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Balmoral Announces '09 Stakes Schedule

Published: January 22, 2009 1:36 pm ET

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With live racing set to resume at Balmoral Park on Wednesday, January 28, another exciting year of stakes-filled action at the Crete, Illinois facility has been announced.

The first stakes event of the season will be held on Saturday, April 4 with the $15,000 Taurus Bomber Stakes putting the '09 three-year-old pacing colt crop front and centre.

The first 'major' Illlinois-bred stake of the 2009 campaign will be contested on May 24, as the $50,000 Violet Stake final (for three-year-old pacing fillies) takes centre stage. The $50,000 Violet Stakes (three-year-old trotting fillies) will be held on June 2, while the sophomore colts take their shot at the $50,000 Cardinal finals for trotters on June 3 and pacers on June 6.

The first Hanover Stakes event of the 2009 season takes place on Tuesday, July 14, as three-year-old trotting fillies will go for a purse of $50,000. There will be a quartet of Hanover Stakes on Saturday, July 18, as two and three-year-old filly and colt pacers will slug it out for $50,000 jackpots. Sophomore trotting colts will be in action on the next night, as they battle for $50,000 in yet another Hanover Stakes event.

The first-ever Chicago Southland Festival of Racing will take place over a four-night span with a total of 10 brand new Illinois conceived and foaled events each going for a $50,000 purse on Saturday, August 1, Sunday, August 2, Tuesday, August 4 and Wednesday, August 5. A pair of American National Stakes will close out the month with sophomore trotting colts going for $200,000 on Saturday, August. 29, while their female counterparts battle for $180,000 on the same card.

September means Super Night at Balmoral Park, and once again all eyes will be focused on the action which takes place on Saturday, September 19. Over $1.5 million in purse money will be up for grabs as Illinois’ finest pacers and trotters strut their stuff on Illinois richest night of racing. American National Stakes will also be highlighted towards the back end of the month with a pair of $125,000 battles for diagonally gaited two-year-olds on Tuesday, September 22.

October begins with the biggest nights of the year for state-bred two-year-old trotters, as the fillies go postward in the $125,000 Lady Lincoln Land on Tuesday, October 6 and the colts slug it out in the Lincoln Land Stakes on Wednesday, October 7. Each stakes event carries a purse of $125,000. Also included in the October schedule are the $50,000 finals of the Sarah Myers Stakes and Cardinal & Violet Stakes for the two-year-olds. Rounding out the month will be a pair of $60,000 Hanover Stakes for two-year-old colt and filly trotters.

November promises to be a busy month with a pair of $40,000 Sarah Myers Stakes for two-year-old trotters getting the action underway on Wednesday, November 4. The big American National Festival of Racing takes place on Saturday, November 14. Approximately $1 million in purse money will be on the line, as six prestigious American National Stakes will be bringing some of North America’s finest equine athletes to Balmoral.

The live racing schedule at Balmoral is a bit different than in past seasons. From Wednesday, January 28 until Wednesday, April 29, Balmoral Park will present live racing on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 7:20 p.m. (central) and on Sundays at 6:30 p.m. (central).

From Saturday, May 2 up until Saturday, October 31, Balmoral will then shift over to its familiar four-day-a-week schedule with live racing on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday at 7:20 p.m. and Sundays at 6:30 p.m.

Balmoral will close out the year by going to back to a three-day a week schedule (Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday) from November 1 through December 30.

Simulcast action from throughout the country is also available every day and night at Balmoral Park.

(Balmoral Park)

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