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China Gal and My Heart Was True take ISOBA splits
Monday, July 06, 2009 - by Tom Kelley, publicity director, Balmoral Park

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Crete, IL --- A busy weekend of stakes action came to a close on Sunday night (July 5) at Balmoral Park as a total of 16 sophomore pacing fillies squared off in a pair of $14,905 Illinois Standardbred Owners and Breeders Association Stake splits.

In the first division of the night the Harry Von Knoblauch owned and trained China Gal overcame some early traffic problems en route to a 1-3/4 length victory in 1:52.3.

China Gal and Todd Warren cruised to victory in the first of two ISOBA Stake splits on Sunday night.
Despite being bothered slightly by the break of Towne Nurse in the first turn driver Todd Warren pointed China Gal to the front and the filly quickly assumed command of the proceedings while leading the way through an opening quarter in :28.1. With the field moving down the backside Warren then elected to let a hard charging Park Lane Rhythm (Dale Hiteman) and Stohli Dohli (Josh Sutton) battle it out as the field reached the halfway mark in :56.3. After allowing Stohli Dohli to drop down to the pylons just in front of him Warren maneuvered China Gal back to the outside again and the daughter of Sportsmaster-China Moon was back on the move as the field reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:24.4.

Through the lane China Gal simply overpowered the top pair as she rattled off an impressive :27.2 final split to pick up her second victory in eight starts this season. Park Lane Rhythm held on for second while Matt’s Wolfey shook loose late to finish third.

The second division figured to be a showcase for last season’s champion Fox Valley Topaz but things did not turn out as planned as L & L DeVisser’s up and coming filly My Heart Was True held firm in the lane to win by 1-1/4 lengths in a career best of 1:51.1.


Balmoral Park photos

Brandon Simpson guided My Heart Was True to a career best of 1:51.1 in the second ISOBA Stake division.
After watching longshot Riches To Rags (Sam Widger) take the field through an opening quarter in :27.3, driver Brandon Simpson elected to get the jump on his main rival sending My Heart Was True on a mission for the lead as the field headed down the backstretch. Quickly pacing to the top this daughter of Cole Muffler-Would I Lie quickly seized control of the race, taking the field through middle splits of :56.1 and 1:24.

Through the stretch the Nick Giberson trained miss was all business as she dug in gamely to hold off a belated late bid from Fox Valley Topaz (Tyler Buter) who just could not overcome the outside starting spot in the field of eight. Shescominonstrong (Rick Dane, Jr.) rallied late to finish third, 4-1/2 lengths behind the winner.

Stakes action continues on Tuesday, July 7, as a field of 10 3-year-old trotting fillies will do battle in the $12,000 Sorce Ann Stake. With nobody correctly selecting the winning combination in Sunday’s Pick 4 wager there will be a carryover in the Pick 4 on Tuesday night with an additional $4,261.71 being added to the jackpot. First post on Tuesday night is 7:20 p.m. (central) and the Pick 4 kicks off on race two that night.

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