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Fort Silky Steals The Spotlight

Published: June 16, 2013 7:06 pm ET

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While much of the pre-race buzz may have centered around another great Illinois bred from the barn of trainer Terry Leonard as the classy veteran Well To Do Guru made his return from a seven month layoff, it was his current star, Fort Silky, who stole the headlines during the $30,000 Broadway Preview Stake on Saturday at Balmoral Park.

The pride of owners John Prentice and Neva Jane Ikeler, Fort Silky rolled to a half-length victory over seven other Illinois conceived and foaled pacers. The final time was 1:52.2.

Sent right to the front by driver Casey Leonard, Fort Silky had no trouble grabbing control of the proceedings leading the field through an opening quarter in :27.1.

In total command through middle splits of :56.1 and 1:24.2, the seven-year-old son of Ft Apache Hanover shrugged off a first over bid from longshot Richess Emperor at the top of the stretch.

With plenty in reserve, Fort Silky then cruised home in :28 to secure his ninth win in 18 starts this season. Whirlwind Diplomacy (Mike Oosting), who also hails from Leonard’s barn, uncorked a wicked :26.4 final quarter to finish a fast-closing second after being shuffled to the back of the pack while Gibbs (Todd Warren) finished a close up third.

The win was the 35th of Fort Silky’s career and the bay gelding has now hit the board in 15 of 18 starts in 2013. Fort Silky returned $3.20, $2.40 and $2.10 while pushing his career bankroll up to $417,295.

(With files from Balmoral Park)

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