Day At The Track

State breds shine in Saturday stakes

06:13 PM 26 Apr 2015 NZST
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Dixie's Boy Lex, one of last season's top two-year-old pacing fillies Ice Scraper, stopped the clock in a blistering 1:50
Dixie's Boy and driver Casey Leonard teamed up for a front stepping score
David Baum Photo
Lex, one of last season's top two-year-old pacing fillies
David Baum Photo
Ice Scraper, stopped the clock in a blistering 1:50
David Baum Photo
Sophomore pacing colts kicked off Saturday's harness racing stake action at Balmoral Park with a field of seven lined up behind the gate for the $8,000 Betzotic Stake. This battle wound up being nothing more than a stroll in the park for James & Teri Blackmon's Dixie's Boy as he posted a decisive 3 ¾ length front stepping score in 1:54.4 over the "good" surface.
Getting away fourth as Dakota Roadster (Robert Smolin) led the field through an opening quarter in a pedestrian 30.0 driver Casey Leonard moved Dixie's Boy to the front as the field settled onto the backstretch.
Gliding along comfortably on the lead through middle splits of 59.2 & 1:27.2 the gelded son of Duneside Perch--Dingy's Model had plenty in reserve for the stretch drive, cruising home untouched in 26.4 to secure his fourth career win in start number 17. Last year's divisional leader Earndawg (Todd Warren) finished up well to edge Dakota Roadster in a tight photo for the place money.
The Joel Smith trained bay returned $8.40, $3.80 & $3.00 while upping his career bankroll to $19,814.
Older pacers were next on the docket as a field of six veterans renewed acquaintances in the $14,000 Rambling Willie Stake.
As he's done so many times over the years James Behrendt's Ice Scraper managed to get loose on the lead and there was no catching the speedball on this night as he reported home with a three-quarters of a length victory in a snappy 1:50.0 on the wet chilly evening.
Gunned to the front by Brian Carpenter the six-year-old son of Yankee Skyscaper rattled off splits of 26.3, 55.2 & 1:22.1 while going along unchallenged on the "engine".
After widening his advantage at the top of the stretch the Mike Brown trainee gamely dug in through the lane, sealing the deal with a 27.4 final panel to post his fourth victory of the season. Big Brad (Robert Smolin) rallied nicely to finish second while the pocket sitting FortSilky (Casey Leonard) was forced to settle for the show dough.
The win was the 26th of this gelding's illustrious career and with Saturday's payday Ice Scraper now boasts career earnings of almost $310,000. The third choice in the wagering in his return to the local scene Ice Scraper returned $7.80, $3.60 & $2.60 to his backers.
A number of last season's top freshmen pacing fillies were also in action on Saturday night's third race.
Renewing the rivalry they established last season Kay Willis's Lex wound up getting the best of last season's champ Mr Leland's Filly, posting a 4 ½ length wire to wire victory in 1:53.0 over a track listed as good. The win was the fifth in 11 career starts for the Nelson Willis trained miss. Mr Leyland's Filly was a late charging second while Galley Wench was third in this prep.
Live racing continues on Sunday, April 26th, at BalmoralPark with a 10-race card getting underway at 7:10 p.m. (central). Sunday's $1 Pick 4 features a guaranteed pool of $25,000. The state-bred stakes action will also continue on Sunday with a field of seven sophomore trotting fillies slugging it out in the $8,000 Koochie Stake which goes as race two.
Tom Kelley
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