Day At The Track
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After a busy Saturday night of harness racing elimination action for next weekend's Southland Festival of Racing the countdown to the big weekend continued with three more elimination's for state-bred pacers and trotters on Sunday, July 25, 2010.

Veteran harness racing trainer Roger Welch has reason to be optimistic as the first "major" test of the Illinois bred stake season draws closer after a pair of sophomore pacing fillies who hail from his barn captured both of Sunday's $7,000 Violet Stake eliminations.

State-bred pacing colts grabbed top billing on Saturday's Balmoral Park program as a total of 15 harness racing three-year-olds were sent to slug it out in a pair of $10,825 Illinois Standardbred Owners and Breeders Association stake splits.

The first Illinois Standardbred Owners and Breeders Association Stake of the season was contested on Wednesday night at Balmoral Park and it was Frank Baldachino & Earl Smith's Rev Me Up who made her return to the Prairie State a triumphant one as she knocked off nine harness racing rivals in 1:54.0 to take the $17,720 event.

The three-year-old state-bred harness racing trotting set was showcased on Wednesday night at Balmoral Park as a field of seven diagonally gaited fillies met in the $9,000 Trotting Tilly Stake.

Balmoral Park's five-time driving champion, Mike Oosting, joined some very elite company in the world of harness racing on Saturday night (April 17) guiding Fox Valley Escort to a thrilling neck victory in the 12th race to give him 4,000 wins in his career.

The 2009 harness racing season has come to a close with a familiar result in the driver standings as Mike Oosting toted home his fifth Balmoral Park driving championship while veteran conditioner Homer Hochstetler grabbed the honors as top conditioner at the Crete oval.

Hanover Stakes action for two-year-old trotters of both sexes shared top billing at Balmoral Park on Wednesday (Oct. 28th) as a pair of harness racing events for diagonally gaited youngsters were contested.

Sarah Myers Stake action continued on Sunday, Oct. 18th with a total of 17 Illinois conceived and foaled two-year-old pacing fillies slugging it out in a pair of harness racing $26,735 splits.

Illinois conceived and foaled two-year-olds were in action on Saturday night at Balmoral Park as freshmen of both sexes battled in the $10,000 Thrifty Way and Yates Eagle Stakes. With an abundance of harness racing youngsters dropped into the box each stake was split into two divisions.

State-bred trotting colts took center stage on Wednesday night at Balmoral Park as a total of 16 diagonally gaited three-years-olds squared off in a pair of $7,500 Cardinal Stake Eliminations. The top five finishers in each split will return next week to slug it out in the $50,200 final.

Wednesday night's fourth race at Balmoral Park was declared a "no-contest" after a nasty wreck prevented any of the seven starters from finishing the race. The accident happened midway around the final turn when Moses Hanover, who was being driven by Mike Oosting, made a nasty break. Darcy Pletcher, who was driving Pappy, was sitting right on his back when the wreck occurred causing his horse to hit the ground.

The 2009 summer racing schedule at Balmoral Park kicked off with the Iggy Magoo stake for three-year-old trotting colts on Tuesday night. With a total of 17 Illinois conceived and foaled sophomores dropped into the entry box this stake was split into a pair of $11,500 divisions.

State bred pacing fillies headlined Saturday's Balmoral Park program as a field of eight Illinois conceived and foaled ladies squared off in the $15,000 Direct Balance Stake. Originally scheduled for the April 5th card, this event was forced to be rescheduled after the latter half of last Sunday's card was wiped out by heavy snow.

Despite a late afternoon snowstorm which dumped anywhere between two and six inches of snow on the Chicagoland area the show continued on at Balmoral Park as a field of seven Illinois conceived and foaled three-year-old filly pacers met in the $7,000 final of the Incredible Finale Series.

Sophomore pacing fillies were the center of attention on another cold and blustery night as Balmoral Park played host to Round 2 action in the Incredible Finale Series. A total of 14 state-bred three-year-olds were entered for round two necessitating a split into a pair of $5,000 tussles on the one-mile oval.

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