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Freshmen Romp In Illinois Stakes

Published: October 4, 2014 1:31 pm ET

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Illinois conceived and foaled two-year-old pacers shared top billing on the Friday, Oct. 3 card at Maywood Park as some of the state’s top fillies gathered for the $43,600 Violet Stake while their male counterparts battled in the $43,350 Cardinal Stake.

Both races left no doubt as to who was best on this night as Jessie De Long and the Hamm Family Trust’s Sportsmuffler romped to a six and a half length victory in the Violet while Bo and Pat De Long and Ernest Miller’s Earndawg continued his recent dominance of his division with a devastating four and a half length romp in the Cardinal.

Taking advantage of a perfect pocket-sitting journey as Luvniecestopieces (Ryan Anderson) rattled off splits of :28 and :57.1, driver John De Long moved Sportsmuffler to the outside as the field hit the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:26.1.

Fit and fresh as the fillies moved around the final bend, the Jessie De Long-trained daughter of Sportsmaster—Whattheresmore overpowered the pacesetter as the field turned for home then drew off impressively, tripping the timer in 1:56.3 for her seventh win in 11 lifetime starts. Fox Valley Charm (Kyle Wilfong), who picked up brief cover from the winner, turned in a nice effort to be the bridesmaid while Luvniecestopieces held on to be a distant third.
A close second choice in the wagering, Sportsmuffer returned $5.00, $3.20 and $3.20 while upping her career bankroll to more than $67,000.

Using the “give and go” to perfection in the Cardinal Stake, driver Todd Warren allowed entrymate King Of The Swamp (Ridge Warren) to grab command through a quick opening split of :27.2. Sweeping back to the top after the opening panel, Earndawg proceeded to pace through fractions of :57.2 and 1:26.2 while keeping Lucpark (Dave Magee) hung on the outside.

With the difficult trip finally taking a toll on that one, the Roger Welch-trained son of Sportsmaster—Pacific Sister K simply sprinted away from the rest of his rivals leaving them in his wake as he cruised under the wire in 1:55.4 for his fifth win in 12 tries this season. King Of The Swamp followed the winner all the way but was simply second best on this night while C Note (Travis Seekman) shook loose late to finish third, eight and three-quarter lengths behind the winner.

This year’s Orange & Blue champion may have put a stamp on local divisional honours with Friday’s win as he now boasts a record of 5-2-2 in 12 starts with earnings of more than $141,000. Bet as though defeat was out of the question, the Welch-trained coupling returned $2.20, $2.40 and $2.10.

(Maywood Park)

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