Crete, IL --- Continuing a nice late season surge towards divisional honors, James Bafia and Eugene White’s Bailey’s Wish completely dominated nine rivals in the year’s richest race for Illinois conceived and foaled 2-year-old trotting fillies, winning Wednesday's (Oct. 2) $105,000 Lady Lincoln Land Stake by 3-1/2 lengths at Balmoral Park. The final time was 1:59.4.
|Bailey's Wish and driver Dave Magee rolled to a 3-1/2 length victory in Wednesday's $105,000 Lady Lincoln Land Stake.|
Given a perfect steer by driver Dave Magee, the daughter of Southwind Breeze-Jen was hustled to the front after landing in fourth through an opening quarter in :29.4.
“I knew we had to gain some early position since we were leaving from the eight hole,” explained Magee. “Once they started to slow down just a little bit on the front end I asked her to go and she moved up to the front very easily for me.”
Rolling through middle splits of :59.3 and 1:28.4, the Dirk Simpson trainee began to put daylight between herself and her struggling rivals as the field neared the top of the stretch.
On cruise control the rest of the way, Bailey’s Wish effortlessly trotted under the wire with her third win in her last four starts and her fourth win in 11 lifetime starts. Fox Valley Skylar (Dale Hiteman) rallied up the inside to finish second while Bands Pippa (Casey Leonard) was third.
“She was doing that all on her own,” said the Hall of Famer. “I don’t like to pressure her if I don’t have to. She just trotted right away from them and glided home with no urging from me whatsoever.”
The 8-5 co-favorite in the race returned $5.40, $3.20 and $3.00 while upping her career bankroll to $93,383.
|Balmoral Park photos|
|Trainer Roger Welch celebrates his 1,000th career training victory with son Ryan after the two teamed up to capture Wednesday's opener at Balmoral.|
Earlier in the night trainer Roger Welch reached a career milestone as he sent out his 1,000th career winner. The 50-year-old Beecher, Ill., resident was extremely jubilant since his son Ryan was the owner-driver for the milestone event, guiding Monticello Lulu to victory in the first race of the night.
“I couldn’t have asked for more than this, to have my son Ryan driving the horse that gives me 1,000 wins,” said the proud father. “Couple that with the fact that this is a horse that belongs to our family and it’s more than I could have ever imagined.”
Approximately three minutes later Welch struck again, this time at Hoosier Park as his fine 2-year-old trotting colt Justice Jet gave the veteran conditioner his 1,001st win, taking a Sire Stakes event.
“We were watching the two races side-by-side on the televisions down in the paddock,” said Welch. “I didn’t want to miss either one of them. Luckily I was still able to get down to the winner’s circle here at Balmoral to celebrate!”