Hiteman Sweeps Violet Elims

Published: May 16, 2011 12:09 pm EDT

A pair of $7,000 eliminations for the $45,600 Violet Stakes --- an event for three-year-old Illinois-bred and foaled pacing fillies --- took centre stage over a 'fast' track at Balmoral Park on Sunday, May 16.

In the opening battle, Sportsmaster lass Fox Valley Touche proved once again that she will be a force to be reckoned with in this division, as she grabbed command right from the word 'go' and made every call a winning one en route to a one and a quarter-length victory in 1:56.3 for trainer Joel Smith and driver Dale Hiteman.

“She tied up last week and wound up getting scratched so I wanted to be careful with her tonight but she felt good and we were not going that fast so I just let her go on about her business,” said Hiteman.

“Coming off the sick scratch and needing only to finish fifth I did not plan on using her that hard tonight,” Hiteman said about Fox Valley Touche. “But given the fact we got away with such easy splits and the fact that she really felt strong I decided to let her go on about her business and she was just super again tonight.”

The second elim saw the Leo Grummel-trained and Dale Hiteman-driven Shake That Thing rally from last to first and win by a nose in the late goings in 1:56.1.

"At that point (at the three quarters) I was just figuring let’s get a spot in the final [for Shake That Thing], but she really felt strong and things were starting to open up for us,” said Hiteman. “It was a total surprise to me that she had this kind of final kick in her but obviously Pardon wasn’t quite at her best tonight and my filly just kept picking them off one by one until we hit the line in front.”

(With files from Balmoral)