0.   "Erv (Miller) told me earlier in the day not to be afraid to leave with him because he was really sharp right now," said De Long. "Once I got him to the top he relaxed perfectly for me through the middle half-mile of the race and he was ready to go again when I asked him at the top of the stretch."   With stablemate PQ Three (Ryan Anderson) making a bid at the pace-setter as the field turned for home Uncle Ugly set sail for the wire finishing up the mile in grand fashion as he paced home in 28.2 for his fourth win in eight career starts. Fox Valley Deuce (Casey Leonard), the early season leader among this set, parlayed a nice ground saving trip into a second place check while longshot Fox Valley Van (Brian Carpenter) rallied to finish third.   After the victory De Long was still singing the praises of his charge who was unraced as a two-year-old.   "He's still a little green at times and doesn't even realize just how fast he's going or how easy he's doing it," explained De Long. "He's learning pretty quickly though and when he gets it all figured out he's going to be a pretty serious race horse."   Uncle Ugly looked beautiful to his backers returning $4.00, $2.40 & $2.40 while running his record to 4-1-2 in 8 starts with earnings of $34,856. 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 Harness Racing Museum thanks the donors and bidders for a successful auction. The following breedings not receiving appropriate bids, as well as newly received services, are still available. Interested parties, who have not booked their mares, are urged to contact the Museum at 845-294-6330 or email Joanne Young at development@harnessmuseum.com. Some stallions have more than one breeding available. TROTTERS are indicated with upper case CAPS. DE -Dream Away IL - Yankee Skyscaper IN - Allthatgltrsisgold, Panspacificflight MD - CHARLIE DEVIE, Holy Guacamolie, Nuclear Breeze, Totally Western, Up Front Charlie NY - CONWAY COURT, Deweycheatumnhowe, Lislea, Lucky Chucky, Panther Hanover, Riverboat King, Village Jove OH - BREAK THE BANK K, COLIE'S, Manhardt, Northern Kid, Powerful Toy ON - Angus Hall, Classic Card Shark PA - Lear Jetta, Sierra Kosmos, Tom Ridge, Tuffofthetoughest From the Harness Racing Museum

The Harness Racing Museum would like to thank all of the donors and bidders for a successful stallion breeding auction. Due to several newly received services, as well as some breedings that did not receive appropriate bids, the following is a list of stallions that are still available. TROTTERS are indicated with upper case CAPS.   Delaware - Cr Commando, Dream Away Illinois - Yankee Skyscaper Indiana - Allthatgltrsisgold, GUCCIO, Panspacificflight Maryland - CHARLIE DE VIE, FOUR STARZ ROBRO, GROTON HALL, Holy Guacamolie, Nuclear Breeze, Totally Western, Up Front Charlie New York - Conway Hall, Deweycheatumnhowe, Lislea, Lucky Chucky, Panther Hanover, Riverboat King Ohio - COLIE'S, Manhardt, Northern Kid, Powerful Toy, Valley Victor, Woodstock Ontario - Angus Hall, Artistic Fella, Badlands Hanover, Classic Card Shark Pennsylvania - Lear Jetta, Sierra Kosmos, Tom Ridge, Tuffofthetoughest   In addition, the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is proud to offer a newly acquired breeding to GUCCIO as part of our stallion breeding auction. This is a unique opportunity as his book is sure to be full and closed very shortly.   The world champion and million-dollar winning trotter Guccio 4,1:51.1f ($1,021,809) begins stud duty at Victory Hill Farm, one of the leading farms in Indiana. He will stand for a fee of $5,000 for the 2014 breeding season.   Income raised by the stallion auction, nearly $540,000 over the past 15 years, supports the Museum's General Operating Fund. It helps to ensure quality services, special exhibitions, traveling exhibits, promotional support and educational programming for children and adults. Our efforts also help to encourage new owners and fans!   For additional information on the auction, to donate breedings, or to receive a complete list of stallions and conditions for bidding, please contact Joanne Young at 845.294.6330, development@harnessmuseum.com or visit www.harnessmuseum.com, where updates will also be posted. Some stallions have more than one breeding available.   The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is located at 240 Main Street in Goshen, N.Y. and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last tour 4 p.m.). Thanks to USTA support, the Museum is currently offering free admission for walk-in visitors and group docent-guided tours at a minimal charge per person.   From the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame  

