Day At The Track

Busy night of stakes action at Balmoral

02:37 AM 21 Jun 2012 NZST
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Riccolo and Marcus Miller Dune In Red and Mikie Oosting Little Ms Chrissy and Robert Taylor
Riccolo and Marcus Miller - stride boldly to the line to win in 1:54.3.
Dune In Red and Mikie Oosting - are too powerful winning in 1:56.1.
Little Ms Chrissy and Robert Taylor - get past Trot Fudge Sundae to win in 2:00.3.

It was a very busy night of stakes harness racing action for Illinois conceived and foaled pacers and trotters on Wednesday night (June 20) as the Crete plant played host to a trio of state-bred events for two and three-year-olds.

The most impressive effort of the night came from Walter & Paige Paisley’s Riccolo who kept his perfect 2012 record intact as he romped home with a 9 ¼ length victory in a career best of 1:54.3 while capturing the $12,000 Betzotic Stake for three-year-old colt and gelding trotters.

Showing much more early speed than he has in his recent victories driver Marcus Miller sent the son of Northern Kid away from the gate where he neatly tucked in behind a head strong Power Net Gram (Todd Warren) who led the field through opening splits of 28.3 & 57.4.

With an outer flow starting to develop as the field moved mid-way around the final turn Miller maneuvered the Nelson Willis charge out of the pocket and the gelding responded beautifully, easily gobbling up the pace setter as the field reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:26.3.

Through the stretch the issue was never in doubt as Riccolo continued to increase his advantage over his rivals cruising under the wire with his seventh straight victory this season while in hand to Miller. Power Net Gram held on for second while Fox Valley Steffen (Dale Hiteman) was a distant third.

Riccolo now boats a career record of 8-1-0 in 10 starts with earnings of $54,260.

Another undefeated streak was on the line in the $15,000 Incredible Tilly Stake for ICF two-year-old pacing fillies and Mike Einhaus’s Dune In Red remained perfect to start her career posting her third win in as many tries, knocking off seven rivals by 3 ¾ lengths in 1:56.1.

Forwardly placed throughout the mile by driver Mike Oosting the daughter of Duneside Perch-She Has The Look rushed into the lead after a slow opening quarter of 30.1. Shortly after gaining control of the proceedings Oosting elected to let a hard charging The Bruzilian Blur (Brian Carpenter) take command as the field rolled by the half-mile mark in 58.3.

Content to draft along in the pocket Dune In Red was fit and fresh as The Bruzilian Blur tried to fend off a bid from a first over Fox Valley Ruby (Dean Magee) as the youngsters reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:28.0.

Patiently awaiting the passing lane while those two continued to slug it out Oosting then maneuvered the Robert Einhaus trained miss down to the pylons and the good looking chestnut responded like a seasoned veteran as she went cruising by her rivals to remain undefeated. The Bruzilian Blur hung on for second while Incredible Filly (Dave Magee) rallied for third.

Freshmen trotting fillies completed the trifecta of stake events as a field of nine diagonally gaited youngsters battled in the $6,000 Star Slinger Stake.

Once again showing a knack for developing early talent owner-trainer-driver Robert Taylor looks to have another nice youngster in his barn as $3,500 bargain buy Little Ms Chrissy made her career debut a winning one, scoring by a half-length in 2:00.3.

Saddled with post position eight the daughter of Southwind Breeze-Fox Valley Shiraz made a slight bobble while looking for an early spot causing Taylor to steady the filly and make his way over to the pylons in seventh as Trot Fudge Sundae (Mike Brink) led the field through splits of 30.1 & 1:00.4.

Storming up first over from the back of the pack as the field moved around the turn Taylor had Little Ms Chrissy just a head behind Trot Fudge Sundae as they raced by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:32.0.

Leaving the rest of the field in their dust these two fillies waged a stretch long duel with Little Ms Chrissy finally nudging by her rival in the closing yards to pick up her first victory. Trot Fudge Sundae was a gallant second while Elegant Rosie (Mike Oosting) finished a distant third, 15 ¾ lengths behind the top pair.

by Tom KELLEY

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