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While King Mufasa won only 2 of 8 starts as a harness racing freshman and banked just $9,360, this year he's 3-for-3 in the ICF 3-year-old colt and gelding trotting division, including an easy victory in the $50,800 Cardinal on May 29.

Illinois conceived and foaled trotters grabbed the headlines on Wednesday, May 29th at Balmoral Park as a field of nine diagonally gaited sophomore colts squared off in the $50,800 Cardinal Stake.

If you are a Cardinal fan this is your week. I'm not talking those who are supporters of the baseball team in St. Louis. This week is for those who admire and follow the top harness racing ICF male harness horses.

At an age when most horses are finished harness racing or are nearing the end of their careers and are competing at lower levels, the 10-year-old trotter George's Vacation has gone in the opposition direction.

Sophomore trotting colts were on display on Wednesday night as a field of eight diagonally gaited state-breds were sent postward in a $12,000 Betzotic Stake which was contested as a non-wagering event prior to the start of the regular 10-race harness racing program on Wednesday night.

Illinois conceived and foaled pacers kicked off the 2013 harness racing stake season on Friday night at Maywood Park as Sawgrass Farms Shotgun Shack easily disposed of five other three-year-old colts, winning the $12,000 Sportsmaster Stake in 1:56.0 for driver Mike Oosting.

Heading into March the hottest driver on the local Illinois harness racing circuit has been Casey Leonard. Both he and Mike Oosting finished the first two months with 62 winners each but Casey had 34 less drives.

On a chilly (14 degrees) Saturday night both Betterluvnexttime and St Elmo Hero had no trouble continuing to dominate their respective harness racing divisions.

Two-time Du Quoin State Fair champion Mystical MJ makes her first start in Illinois in over a year when she competes Friday night (February 1st) at Maywood Park for the Tom Simmons Stable. The now 5-yerar-old daughter of Sportsmaster was bought by long-time Simmons owner (David) Clinard Properties Inc. of Mt. Sterling, IL for $33,000 at the Meadowlands Sale a few weeks ago.

After a four-week absence the Al Tomlinson trained mare Betterluvnexttime is back at Balmoral Park Saturday night where she's the 3-1 morning line harness racing favorite in the $16,000 Open Pace for distaffers.

Maywood Park's harness racing driver and trainer titles for 2012 may have gone to a pair of first time winners but both are very familiar with the winners circle as veterans Mike Oosting and Angie Affrunti toted home top honors at the Melrose Park oval.

Just as they did in 2010, harness racing driver Mike Oosting and trainer Nelson Willis captured their respective titles in 2012 at Balmoral Park. After having a six-year run of driving titles stopped by Marcus Miller in 2011, the 50-year-old Oosting returned to his perch atop the driver standings notching 229 victories compared to runner-up Miller's 187 wins.

The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association Hall of Fame Committee is proud to announce that the following individuals were chosen for induction into the Illinois Harness Racing Hall of Fame.

Despite rain, hail and winds in excess of 30mph throughout the day Sunday night's (October 14) stake action at Balmoral Park went off without a hitch with the harness racing action being headlined by a pair of Hanover Stakes for two-year-old trotters and Betzotic Stake for Illinois conceived and foaled two-year-old pacing fillies.

After watching their female counterparts battle in a Betzotic Stake last night at Maywood Park it was time for the Illinois conceived and foaled three-year-old colt pacing set to grab the spotlight on Friday (October 12) night as a field of six lined up behind the gate for their share of a $12,700 harness racing jackpot.

Sophomore pacing fillies took center stage on Thursday night (October 10) as a total of 12 Illinois conceived and foaled three-year-olds battled in a pair of $10,600 Betzotic Stake harness racing splits. As can often be the case on a half-mile oval, speed and the inside post are often a winning combination and it certainly turned out to be on this night as both pole-sitters scored in wire to wire fashion.

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