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 --The Harness Racing Museum urges breeders to take advantage of the exceptional roster of stallions for the 2014 breeding auction.Bidding ends this Saturday, February 15, 2014 at noon Eastern.   This year's list includes Hall of Fame inductees Camluck (2008) standing in Ontario and Cam's Card Shark* (2007) in Pennsylvania.   By state and gait Ohio's trotting sires are Break The Bank K, Colie's, Dejarmbro, Northern Kid, Triumphant Caviar and Valley Victor. Ohio pacing sires are Feelin Friskie, Manhardt, Powerful Toy, Shark Gesture, Stand Forever, Three Olives, Woodstock and Yankee Cruiser*.   Pennsylvania trotters available for service are Lear Jetta, Sierra Kosmos and Tom Ridge*, and pacers Cam's Card Shark*, Ponder, Real Artist and Tuffofthetoughest.   New York is represented by trotting sires Conway Hall and Lucky Chucky. The pacing ranks consist of Lislea, Panther Hanover, Riverboat King*, Rockincam, So Surreal and Village Jove*.   Maryland trotters available are Charlie De Vie, Four Starz Robro, Groton Hall and Holy Guacamolie. Pacing stallions are Nuclear Breeze, The Fraternity Pan, Totally Western and Up Front Charlie. Ontario is represented by the trotting sire Angus Hall and pacing stallions Artistic Fella, Badlands Hanover, Camluck and Classic Card Shark. Indiana offers pacers Allthatgltrsisgold, Always A Virgin*, He's Gorgeous and Panspacificflight.Delaware provides trotter Cr Commando and pacing sire Dream Away. Illinois provides pacing sire Yankee Skyscaper.   Income raised by the auction, nearly $540,000 over the past 15 years, supports the Museum's General Operating Fund. It helps to ensure quality services, special exhibitions, traveling exhibits, promotional support and educational programming for children and adults. Our efforts also help to encourage new owners and fans!   For additional information on the auction, or to receive a complete list of stallions and conditions for bidding, please contact Joanne Young at 845.294.6330, development@harnessmuseum.com or visitwww.harnessmuseum.com. More than one breeding is available for horses marked with an (*)   Bids must be postmarked by February 15, 2014.   The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is located at 240 Main Street in Goshen, N.Y. and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last tour 4 p.m.). Thanks to USTA support, the Museum is currently offering free admission for walk-in visitors and group docent-guided tours at a minimal charge per person. For additional information about the Museum, its membership program, special events and educational programs please call 845.294.6330 or visit www.harnessmuseum.com. From the Harness Racing Museum    

The Harness Racing Museum is pleased to announce an exceptional roster of stallions for the 2014 breeding auction. This year's list includes Hall of Fame inductees Camluck (2008) and Cam's Card Shark (2007).   By state and gait Ohio's trotting sires are Break The Bank K, Colie's, Dejarmbro and Northern Kid. The pacing gait is represented by Feelin Friskie, Manhardt, Powerful Toy, Stand Forever, Three Olives, Woodstock and Yankee Cruiser.   Pennsylvania trotters available for service are Lear Jetta, Sierra Kosmos and Tom Ridge, with pacers Cam's Card Shark, Ponder, Real Artist and Tuffofthetoughest.   New York is represented by the trotting sire Lucky Chucky and the pacing sires are Lislea, Panther Hanover, Riverboat King, Rockincam, So Surreal and Village Jove.   Maryland trotters available are Charlie De Vie, Four Starz Robro, Groton Hall and Holy Guacamolie, while Nuclear Breeze, The Fraternity Pan, Totally Western and Up Front Charlie are pacing stallions offered.   Ontario is represented by the trotting sire Angus Hall and pacing stallions Artistic Fella, Badlands Hanover, Camluck and Classic Card Shark.   Indiana offers pacers Allthatgltrsisgold, Always A Virgin, He's Gorgeous and Panspacificflight.   Delaware provides trotter Cr Commando and pacing sire Dream Away.   Illinois provides pacing sire Yankee Skyscaper.   Income raised by the auction, nearly $540,000 over the past 15 years, supports the Museum's General Operating Fund. It helps to ensure quality services, special exhibitions, traveling exhibits, promotional support and educational programming for children and adults. Our efforts also help to encourage new owners and fans!   For additional information on the auction, to donate breedings, or to receive a complete list of stallions and conditions for bidding, please contact Joanne Young at 845.294.6330, development@harnessmuseum.com or visit www.harnessmuseum.com, where updates will also be posted. Bids must be postmarked by February 15 , 2014.   The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is located at 240 Main Street in Goshen, N.Y. and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last tour 4 p.m.). Thanks to USTA support, the Museum is currently offering free admission for walk-in visitors and group docent-guided tours at a minimal charge per person. For additional information about the Museum, its membership program, special events and educational programs please call 845.294.6330 or visit www.harnessmuseum.com.   Submitted by the Harness Racing Museum    

