Day At The Track

State-breds star in Wednesday Stakes

01:23 AM 14 Jun 2012 NZST
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Fox Valley Ruby and Dean Magee The overwhelming 1-9 favorite, Riccolo Dune In Red and Michael Oosting
Fox Valley Ruby and Dean Magee - win easily in 1:56.4 - last quarter: 27.2 seconds.
The overwhelming 1-9 favorite, Riccolo - gets up to win in 1:55.3.
Dune In Red and Michael Oosting - home in 1L56.4 - last quarter: 27.1 seconds.

Illinois conceived and foaled pacers and trotters were in action on Wednesday, June 13th at Balmoral Park as a pair of events shared top billing on the harness racing program. Coming off five straight victories to start his three-year-old season Walter & Paige Paisley's Riccolo was sent off as the overwhelming 1-9 favorite against six rivals in the $12,000 Mikes A Mystery Stake to lead off the pari-mutuel card.

The good looking gelding did not disappoint his legion of backers, cruising to a half-length victory in a career best of 1:55.3 to make it six in a row.

After getting away in fifth as Vaporstar (Dave Magee) led the field through an opening quarter in 29.2 driver Marcus Miller elected to change tactics with the big late rushing Riccolo sending the gelded son of Northern Luck-Touch Of Victory on a mission for the lead as the field moved down the backstretch.

Drawing right alongside Vaporstar as the two reached the half-mile mark in 58.3, Riccolo then trotted right by the early leader while receiving only mild urging from his pilot.

On top and in total command the Nelson Willis trainee led the field by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:27.2.

Setting sail for home Riccolo sealed the deal with a 28.1 final quarter to notch his seventh win in nine lifetime starts. Vaporstar was forced to settle for the runner-up role while Blown Away (Mike Oosting) rallied to finish third.

The state-bred two-year-old filly pacing crop was also in action as a total of 10 youngsters were sent postward in a pair of $5,000 Misty Misty Misty Stake splits which were contested prior to the start of the Wednesday program.

In the first division Donald Freese and David Williams Fox Valley Ruby took advantage of a garden trip, charging by the pace setting Lizzabelle (Marcus Miller) with a sixteenth of a mile to go in route to 1 ½ length victory in 1:56..4.

The $31,000 yearling purchase took full advantage of the inside starting spot landing right on the back of Lizzabelle as that filly cruised through splits of 29.4, 1:00.0 & 1:29.1.

Fit and fresh after their perfect journey Dean Magee hustled the daughter of Sportsmaster-Redhot And Rich to the outside where she reeled off a 27.2 final panel to notch her first win in two lifetime starts. Lizzabelle held on for second while Special Rose (John Roberts) was third.

In the second division the Michael Einhaus owned Dune In Red continued to impress as she scored for the second time in as many tries reporting home with a two-length victory in 1:56.4.

Confidently handled by driver Mike Oosting, the daughter of Duneside Perch-She Has The Look ducked early as Incredible Filly (Dave Magee) led the field through an opening quarter in 31.1.

Wanting no part of those slow fractions, Oosting sent the Robert Einhaus trained miss to the front as soon as the field straightened up on the backside and she proceeded to lead the field through middle splits of 1:01 & 1:29.3.

With plenty still left in reserve Dune In Red continued to hold her rivals at bay through the lane, sealing the deal with a 27.1 final quarter to keep her record unblemished. Incredible Filly was the bridesmaid while Julie Big Eagle (Todd Warren) was a distant third.

by Tom KELLEY

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