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Frosh Take Violet And Cardinal Finals

Published: October 22, 2009 10:28 am ET

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State-bred trotters headlined last night's action at Balmoral Park in Illinois, as the finals of the Violet and Cardinal Stakes for diagonally-bred two-year-olds grabbed top billing on the 11-race program.

In the $49,250 Violet for the 'girls,' Powers Farms continued their amazing run with Illinois-bred trotters, as their speedy filly Southern Maebelle cruised to a two and a half-length decision in 2:00.1.

Using the inside to full advantage, driver Tyler Buter saved ground with Southern Maebelle and trotted along comfortably in third, as Fox Valley Click (driven by Dale Hiteman) led the field through an opening quarter in :30.1.

With a strong wind at their backs, Buter and Southern Maebelle then set sail for the front shortly thereafter. Grinding their way to the top at a comfortable clip, Southern Maebelle was on top by one and a quarter lengths as the field hit the half in :59.

Around the far turn, Southern Maebelle continued to show the way, as her main rival, Fox Valley Luxury (Dave Magee), came storming up on the outside to challenge. Unfortunately, disaster struck for the second straight week for Fox Valley Luxury, as she went off stride midway around the turn, leaving Southern Maebelle all alone on the lead as the field reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:29.2.

Through the lane, the issue was never really in doubt, as the daughter of High Falls--Summer In The City rolled under the wire with her third win in 10 starts this season. Fox Valley Click turned in a nice effort to finish second, while Vapor Girl (Dean Magee) overcame an early miscue to finish a distant third, more than 10 lengths behind the winner.

Dispatched as the overwhelming 3-5 favourite from the rail spot, the Robert Taylor trainee returned $3.40, $2.60 and $2.60.

The heavy favourite did not fare as well in the $47,750 Cardinal, however, as 4-5 choice Run And Tell Pap made a very uncharacteristic break while sitting in the two-hole on the far turn. Thus, the door was left open for 10-1shot Showmeyourstuff to rally for a thrilling neck decision in 1:58.

Things seemed to be going just as the public expected, as Run And Tell Pap led the field through an opening quarter in :29.

Yielding to a hard-charging Rock Hollywood (Dave Magee) as the field neared the half, the division’s top two colts were beginning to draw away from the field as they sped by the half-mile marker in :56.3.

But just as it did in the Violet, the midway point of the final turned proved to be disastrous, as the pocket-sitting Run And Tell Pap made a break. That miscue left Rock Hollywood with a two and a half-length lead. Muscatine (Dale Hiteman) had moved up along the inside to take over the second spot, while Showmeyourstuff and driver Marcus Miller trotted into third on the outside as the field hit the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:27.

Through the lane, a determined Rock Hollywood was all out to hold on to his advantage, while Showmeyourstuff pulled closer on the outside and a patient Muscatine awaited room in the passing lane. With the three trotters spread out across the track for the final sixteenth of a mile, Showmeyourstuff was finally able to get his neck in front in the final strides to pull off the upset. Muscatine came through along the inside to nip Rock Hollywood for the place spot in the blanket finish.

Showmeyourstuff, a gelded son of Armbro American--Pine Bough, has been plagued by breaks at inopportune times this season, but Wednesday’s victory still managed to push his record up to 3-1-2 in 13 starts for owner trainer Jerald Viviani and partner Sue Phillip. The third choice in the wagering returned a healthy $22.80, $6.00 and $4.40.

(Balmoral Park)

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