Hinsdale, IL --- The Mike Brink Stable’s King Mufasa, who dominated last season’s 3-year-old ICF colt and gelding trotting division, was named the 2013 Illinois Horse of the Year at last Saturday’s USTA District 5 awards banquet in Springfield. The son of Powerful Emotion, out of the Muscles Yankee mare Foxy N Diamonds, joined Brink after a modest 2-year-old campaign where he won two of eight starts and banked under $10,000 for owners H H Wright and Mystical Marker Farms. King Mufasa was absolutely sensational under the care of Brink, winning every major Illinois bred stake -- including the $50,800 Cardinal, the $51,000 Kadabra, both State Fair crowns at Springfield and Du Quoin and the $124,000 Su Mac Lad on Super Night -- along with open added money triumphs in Balmoral Park’s $37,000 Hanover and the $31,000 Circle City at Hoosier Park. At one time King Mufasa rattled off 12 consecutive victories when he earned $238,590 racing out of Brink’s barn. And to the surprise of many, the ICF star wasn’t sold out east after his huge season and will be back to campaign in Illinois and Indiana in 2014. “His owners like him so well that they didn’t want to put him in a sale. They’re letting me race him in the Midwest for another year,” said Brink, who turned 61 earlier this month. The veteran Springfield based conditioner concluded his most successful year in 2013 with career highs in winners (68) and money earned ($717,414) from his barn. King Mufasa was also voted the Illinois 3-year-old champion male trotter. Other sophomore division winners honored at the banquet were Mystical Walter (1:50, $195,259) as the male pacer for owners Paymaq Racing, D & M Trading of Illinois and Mystical Marker Farms; Auniqueaquistion (1:52.2, $249,235), owned by John Carver and Dandy Farms Inc., as the pacing filly; and Trot Fudge Sundae as the top trotting filly for the Illinois trio of James Bafia, Gene White and Sam Daddono. The 2013 ICF freshmen divisional champions were PQ Three (1:50, $111,899), owned by Obermeier & Quaid Stables as the male pacer; Thesleazyprincess (1:54, $159,615), owned and bred by the Marty Engel Stable of Illinois as the filly pacer; Jerry’s Graham’s Photo Surprise (1:57, $96,825) as the male trotter; and Bailey’s Wish (1:59, $112,710), co-owned by Illinoisans James Bafia and Gene White, as the top filly trotter. John Prentice and Neva Jane Ikeler’s Fort Silky (1:49.3, $269,075) took ICF older horse pacer honors. Jesse De Long’s Let’s Go Higher (1:50.3, $198,236) was the older mare pacing winner. Randall Bendis’ Zumba Mouse (1:54, $103,474) was best among the older trotting mares and Run And Tell Pap (1:53.2, $126,510) took the top spot for older trotting horses for owners Burke Racing LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The state’s 2013 champion pacing stallion was Yankee Skyscaper while Powerful Emotion was named the trotting stallion division titleholder. Shesoluvabull was voted the champion pacing broodmare for a second consecutive year while Just Having Fin took that honor in the trotting broodmare division. District 5 Director and Chairman Sam Lilly was the Master of Ceremonies at the well-attended banquet and dinner where USTA Executive Vice-President Mike Tanner was a special guest. by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

