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Freshmen Debut In Illinois Stakes

Published: June 14, 2015 3:18 am ET

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A trio of Illinois conceived and foaled stakes highlighted a busy Saturday both on and off the track at Balmoral Park. With the 7th Annual Runnin’ With the Horses 5K run held earlier in the day and a large crowd enjoying the live music and fun at the annual “Brewhaha” craft beer festival on the apron fans were able to get their first look at some of this season’s two-year-old pacing colts in the $4,000 Bingo Johnnie Stake.

Sophomore trotters were also on the docket as a field of 10 met in the $8,000 Southern Rocketop Stake while the top older pacers in training closed out the action in the $14,000 Broadway Preview Stake.

In the Bingo Johnnie, Nicole Potts' Royale Rose lived up to his favoured status as he rolled to a four-length victory in 1:57.2 for driver Brian Carpenter.

The $3,800 yearling purchase used his inside starting spot to perfection saving ground early as Spending Cash (Todd Warren) led the field through splits of :30.1 and 1:00.1. After pulling from third midway around the final turn, Carpenter deftly maneuvered the son of Ashlees Big Guy—Caribe Royale around an off-stride Spending Cash, who made a nasty break as the field reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:29.3. With nothing but clear sailing ahead of him, the Lyle Scurlock-trained colt sped home in :27.4 to take his career debut. Eddie Eddie Eddie (Clifton Bell) finished third, but was moved up to second and Sagebrush Sam (Casey Leonard), who was knocked off-stride in the first turn when My Man Red (Mike Oosting) made a break, finished fourth, but was moved up to third. My Man Red originally finished second, but was disqualified and placed fourth for the incident in the first turn.

The 4-5 favourite returned $3.80, $3.00 and $2.60 after posting a nice win in his qualifier just four days prior to Saturday’s debut.

The Southern Rocketop Stake was not so kind to the “chalk players” as 1-5 favourite Fox Valley Qatar made a break leaving the gate allowing Charles Doehring and John D. Finn’s Captain Greedy to speed right to the top where he proceeded to make every call a winning one in an easy five and a half length romp while stopping the clock in a career-best of 1:56.1.

Hustled away from post eight by driver J D Finn, the gelded son of Yankee Valor—Tropical Trixie cruised through splits of :29, :58.3 and 1:27.2 while going along unchallenged on the front end. With plenty still in reserve and the division leader distanced at the back of the pack, Captain Greedy sealed the deal with a :28.4 final quarter to notch his first win in four starts this season. The bay gelding had been second behind Fox Valley Qatar in his first three outings. Longshot Southern Appeal (Pat Curtin) turned a nice ground-saving trip into a second-place finish while Southern Special (Brian Carpenter) was third.

With the win, Captain Greedy now boasts a career record of 10-2-3 in 21 starts with earnings of $72,643. Dispatched as a healthy 8-1 second choice Captain Greedy returned $19.80, $8.00 and $3.80.

Just a compact field of five faced the gate for the Broadway Preview Stake, but the top “older” pacers in the Prairie State still produced an eye-catching mile as James Behrendt’s Ice Scraper led from pillar to post while recording a one and a half length victory in a snappy 1:50 for driver Brian Carpenter.

Hustled away from the outside starting spot, the speedy six-year-old son of Yankee Skyscaper was in total control of the proceedings as he zipped through splits of :26.1, :54 and 1:21.2. Despite having the always dangerous Fort Silky sitting right on his back, Ice Scraper casually shrugged off a belated challenge from the pocket-sitter through the final sixteenth of a mile as he reported home with fifth win in 14 starts this season. Fort Silky was forced to settle for the runner-up role on this night while Big Brad finished a distant third.

The 3-5 favourite returned $3.20, $2.20 and $2.10 while running his career numbers to 27-26-14 in 124 starts with earnings of $321,983 while under the guidance of conditioner Mike Brown.

The state-bred stake action continues on Sunday, June 14 as a field of 10 freshmen pacing fillies will square off in the $4,000 Misty Misty Misty Stake, which goes as race four on the 10-race program. All the action gets underway at 7:10 p.m. on Sunday night and as always the $1 Pick 4 features a $25,000 guaranteed pool. The Pick 4 is on races seven through 10 on Sunday night.

(Balmoral Park)

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