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Over My Head Surprises In 'Windy City'


Published: November 21, 2009 2:41 am ET

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In a dramatic photo finish Over My Head edged out Sheer Desire and If I Can Dream at the wire for a 55-1 upset in the 27th edition of the $225,000 Windy City Pace at Maywood Park on Friday night.

Sheer Desire (Dave Palone) lead the field of eight three-year-old pacing colts to the first quarter in :26.4, but was overtaken by a parked out If I Can Dream (Tim Tetrick), who cleared the lead past the half in :55 and powered to three-quarters in 1:23.1.

Meanwhile, Annieswesterncard (Travis Seekman) was gaining ground on the outside with In Over My Head and Dale Hiteman following his cover in fifth.

In a sprint to the finish, In Over My Head rallied off second-over cover with a :28.1 final frame to prevail by a head in 1:52.2 over the pocket-sitting Sheer Desire, who squeezed up the rail for second, and If I Can Dream, who finished just a neck behind in third.

Over My Head - Windy City Pace 2009

“The trip we had couldn’t have worked out any better,” said Hiteman. “I knew the two favourites were battling pretty hard up on the front and my colt felt very strong. Once were able to slip off the pylons heading for the three-quarters I thought we might have a chance.

“I just gave my horse his head at the top of the stretch and he really took off tonight,” Hiteman continued. “I had talked to the owners of this horse and they told me before the race to just see if I could work out a good trip for him and see if we could pick up a little piece of the check. I guess he wound up with a bit more than just a piece of it.”

John Butenschoen trains the winning son of I Am A Fool-Blue For You for owners Greg Carey of Mineral Point and Shawn Swenson of Madison, Wisconsin. The win was number seven out of 23 starts this year for Over My Head, who has banked $198,651. The eight-time career winner now boasts $204,903 in purses.

American National and Breeders Crown winner Yellow Diamond was the belle of the ball in the Cinderella Stake for sophomore pacing fillies also held Friday evening. She and driver Tim Tetrick led the way through fractions of :27.3, :56.1 and 1:24.3 and finished three-quarters of a length ahead of her stablemate, a pocket-sitting Shacked Up (Dave Palone). The winning time was 1:52.1. Fox Valley Topaz (Mike Oosting) rounded out the top three.

“My filly really felt comfortable out there tonight,” said Tetrick. “She paced that opening quarter in :27.3 and did it without any effort at all. I wanted to make sure nobody was going to be able to out brush us in the lane so that’s why I asked her for a little something going into the last turn and she took right off again.

“She should get all the credit because she’s just a wonderful filly to drive. She’s very fast, she does everything right and she does it very easily. Even though she’s so big she had no problem at all getting around this half-mile oval tonight.”

Tracy Brainard trains the millionaire daughter of Western Terror-Mattatonic for the Bulletproof Entreprises of Boca Raton, Florida. Yellow Diamond boasts 14 wins, three seconds and four thirds in 22 outings during her debut season. The lion’s share of the $100,000 purse bumped her earnings to $1,364,803.

Tetrick also worked out the winning trip for two-year-old pacer Ok Commander, the 9-2 second choice, in the $130,000 Abe Lincoln Stake. The Art Major-Double Crème colt followed the cover of Four Starz Trace (Dave Palone) and rallied three-wide at three-quarters. He then battled on top with Four Starz Trace down the stretch and managed to push ahead thanks to a :28.4 final frame for the 1:54.3 victory by a neck. Voomerang (Josh Sutton) finished third.

“That was a heck of a horse race,” said a relieved Tetrick in the winner’s circle. “That horse that Dave Palone was driving was as game as they come as well. My horse stuck a neck in front of him but the other horse came right back and I had to work on my horse the length of the stretch to get there.”

The American National winner picked up his second victory in 13 starts and bumped his bankroll to $225,003 for trainer Gregg McNair and owners William Switala and James Martin of Clarence Center, New York.

“He’s done for this year and now he’ll fit non-winners of three when we start back with him next season,” McNair joked. “He’s a big horse already and if he develops even more over the winter I think we’re going to have a very nice three-year-old on our hands.”

Three-year-old trotters faced off in the $90,000 Galt Stake as well and Southern Rocketop delivered on his pari-mutuel promise with Dave Palone in the bike. The son of Psychic Spirit-Summer In The City got away second but made a quarter-pole move and led the rest of the way to score in 1:57.3 by a half-length over Motor Inn (Peter Wrenn). Dashing Earl (Tim Tetrick) finished third.

“He felt very strong yet very comfortable out there tonight,” commented Magee. “Sometimes he dictates how I drive him because he can be pretty headstrong at times but tonight he was really nice and relaxed out there.”

Southern Rocketop is trained by Robert Taylor and owned by Tor Krageboen of Norway. His 11th win in 17 outings this year lifted his earnings to $493,101 and $645,206 lifetime. The victory was his 20th overall.

“Our goal this season was to educate him and teach him to race,” explained Taylor. “He’s really come along very nicely and he’s a much easier horse to handle now as you saw tonight.

“I’ll turn him out now and then start back with him in the spring,” he added. I know they’re planning on taking him overseas and the goal is to have him ready to race sometime in late May to June.”

(With quotes from Maywood Park)

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