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Favourites Roll In Violet & Cardinal Finals


Published: October 9, 2009 11:39 pm ET

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While the conditions were cold and wet the action was hot and heavy on Friday night at Maywood Park as Illinois top two-year-old pacers were on display in the $56,500 Violet Stake and the $51,950 Cardinal Stake.

The “girls” splashed into action first as a field of eight faced the starting gate for the Violet Stake. Cementing her position at the top of this division Stretch It Again Stable's Fox Valley Oracle made it look easy as she cruised to a 3-1/4 length triumph in 1:56.2.

Getting away fourth from her inside starting spot, Fox Valley Oracle and driver Tyler Buter were content to save ground through the early going as their stablemate Fox Valley Angie (Dale Hiteman) and The Assassinator (Jamaica Patton) battled through a tough opening quarter of :27.1.

“I saw what was going on up front and I knew I didn’t want to get my filly involved in that speed duel,” explained Buter. “We came away fourth and I was able to save ground so I was very happy with where we landed.”

With The Assassinator committed to the front end, Fox Valley Angie found herself stuck taking the long route. That set things up perfectly for Fox Valley Oracle, who moved to the outside, latching onto the live cover of her entrymate as the field steamed past the half-mile mark in :56.1.

Heading down the backside the final time, The Assassinator and Fox Valley Angie continued to slug it out while a fit and fresh Fox Valley Oracle swept up three-wide as they rolled by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:26.2.

“When you put this filly on a helmet she just seems to swell up,” said a muddy but happy Buter. “Then once you show her air she just seems to put it into another gear and she goes right on.”

Storming around the leg weary leaders the daughter of Sportsmaster-Our Golden Promise quickly left the top two in her wake as she opened up a three-length lead at the mid-stretch call.

The issue was never in doubt from that point on as the John Butenschoen-trained miss cruised home with her fourth victory of the season. Thingsleftunsaid (Todd Warren) rallied on the far outside to finish second while Rolldownthehiway (Marcus Miller) was a distant third, almost 10 lengths behind the winner.

After the victory Buter had nothing but praise for Fox Valley Oracle.

“She’s not just a one move horse,” he said. “You can use her several times if you need to but she’s definitely at her best when you can race her off a helmet like we did tonight.”

This year’s Filly Orange & Blue winner now boasts three straight victories and a seasonal record of 4-5-2 in 13 starts with earnings of $193,218. Bet to the near exclusion of her rivals, Fox Valley Oracle returned $2.60, $2.10 and $2.10.

The division leader also prevailed in the Cardinal final as Power Of A Moment made it eight straight victories by toughing out a one-length decision in 1:56.

Nicely handled by driver Marcus Miller, the gelded son of Cole Muffler-Panfastic left alertly from his far outside post and thanks to some crafty handling by his young driver was able to tuck in fifth before the field reached the backstretch.

“I was leaving out of there even if it meant being parked the mile,” Miller explained. “I figured we’d be better off outside the entire way than trying to come from last with the way the track was.”

With Fitzs Z Tam (Tyler Buter) carving out splits of :27.0 and :56.4, Miller sent Power Of A Moment on his way and the hard knocking youngster was within a length of the leader as the field moved by the stands for the first time.

The tough grind continued as the field moved onto the backstretch. Battling head and head down the backside Power Of A Moment finally overtook the pace-setter as the field reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:25.2.

“My horse was a little tired from being out so long at that point but he never ever stops trying,” said a beaming Miller. “I knew we were going to get by the leader but I didn’t know what was coming behind us.”

As the field turned for home Fitzs Z Tam was gamely trying to battle back as Power Of A Moment loomed right alongside. The Ervin Miller trainee then showed what champions are made of as he swallowed up Fitzs Z Tam and drew clear for the victory. Apache Renegade (Todd Warren) staged a late rally to nab the place check while Curb Your Z Tam (Josh Sutton) shook loose late for the show dough.

Adding yet another “major” stakes victory to his resume this year’s Orange & Blue winner now boasts an eye catching record of 10-3-0 in 13 starts with earnings of staged a late rally to nab the place check while Curb Your Z Tam (Josh Sutton) shook loose late for the show dough.

While victories have come often for Power Of A Moment this one really seemed to impress his pilot.

“With the way the conditions were, the post we had and then the trip we had this one monster mile he turned in tonight,” gushed Miller. “He never ever stops giving you his all and that’s the reason he’s won so many races this season.”

Despite the outside post Power Of A Moment was bet like defeat was out of the question returning $3.00, $2.40 and $2.10.

(Maywood Park)

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