Crete, IL --- With all the preliminary action in the books it’s now “go-time” for everyone involved in Illinois’ biggest night of Standardbred racing as Super Night 2013 is just six nights away at Balmoral Park. After a hectic weekend which saw 12 elimination tussles on Saturday the action slowed down just a bit on Sunday night with six more eliminations contested for a trio of Super Night events.
Kicking off the action were 3-year-old trotting colts as a total of 17 diagonally gaited sophomores battled in a pair of $15,000 Su Mac Lad Stake eliminations. The top five finishers in each division will be back on Saturday (Sept. 14) for the $121,000 final.
|King Mufasa posted his 11th win in 12 starts this season as Mike Oosting steered the division leader to an easy win in the first of two Su Mac Lad Stake eliminations on Sunday night.|
In the first elimination, Bill Wright and Mystical Marker Farms' King Mufasa continued his domination of this division as he rolled to a one length victory in 1:56.3 with Mike Oosting at the controls.
Sent to the front by Oosting after an opening quarter in :29.1 the gelded son of Powerful Emotion-Foxy N Diamonds was in complete control the rest of the way as he rattled off middle splits of :58.1 and 1:28.1. With the “soft” middle half under his belt, the Mike Brink trainee had plenty in reserve for the stretch drive, trotting home in an effortless :28.2 for his 11th win in 12 starts this season. Semper Fit (Dave Magee) finished a nice second despite leaving from the outside post while Fox Valley Camo (Jamaica Patton) was third. Happy Balance finished fourth and Riet’s Kid was fifth.
The division leader has now banked $148,660 this year for his proud connections and he figures to be an overwhelming favorite on Super Night.
In the second elimination Mystical Marker Farms and Jack and Peggy Hood’s Powerful Poe shed the runner-up role he had assumed seven times already this season, knocking off eight rivals by two lengths in 1:56.2 with Todd Warren handling the driving duties.
Despite leaving from an outside post the gelded son of Powerful Emotion-Fox Valley Poetry landed in a good early spot as Powerful Valor (Jared Finn) and Skyline Road (Marcus Miller) battled through splits of :30, :58.4 and 1:28.1. After securing racing room in the lane Warren asked the Dirk Simpson trainee for his best and the gelding responded beautifully as he trotted home in a brisk :27.3 to post his third win in 14 starts this year. Fox Valley Legend (Dale Hiteman) rallied well to be second for red-hot trainer Joel Smith while Fox Valley Dubai (Dave Magee) finished third. Skyline Road and Powerful Valor finished fourth and fifth, respectively, to earn the last two spots in the Su Mac Lad final.
Next up were 3-year-old trotting fillies as a field of 10 looked for nine spots in next week’s $106,000 Lady Ann Reed Stake. They will be joined in the finale by Divination who received a bye into the Super Night tussle.
|Trot Fudge Sundae and Hall of Famer Dave Magee teamed up to win the Lady Ann Reed Stake elimination in 1:56 on Sunday night.|
Flashing the form that netted her divisional honors in her 2-year-old season, James Bafia, Eugene White and Samuel Daddono’s Trot Fudge Sundae reported home with a half-length victory in a career best of 1:56 with “Mr. Super Night,” Dave Magee, in the bike.
Given a confident steer by Magee the Dirk Simpson trained daughter of American Native-What A Joy shot right to the front from post six, putting up splits of :29.1, :59.3 and 1:28.1 while under a snug hold from her Hall of Fame pilot. Fit and fresh as she straightened for the money, the long striding bay put up a :27.4 final quarter to secure her 14th career victory in her 26 lifetime starts. Little Ms Chrissy (Robert Taylor) finished a game second while Sara The Spy (Todd Warren) was third.
Also securing spots in the final were Just For Fun, Fox Valley Yavonne, Powerful Goddess, American Empress, Kelsey’s Star and High Stepper.
A total of 25 filly and mare pacers, 3-year-olds and up, were entered for the $123,000 Lorna Propes Stake, necessitating a trio of $15,000 elimination tussles. The top three in each division, along with one fourth place finisher (drawn by lot), will be back for the big cash next Saturday night.
In the first elimination James Strzalka, Nancy Magnus, Norma Schulfer and James Skvarla’s Fox Valley Absolut exhibited the form that has netted her more than $361,000 in career earnings as she shook off a tough first over trip to score by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:52.4 for driver Robert Smolin.
Taking advantage of a nice inside draw the 7-year-old daughter of Sportsmaster was able to save ground through opening splits of :27.2 and :56.2 before moving to the outside as the field headed around the final bend. Grinding her way towards the top the Mike Schulfer trainee was right on the pacesetting Tamarac Sassy’s flank as the field reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:25.2. Seemingly finding another gear as the distaffers moved through the lane, Fox Valley Absolut swallowed up the pacesetter with a :27.1 final quarter as she began to widen her margin while scoring for the fifth time in 25 starts this year. Kimberley R (Dale Hiteman) shook loose late to be the bridesmaid while Tamarac Sassy (Casey Leonard) held on for third. Willow Gram finished fourth.
In the middle split the Terry Leonard owned and trained Whistle Pig looked like a princess as she pulled off an 18-1 stunner, scoring by a neck in a career best of 1:52 with Casey Leonard handling the driving chores.
Placed near the back of the pack despite leaving from post position three, the 6-year-old daughter of Park Place moved into the outer flow on the far turn as Rev Me Up (John Roberts) sped through splits of :27.2, :55.4 and 1:24. Moving up with live cover Leonard tipped his mare four deep turning for home and she responded beautifully, speeding home in :27.1 to put up a career best. Fox Valley Touche (Dale Hiteman) closed well to finish second while Mystical Victress (Mike Oosting), the 1-9 favorite in the race, finished third. Kate The Great was fourth.
|Balmoral Park photos|
|Let's Go Higher romped to an eight length decision with John De Long at the controls in the last of three Lorna Propes Stake eliminations.|
In the final elimination east coast invader Let’s Go Higher made it known that she will be a force to be reckoned with next week as the Heidi Rohr trained 5-year-old posted an eye catching eight length romp in 1:50.4 with John De Long at the controls.
Perfectly positioned in third as Party Hangover charged through splits of :26.3 and 54.2, De Long moved the daughter of Park Place to the outside as the field moved midway around the final turn. Leaving the others in her wake Let’s Go Higher sped by the three-quarter-mile station in 1:22.3 as she set sail for the wire. Finishing off the mile in grand fashion Let’s Go Higher sped home in :28.1 to post her eighth win of the year for owner Jesse De Long. Just By Design (Dave Magee) finished second while Tune In (John Roberts) finished fourth but was moved up to third via a disqualification of Fox Valley Hermia who was cited for interfering with several horses near the top of the stretch. Cole Blue finished fifth but was moved up to fourth.
Sunday’s 50 cent Pick-5 wager was not hit so there will be a carryover of $10,416 into Wednesday night’s pool. There will now be a $30,000 guaranteed pool on Wednesday’s Pick-5. The Pick-5 entails races 2-6 each night.
Handicappers across North America can get a head start on their competition with free 12 line program pages for the guaranteed pool courtesy of the USTA Strategic Wagering Program and TrackMaster on the handicapping section at www.ustrotting.com.