Day At The Track

Surprises abound in Maywood Pace elims

04:36 PM 08 Jun 2012 NZST
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Ronnie Gillespie and Fox Valley Hermia Melodie Hotspur
Ronnie Gillespie and Fox Valley Hermia
Melodie Hotspur - The longest shot on the board 27/1

Sophomore pacing fillies were front and center on Thursday night at Maywood Park as a total of 12 Illinois conceived and foaled harness racing three-year-olds squared off in a pair of $10,000 Filly Maywood Pace eliminations. The top four finishers will return on Friday, June 15th for the $112,000 final.

In the opening split Mike Oosting guided the Warren Reck leased and trained Melodie Hotspur to a neck victory in a career best of 1:55.2.

Sent off as the longest shot on the board at 27-1 from post position six the daughter of Ft. Apache Hanover-Lookin Her Best sat at the back of the pack as Party Hanover (John DeLong) led the field through splits of 28.2, 57.2 & 1:26.2.

With the speed beginning to tire Oosting moved the brown filly three and four wide around the final turn and she responded beautifully, uncorking a 28.0 final quarter to pick up her first win in 16 starts this season. Party Hanover held on for second while Hostess Lisa (Todd Warren) was third, just a length back. Kendyl (Kyle Wilfong) also gained a spot in the final with a fourth place finish.

In the second elimination driver-trainer Ronnie Gillespie and Fox Valley Hermia took full advantage of their inside starting spot her fondness for half-mile ovals charging away from the gate and leading every step of the way as they scored by a neck in a quick 1:55.0.

The chestnut daughter of Yankee Skyscaper-Hidden Princess surprisingly had things her own way through the early going cruising through leisurely splits of 29.1, 58.4 & 1:27.0.

Then forced to fight off pressure from the highly regarded Sleazy Does It (Marcus Miller) on the final turn Fox Valley Hermia turned back that bid from her rival as the field turned for home and then held on gamely as Sleazy Does It came on again with one final try in the closing yards. Through My Eyes (Dean Magee) turned an inside trip into a third place finish while the last spot in the final went to fourth place finisher Moment Of Magic (Casey Leonard). Even-money favorite No Respect, who was saddled with the outside post, never fired and wound up last in the field of six.

The win was the second in as many tries for Fox Valley Hermia this season. Last year the pride of owners Ron Phillips and Jesse Ferge won nine of 10 starts while campaigning mainly on the "bull-rings" of the Illinois county fair circuit.

Tom KELLEY

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