The Cardinal Final looked to be a wide open race and it turned out to be just that as Z Tam Stables, Mike Polansky and Joe & Dave Mc Caffrey’s Ringo’s Z Tam came flying down the stretch to win by a half-length in 1:56.0 at odds of 8-1.   Content to sit at the back of the pack in the field of eight as Traffic Cop (Todd Warren) carved out splits of 27.1, 57.1 & 1:26.2 driver Casey Leonard had the son of Yankee Skyscaper—Rons Girl underway in a live outer flow as the field headed into the final bend.   Circling rivals while following the cover of I Bizel The Shizel (John De Long), Ringo’s Z Tam blew by the field as the speed collapsed, charging home in 28.3 to notch his third win in eight lifetime starts. I Bizel The Shizel finished a hard knocking second while One Sure Apache (Mike Oosting) was third after being first over for the final five-eighths of a mile.   Overlooked at windows despite being coupled in the wagering with Manny’s Z Tam, Ringo’s Z Tam returned a healthy $18.00, $5.80 & $2.80 while upping his bankroll to $39,654.   In the Violet Stake favored Molly Go Lightly shook off constant pressure and held firm through the lane to win by a half-length in a quick 1:54.4 for Jim Jesk’s Sawgrass Farms.   Taking advantage of the inside starting spot driver Mike Oosting whisked the daughter of Lexington Legend—Waggle right to the front but was confronted with immediate pressure from a hard leaving My Little Bit (Casey Leonard).   With the two fillies battling tooth and nail through opening splits of 28.0 & 56.1 Molly Go Lightly finally put away the challenge from her main nemesis as the field headed for the three-quarter-mile mark.   Drawing away from the rest of the field as she stormed by that mark in 1:25.3, the Nelson Willis trainee then held firm to the wire as a ground saving Fox Valley Amanda (Dale Hiteman) came charging through the passing lane. Party Hangover Two (John De Long) was a distant third, five lengths behind the winner.   The victory was the fourth in 11 starts for Molly Go Lightly who now boasts $44,895 in career earnings. The 4-5 choice of the betting public returned $3.80, $2.80 & $2.40.    by Tom Kelley for Maywood Park  

The red-hot combination of trainer Perry Smith and driver Mike Oosting clicked again for Sawgrass Farms LLC as the trio combined to get Fox Valley Norman home with a 1½ length victory in Saturday’s $13,900 Bye Bye Byrd Stake. The final time was a career best of 1:51.2 for the three-year-old gelding. Leaving alertly from post seven for Oosting the son of Yankee Skyscaper—Lake Hills Nan settled in third as Drunk On You (Dave Magee) led the field an opening quarter in 27.3. With the action continuing to heat up on the backstretch Oosting maneuvered his charge to the outside where they began to carve into the advantage of Fox Valley Action (Todd Warren) as that sophomore put up middle splits of 55.1 &1:23.4. Through the stretch a determined Fox Valley Norman eventually wore down the pace setter, sealing the deal with a 27.2 final quarter to post his third win in 19 starts this season. Silver Devil (Casey Leonard) rallied late to finish second while Fox Valley Action held on for third. Sent off at 8-1 by the betting public Fox Valley Norman returned $18.20, $5.40 & $3.40 while upping his career bankroll to $74,708. David Baum   

