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Bingo Johnnie, Fox Valley Diva Stakes In The Books

Published: June 13, 2011 12:01 pm ET

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A pair of Illinois-conceived and foaled events for both pacers and trotters put Illinois-breds in the spotlight on Sunday, June 12 at Balmoral Park.

In the $5,000 Bingo Johnnie Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts, the Robert Phillips-owned and trained Als Hammered made it two wins in as many tries as he cruised to a one and a half-length victory in 1:59 for driver Marcus Miller.

Fresh off a win in the Jimmy Sunshine Stakes in his career debut, Als Hammered, a son of Droppinthehammer--Alberts Magic, once again showed the patience of an experienced veteran, as he bided his time near the back of the pack. He watched as Sportscar George (driven by Dale Hiteman) cruised through splits of :30.1, 1:00.3 and 1:31.

Moving into the outer flow, a second-over Miller tipped Als Hammer wider for the drive and the big brown colt motored home in :27.1 to keep his perfect record intact. Fox Valley Cadbury (Ridge Warren) turned a pocket-sitting trip into a second-place cheque. Ice Scraper (Brian Carpenter) rallied to finish third.

In the nightcap, Kyle Husted pulled off an upset with Ron Marino and David Herman’s 9-1 shot Fox Valley Ruffian. The duo trotted to an easy three-length score in 1:59 to take the $9,000 Fox Valley Diva Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies.

Despite a big second-place finish in the $42,600 Violet Stakes, the Randy Tuftie-trained Fox Valley Ruffian was overlooked in the wagering for the Fox Valley Diva Stakes. She made her doubters pay, as she overcame a tough first over trip to score for the first time in her 17-race career.

(With files from Balmoral)


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