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Illinois Youngsters Debut At Balmoral

Published: June 15, 2014 10:31 pm ET

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Racing fans received their first look at some of this season's Illinois conceived and foaled freshmen trotting and pacing sets as a pair of non-wagering events on Sunday, June 15 capped off a busy weekend of state-bred stakes action at Balmoral Park.

Pacers kicked off the early action on Sunday night with a field of four youngsters battling in the $10,000 Wicked Brew Stake. After biding his time at the back of the pack as Really Dave (Dean Magee) strolled through splits of :31.1, 1:00.3 and 1:30.2, the Dennis Brightwell-owned Casey At Bat uncorked an eye-catching :28 final quarter to roll right by his rivals for a neck decision in 1:59.2 with Casey Leonard at the controls. Getter Done Dune (Dave Magee) was second while Just Do It Jesse (Robert Smolin) was third. The homebred son of Sportsmaster—Odds On Casey is conditioned by Curtis Rice.

A field of five diagonally-gaited freshmen went postward in the $5,000 Million Dollar Bye Stake a few minutes later. After a perfect pocket-sitting journey while Captain Greedy (JD Finn) put up splits of :30.2, 1:00.3 and 1:32.1, driver Todd Warren popped out of the two-hole at the head of the stretch with the Herman Wheeler-owned and trained Fox Valley Qatar and the youngster trotted home powerfully to post a three length victory in 2:01.2. Captain Greedy held on for second while Arcs Conquest (Dave Magee) was third. The winner, who is a gelded son of Pizzazzed—Armbro Bahrain, was a $7,000 Land Of Lincoln Sale purchase by Wheeler.

Pacers and trotters also shared the spotlight on Saturday, June 14 as a field of eight older state-breds met in the $20,000 Broadway Preview Stake while seven sophomore trotting colts squared off in the $10,000 Southern Rocketop Stake.

A pair of frequent visitors to the Balmoral Park winner’s circle toted home top honours in these events as the Robert Phillips-owned and trainer Als Hammered zoomed right by the field with his potent closing burst to win by two and a half lengths in 1:49.4 while Tour Hall continued his dominance of the sophomore trotting set with a deceptively easy half-length victory in 1:55.2.

Reserved in the early going by driver Robert Smolin, Als Hammered circled around rivals on the final turn before unleashing a wicked :26.1 final quarter to win for the seventh time in 11 starts this season. Silver Devil (John De Long) shook loose late to rally for second while pacesetter Ice Scraper (Todd Warren) held on for third.

Mike Brink and Loren Tournear’s Tour Hall came into Saturday’s stake riding a four-race winning streak and the overwhelming 2-5 favourite lived up to his hype as he shook loose in the lane after a perfect steer from Dave Magee, charging home in :28.2 to stop the clock in a career-best. Fox Valley Veto (John De Long) battled hard, but was relegated to the runner-up role for the third straight week while Bobby B Breeze (Todd Warren) was third.

(Balmoral Park)

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