Illinois’ two-year-old crop of pacers were in action on Friday, Sept. 27th at Maywood Park as freshmen fillies battled in two Violet Stake eliminations while their male counterparts slugged it out in a pair of Cardinal Stake eliminations.     With a total of 12 fillies dropped into the box for the Violet eight spots were available for the $48,000 final.   In the first division Obermeier & Quaid Stables My Little Bit made every call a winning one as she cruised to a one-length victory in 1:55.2 for driver Casey Leonard.   Storming right to the front from post three the Erv Miller trained miss carved out splits of 28.1, 56.4 & 1:26.0 while holding her rivals at bay for her fifth win in 10 career starts. Party Hangover Two (John De Long) parlayed a perfect pocket sitting trip into a second place finish while Filly Orange & Blue winner Thesleazyprincess (Mike Oosting) finished third after being forced to make a three-wide sweep as the field headed to the half-mile mark. Green Valey was a distant fourth.   The favorite prevailed in the second division as well as Sawgrass Farms Molly Go Lightly exploded out of the pocket on the final turn and then rolled to a convincing four-length victory in 1:55.4 for leading driver Mike Oosting.   After sitting right on the back of Fox Valley Shiver (Todd Warren) as that filly showed the way through fractions of 28.2, 58.2 & 1:27.3 Oosting deftly maneuvered the Nelson Willis trainee off the pylons. Quickly swallowing up the pace setter, the daughter of Lexington Legend—Waggle charged home in 28.0 to post her fourth win 10 starts. Fox Valley Amanda (Dale Hiteman) rallied from far back to be the bridesmaid while Fox Valley Shiver held on for third. Fox Valley Flora finished fourth.   A total of 13 colts were entered for the Cardinal with the top four in each of the two $10,000 eliminations moving on to compete in next week’s $48,000 final.   In the first elimination Laura Hendricks and Benita Simmons I Bizel The Shizel led from pillar to post as he reported home with a hard fought one-length victory in 1:55.3 with John De Long in tow.   Parked through an opening quarter in 28.1 the Tom Simmons trained son of Yankee Skyscaper—Whata Bizy Body then proceeded to put up middle splits of 57.3 & 1:26.1.  After turning aside a challenge from a hard charging Dunside Art (Mike Oosting) I Bizel The Shizel drew away from his rivals in the lane to score for the fourth time in 11 career starts. Traffic Cop (Todd Warren) came on late to be second while Fox Valley Cupid (Ryan Anderson) rallied from last to get the show dough. Manny’s Z Tam was fourth.   In the nightcap Jerry Graham’s One Sure Apache took advantage of his inside starting spot rolling to a three-quarter-length victory in wire to wire fashion.   Hustled away from the gate by Mike Oosting the Nelson Willis trained son of Ft Apache Hanover—One Sure Thing strolled through leisurely splits of 29.2, 59.2 & 1:28.3 while relatively unchallenged for most of the mile. With plenty in reserve the good looking gelding kept a late charging Ringo’s Z Tam (Casey Leonard) at bay to win for the fourth time in 12 starts. Overloaded (Kyle Wilfong) finished third while Fox Valley Deuce was fourth.   Unlocked, the 7-5 morning line favorite was a judge’s scratch from the race.   Kellie Lachata

State-bred pacers were front and center on Saturday, Sept. 21st at Balmoral Park as a pair of two-year-old events shared top billing on the 13-race program. An overflow field of 12 freshman pacing fillies was sent postward in the $14,200 Thrifty Way Stake to kick off the Saturday action. When the dust settled it was Sawgrass Farms Molly Go Lightly who emerged with a 2 ½ length victory in a career best of 1:54.4 with Mike Oosting at the controls. The Nelson Willis trained daughter of Lexington Legend—Waggle was reserved in the early going as Party Hangover Two (John De Long) and Western Dame (Dale Hiteman) led the field through splits of 28.0, 56.1 & 1:25.2. Tipping three and then four deep off excess cover at the top of the stretch, Molly Go Lightly then rattled home in 28.2 going from fifth to first to notch her third win in nine career starts. Party Hangover Two (John De Long), the even-money favorite in the race finished second while Ms Solongbyebye (Casey Leonard) overcame a starting spot in the second tier as she staged a long rally to salvage the show dough. A field of 11 two-year-old pacing colts was sent post ward in the $14,100 Yates Eagle to complete the stakes action. After managing to avoid traffic problems that were caused by a breaking horse just after the half-mile mark, driver Dave Magee guided Z Tam Racing, Mike Polansky, Joseph Mc Caffrey and David Mc Caffrey’s Ringo’s Z Tam to a three-quarter-length victory in 1:54.0. Aggressively handled by the Hall of Fame reinsman Ringo’s Z Tam stormed to the front from post three leading the field by an opening quarter in 27.2. After working a give and go on the backside the striking chestnut was still in command as the field reached the half in 55.4. With the confusion in the back of the back caused by the breaker Fox Valley Deuce (Dale Hiteman) swept up on the far turn to lead the field by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:24.4. Magee then went to work on the gelded son of Yankee Skyscaper—Rons Girl through the stretch and the Dave McCaffrey trainee responded beautifully, reeling in a tiring Fox Valley Deuce and holding firm for his second win in six lifetime starts. One Sure Apache (Mike Oosting) rallied to be second while longshot Dunside Art (John De Long) worked his way around the traffic problems to rally for third. David Baum   

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