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Earndawg Defeats Illinois Stakes Rivals

Published: May 10, 2015 2:02 am ET

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Sophomore pacing colts were in the spotlight on Saturday, May 9 at Balmoral Park as a full field of 10 Illinois-breds squared off in the $8,000 Taser Gun Stake.

Originally carded for last week’s Maywood card, this battle turned out to be worth the wait for last year’s divisional champion Earndawg, as the bay gelding scored by a hard fought half-length in a career-best of 1:52.3.

Confidently handled by driver Todd Warren, the altered son of Sportsmaster-Pacific Sister K was sent to the top after watching a fast-leaving Dakota Roadster (Robert Smolin) speed by the opening panel in :29.2.

The lead was short-lived for Earndawg as a hard-charging Dixies Boy (Casey Leonard) swept up to grab command on the backstretch, leading the field through a half-mile in :57.4.

The pace continued to quicken as the field moved around the far turn with Dixies Boy showing the way. Earndawg was enjoying a pocket-sitting journey at that point while longshot Casey At Bat (Tim Curtin) led the outer flow into contention as the field hit the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:25.2.

Through the lane Dixies Boy continued to show the way, but Earndawg was ready and raring to go as Warren secured racing room on the outside with an eighth of a mile to go.

Quickly blowing by the pacesetter, the Roger Welch trainee instantly opened up a two-length advantage. Last year’s Orange & Blue winner was not “out of the woods” yet though as he was all out at the wire to hold off a huge late move from 37-1 shot Dinky Dune (Pat Curtin), who came charging up the inside to finish second. Lucpark (Mike Oosting) also closed well to finish third, three and a quarter lengths behind the winner.

Dispatched as the third choice in a very evenly bet match-up, Earndawg returned $6.80, $3.60 and $2.10 while running his record to 9-4-2 in 19 career starts with earnings of $221,975 for the ownership group of William P. and William C. De Long and Ernest Miller.

Live racing continues on Sunday, May 10 at Balmoral Park with a 10-race card getting underway at 7:10 p.m. (central). Sunday’s $1 Pick 4 features a guaranteed pool of $25,000. The state-bred stakes action will also continue on Sunday with a field of nine sophomore trotting fillies slugging it out in the $8,000 Betzotic Stake, which goes as race six. Sophomore pacing fillies will also be in action in the fifth race as a very competitive field of eight will battle in a Violet Stake “prep.”

(With files from Balmoral Park)

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