|Kellie Lachata photo|
The first of finals came in the 3-year-filly trot division, in which owner-driver Todd Warren gave his Sara The Spy ($12.20) a perfect two-hole journey and the filly overtook the favored Little Ms Chrissy in the final stride for a head victory.
The time of 1:54 was a career best for Sara The Spy (Powerful Emotion--Sarabella) who will head next to the Du Quoin State Fair that starts one week from today.
King Mufasa (Powerful Emotion--Foxy N Diamonds; $2.10) was all out to capture the 3-year-old colt trotting final, his seventh straight for the driver-trainer combination of Mike Oosting and Mike Brink, just holding-off his fast charging entry-mate, Skyline Road.
King Mufasa, who this year is nine-for-nine in his division, trotted a lifetime-best 1:53.4 and went over $130,000 in season’s earnings for owners Bill Wright and Mystical Marker Farms.
Fox Valley Lotus (Pizzazzed--Love You More; $8.40) made her third career start the charm, taking the freshman filly trot final despite a first-over journey. John Roberts guided the Curt Grummel trainee to her maiden-breaking triumph in 1:57.3 over Bailey’s Wish for Pittsfield, Ill. owner Dr. Patrick Graham.
My Little Bit (Sportsmaster--Parade Of Love; $7.40) led from start to finish when she annexed the 2-year-old filly pace crown with Marcus Miller aboard, pacing a 1:53.4 mile for trainer Erv Miller and her winning Evergreen Park, Ill. owners Obermeier and Quaid Stables.
When Fox Valley Veto went off-stride in mid-stretch on the lead it made the task easier for eventual winner Tour Hall ($9.40) who flashed past and drew away to the freshman championship for trotting colts and geldings.
“Mike (trainer Brink) made some changes on him since last week and he was much better today,” driver Dave Magee said in the winner’s circle. “When he was keeping up at the quarter-mile pole I knew we had a good chance. That had been an issue him in his earlier races. He was full of trot when we turned for home and I couldn’t wait to pull him.”
Owned by his Springfield, Ill.-based trainer and Loren Tournear of Liberty, Ill., Tour Hall (American Native--Broadway And Fifth) knocked almost three full seconds off his first winning mile with a 1:57.3 clocking.
Brink, who is recovering from major shoulder surgery from an earlier accident at a county fair track, had a training triple on the day. He won earlier with King Mufasa and with his 2-year-old filly pacer April May Dune.
The 3-year-old filly pace final saw the 10-1 longshot Dallas Jones (Sportsmaster--Cams Bett; $23.40) get her nose in front of the pacesetting Mystical Danica at the end of a quick, 1:51.2 mile.
Capably driven by Casey Leonard for trainer Joel Smith, the filly subtracted more than three seconds from her lifetime mark with season win number seven for Hoosier Paula Smith and Illinoisans James Runyan and Frank Pike.
Leonard was back in the winner’s circle a third time with a heady drive behind the favorite, Mystical Walter ($3.80), in the championship for sophomore pacing colts and geldings.
With the field strolling to a the first half in :59.3, Leonard took Mystical Walter (Yankee Skyscaper--Yankee Blue) out of fourth on the backside and to the lead before the last turn. The Miller trainee came home in :26.1 at the end of his 1:53.4 mile for Illinois owners Paymaq Racing of Long Grove and Mystical Marker Farms of Dwyer, Ind.
Oosting won the Springfield meet’s driving title and Miller successfully defended his trainer’s crown.