Freehold, NJ --- The first round of American-National Stakes at Balmoral Park outside Chicago gets underway this weekend with races for 3-year-old male and female trotters.
Hambletonian second runner-up Wishing Stone, who has $250,389 on his card this year and has yet to win a race in seven starts, heads a field of 10 going for the $150,000 purse in the race for 3-year-old male trotters. Dave Magee is listed to drive Wishing Stone, who will get his seventh different driver this year. He is trained by Michigan native Dewayne Minor.
Mystery Photo, who was sixth in the Hambletonian, also is part of the field. He has won three of 12 races and earned $161,801 for trainer Julie Miller and driver Andy Miller.
The American-National field in post position order with drivers and trainers is: 1. Big Sky Revenue, Dale Hiteman, Mark Fransen; 2. Thro Time, Dave Magee, D.R. Ackerman; 3. Coco Lindy, Frank Antonacci, Frank Antonacci; 4. Great Emancipator, Brad Kramer, D.R. Ackerman; 5. Mystery Photo, Andy Miller, Julie Miller; 6. Wishing Stone, Dave Magee, Dewayne Minor; 7. Run And Tell Pap, Michael Cox, Leo Grummel; 8. Premier Hanover, TBA, Brett Wilfong; 9. Powerful Speed, Todd Warren, Thomas Graham Jr.; 10. Sailaway Dream, Dave Magee, Anette Lorentzon.
On the fillies side, four of the top five finishers in the $750,000 Hambletonian Oaks are going west to compete in the $131,500 American-National. Only the first of those five finishers, Bar Slide, will be absent this weekend.
Oaks runner-up Ultimate Cameron got the rail with Trace Tetrick driving for trainer Bob Stewart. The rest of the field, starting with post two, is: Glide Power, Jan Johnson, Jan Johnson; Springtime Volo (third in the Oaks), Dave Magee, Jan Johnson; Bramalea Hanover (fifth in the Oaks), Dave Magee, Robert McIntosh; Behindclosedoors (fourth in the Oaks), Michael Oosting, Chuck Sylvester; Cantab It All, Marcus Johansson, Jimmy Takter; Secret Magic, Todd Warren, Ron Gurfein; Jesse’s Messenger, Ryan Stahl, Kent Sherman; Levi’s Lady, Dewayne Minor, Dewayne Minor; Action-Broadway, Brett Miller, Virgil Morgan Jr.
Glide Power was second, beaten by a neck by Christiana Hanover, in the $221,500 Moni Maker Stakes at the Red Mile on August 19. Bramalea Hanover was third while Behindclosedoors was fifth, Springtime Volo was sixth, Cantab It All was seventh, Ultimate Cameron was eighth, and Jesse’s Messenger was ninth in the 12-filly field.
Holiday Road heads north: Holiday Road, who was 10th from post 10 in the August 7 Hambletonian, is on the road again.
“He left this morning (Wednesday) for Toronto,” trainer Greg Peck said. “I’m going to qualify him up there, probably Friday. It’s in preparation for the Canadian Trotting Classic (eliminations September 11; $1 million final September 18). I will try and get him qualified and hopefully everything goes well. Hopefully, he’ll carry on the rest of the season.”
Regular driver Brian Sears will not be on board this Friday, says Peck.
“I don’t know who I’ll get to qualify him,” Peck said. “I might even do it myself. I’ll play it by ear. He’ll be stabled at Mohawk and Rico Robinson (Peck Stable staff member) has gone with him.”
Holiday Road won last year’s Peter Haughton Memorial and opened this season with wins in the Historic-Dickerson Cup and his division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial. He was third in his Hambletonian elimination.