Baileys Wish Wins Lady Lincoln Land; Welch Celebrates Milestone

Published: October 2, 2013 10:20 pm EDT

Continuing a nice late season surge, James Bafia and Eugene White’s Baileys Wish completely dominated nine rivals in the year’s richest race for Illinois conceived and foaled two-year-old trotting fillies, winning Wednesday $105,000 Lady Lincoln Land Stake by three and a half lengths at Balmoral Park.

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, Baileys Wish effortlessly trotted under the wire with her third win in her last four starts and her fourth win in 11 lifetime starts. The final time was 1:59.4. 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-favourite in the race returned $5.40, $3.20 and $3.00 while upping her career bankroll to $93,383.

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, Illinois resident was extremely jubilant since son his Ryan was the owner and driver for the milestone event, guiding Monticello Lulu to victory in the first race night 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 two-year-old trotting colt Justice Jet gave the veteran conditioner his 1,001st win taking a Sire Stake 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!”

(Balmoral Park)

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