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Betzotic Dominates Balmoral Weekend

Published: May 7, 2012 1:34 pm ET

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A pair of Illinois-conceived and foaled stakes shared top billing during another busy weekend of action at Balmoral Park. On Saturday, May 5 a field of 10 sophomore pacing colts battled in the $12,000 Betzotic Stakes, while the Sunday, May 6 program featured a pair of $10,000 divisions for three-year-old trotting fillies in another edition of Betzotic Stakes action.

Just as he did during his two-year-old season when he got off to a fast start to open his racing career, Als Hammered continued his early season sophomore heroics as he exploded in the stretch to post a one-length victory in a career best of 1:51.3 on Saturday night.

Saddled with Post 10 in a very competitive field, the son of Droppinthehammer sat at the back as Urawomanizer (driven by Mike Oosting) and NJs Big Deal (Ronnie Gillespie) battled through opening splits of :27.1, :56 and 1:24.1.

Still ninth as the field turned for home, driver Robert Smolin tipped the Phillips-trained sophomore three and then four-wide as the field moved into the stretch.

Picking off one rival after another, Als Hammered ripped off a wicked :26 final quarter to blow right by his rivals for his third win in eight starts this season. Charted as being nine lengths off at the half-mile mark, the long-striding colt paced a back half in an eye-opening :53.4. Kings Legend (Marcus Miller) rallied nicely to finish second, while NJs Big Deal, who wound up getting shuffled back after relinquishing the early lead, shook loose late to get the show dough.

Dispatched as the 5-2 second choice in the wagering, Als Hammered returned $7.00, $5.60 and $3.80 while notching his eighth career victory in 21 starts.

Diagonally-gaited distaffers were on display on Sunday night, as a total of 14 state-breds battled in a pair of $10,000 Betzotic splits.

In the opener, Valley Velvet picked up her first victory as a three-year-old, as she posting a two and three-quarter-length, wire-to-wire victory in 1:59.1 for driver Marcus Miller.

In the nightcap, up-and-coming filly Divas Photo came from 'out of the clouds' to post a late-rushing, two and a quarter-length victory in 1:59.3 with Mike Oosting at the controls.

(With files from Balmoral Park)


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