Welch Trainees Take Violet Eliminations

Published: May 17, 2010 09:59 am EDT

Veteran conditioner Roger Welch has reason to be optimistic as the first 'major' test of the Illinois-bred stakes season draws closer after a pair of sophomore pacing fillies that hail from his barn captured both of Sunday’s $7,000 eliminations for the Violet Stakes. The top five finishers from each division will return on Sunday, May 23 to slug it out for a purse of $51,800.

In Sunday’s first elimination, Welch's Park Place--Town Looker filly Ellamakailey took advantage of a perfect steer from driver Mike Oosting and rallied through the passing lane to win by one length in a career best of 1:53.1.

Content to sit right on the back of the favoured Cotton Candy (driven by Dave Magee) as she wheeled through splits of :28.4, :57.4 and 1:26.1, Oosting had Ellamkailey perfectly positioned for a spirited stretch drive.

The win was the second in three starts this season for Ellamakailey who flew under the radar last season hitting the board in 12 of 16 starts while earning almost $30,000 for owner Steven Leita.

In the second division, driver Dale Hiteman did a masterful job of stealing some soft early fractions which allowed Reillys Daughter to come home with plenty left in the tank.

Using the inside post to perfection Hiteman had the daughter of Sportsmaster--Independence Ball under wraps as they strolled through splits of :29, :58 and 1:26.1.

Seeming to find another gear midway around the final turn, Reillys Daughter quickly opened up a three-length advantage on her rivals before coasting under the wire with a one and a quarter-length victory in a career best of 1:53.3.

After a very light two-year-old season for the partnership of the Obermeier & Quaid Stables, Reillys Daughter has racked up five wins in 11 starts this season including a victory in the Direct Balance Stakes at Balmoral Park.

(With files from Balmoral)

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