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Tour Hall Prevails In 'Cardinal' Win Photo

Published: May 28, 2014 11:12 pm ET

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Sophomore trotting colts received top billing on Wednesday night at Balmoral Park as a field of 10 state-bred three-year-olds battled in a $47,100 Cardinal Stake.

Once again the sidewinders in this division provided another thrilling finish as Mike Brink and Loren Tournear’s Tour Hall stuck a nostril in front right at the finish line to edge Fox Valley Veto in 1:56.1.

Sent to the top by driver Dave Magee, Tour Hall led the field through an opening quarter in :28.4. After relinquishing the lead on the backstretch to a hard-charging Big Bill Breeze (Dale Hiteman), Tour Hall enjoyed a pocket ride through middle splits of :58.4 and 1:28.3.

The garden spot almost turned out to be the undoing of the 7-5 favourite though as a first over Fox Valley Veto (John De Long) stormed into command as the field turned for home. After being forced to patiently wait for room in the passing lane as Big Bill Breeze began to fade, Magee finally revved up the Mike Brink-trained gelding with a sixteenth of a mile to go.

This year’s Betzotic and Speedy Rodney Stake winner then showed the mettle that made him the division favourite coming into the year as he gamely overtook Fox Valley Veto in the final stride to win for the third time in four starts this season. Bobby B Breeze (Todd Warren) rallied late to finish third.

Tour Hall, who returned $4.80, $3.20 and $2.60, now boasts a career record of 7-4-1 in 14 starts with earnings of $109,851.

(Balmoral Park)

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