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Youngsters Splash Into Violet & Cardinal Finals

Published: October 3, 2009 12:33 am ET

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Illinois conceived and foaled two-year-olds were the focus of attention on a cold and rainy Friday night at Maywood Park as the Violet and Cardinal Stake eliminations were contested over a sloppy track.

With a total of 15 two-year-old pacing fillies entered for the Violet a pair of $7,500 preliminaries were contested. The top four finishers in each division will now return next Friday, October 9 for the $56,550 final.

In the opening split Ervin Miller Stables and Tanah Merah Farms' Rolldownthehiway took advantage of a perfect two-hole trip as she rallied up the passing lane to win by a long neck in 1:58.4.

Perfectly handled by driver Marcus Miller the daughter of Cole Muffler-Cambridge Lane was able to work her way into the garden spot thanks in part to a break in the first turn by Fox Valley Naomi (Brandon Simpson).

That miscue allowed Makena Cat (Josh Sutton) to grab command putting Rolldownthehiway into the perfect spot as the field raced through opening splits of :30.1 and 1:00.3.

Heading for the three-quarter mile mark the action began to heat up as a first-over Delta Dawson (Todd Warren) moved up to challenge the pacesetter. With Rolldownthehiway still sitting in the pocket third the highly regarded Fox Valley Angie (Dale Hiteman) came storming up on the outside into fourth as the field passed by the three-quarter-mile pole in 1:30.

Through the lane a game Makena Cat rebuffed the challenge of Delta Dawson but a fit and fresh Rolldownthehiway came charging through the passing lane to notch her eighth victory in 16 starts this season. Makena Cat held on for second while Fox Valley Angie was a tough luck third. Delta Dawson earned a spot in the final with her fourth place finish.

Fresh off a win in the Thrifty Way Stake at Balmoral, Rolldownthehiway now boasts earnings of $30,192 for her connections.

The second Violet elimination provided some anxious moments for the “chalk” players but in the end Stretch It Again Stables' Fox Valley Oracle was able to tough out an impressive half-length triumph in 1:58.4 over the sloppy going.

After settling in fourth as Andrea Cann (Brandon Simpson) led the way through an opening quarter in :29.1 driver Tyler Buter pulled Fox Valley Oracle midway around the turn and the daughter of Sportsmaster-Our Golden Promise was just a three-quarters of a length behind the pacesetting Andrea Cann as they rolled by the halfway mark in 1:00.

Continuing to sit on the outside while a game Andrea Can tried to fight her off, the 4-5 choice of the betting public was still a length back as they cruised by the three-quarter-mark in 1:30.

Finding her best stride as the field moved midway around the final bend this year’s Filly Orange & Blue winner finally grabbed command as the field hit the top of the stretch.

Flashing her brilliant closing kick yet again the John Butenschoen trained miss then pulled clear, holding off a late bid from Things Left Unsaid (Todd Warren), to win for the third time in 12 lifetime starts. Things Left Unsaid was second while the final two spots went to The Assassinator (Jamaica Patton) and Andrea Cann, who finished third and fourth respectively.

Now on the board in 10 of her 12 lifetime starts, Fox Valley Oracle sports a bankroll of $164,943.

With just eight colts entered for the Cardinal the top four finishers in Friday’s $7,500 elimination will join Power Of A Moment, Voomerang, Indescribable and Fitzz Z Tam, who earned byes on a money earned basis in next Friday’s $52,650 final.

Having the top four earners in the division on the sideline, this event figured to be a wide open affair but the chalk players were rewarded again as Robert and Taylor Rietveld’s Apache Renegade picked a nice time to notch his first victory reporting home with a three-quarter length verdict in 1:57.1.

Sent off as the 4-5 choice by the wagering public, the son of Ft Apache Hanover-One Sure Thing appeared to be in a bad spot early as he was caught outside while Burnthemidnightoil (Marcus Miller) and a three deep Curb Your Z Tam (Josh Sutton) battled through an opening quarter in :28.

Neatly tucking into fourth while Curb Your Z Tam finally made the front as the field neared the half-mile mark driver Todd Warren was able to give his colt a short breather as a first-over Airy Heir (Robert Smolin) moved up to battle for the lead as the field reached the half-mile mark in :57.3.

Wasting no time as the field headed for the backstretch Warren had Apache Renegade out and moving but once again he was in a precarious situation as a three-wide Fox Valley Barbosa (Dale Hiteman) came storming up on the outside. That move trapped Apache Renegade in a blind switch behind the stopping Airy Heir as the field reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:27.

Moving like a freight train, Fox Valley Barbosa stormed into the lead midway around the final turn allowing Warren to tip Apache Renegade three-wide and right back into contention.

Through the lane the big sweeping move began to get to a leg weary Fox Valley Barbosa while Apache Renegade began to gobble up ground on the outside. The pacesetting Curb Your Z Tam was also hanging on gamely along the inside but in the end Apache Renegade managed to prevail for his first win in 14 lifetime starts. Curb Your Z Tam battled back for second while Speakrightomyheart (Tyler Buter) rallied for third. Fox Valley Barbosa grabbed the last spot in the final by hanging on to fourth.

Despite not having a win to his credit, the Nelson Willis trainee has enjoyed a decent opening season with eight second and third place finishes and with Friday night’s first place check he now has earnings of $37,854.

(Maywood Park)

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