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Stakes Mania At Balmoral Park

Published: June 22, 2015 6:35 am ET

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A Sunday night program full of Illinois conceived and foaled stakes action which mainly put the spotlight on this year’s crop of two-year-olds kicked off with a non-wagering event as a field of five diagonally gaited fillies met in the Star Slinger Stake.

Powering to the front after an opening quarter in :0.3 Providence West Inc.’s Vengeful looked back as she put up middle splits of :9.1 & 1:29.4 while cruising to a 1- length victory in 1:59.3 for Brian Carpenter. Shez A Devil Woman (Dale Hiteman) followed the winner’s every move after relinquishing the lead at the quarter to wind up second while Praise Singer (Casey Leonard) finished third.

The winner, who is a daughter of Powerful Emotion—Over The Top was a $5,000 Illini Classic yearling purchase is conditioned by Kenny Collier.

Their male counterparts kicked off the wagering program with a field of seven trotting colts squaring off in the $4,000 Million Dollar Bye Stake.

Instead of looking like a first time starter, Quaid Racing’s Wrightwood acted like a seasoned veteran as he completely overwhelmed this group, rolling to an 11-¼ length triumph in 1:58.4.

Confidently handled by driver Casey Leonard, the son of Powerful Emotion—Racy Roz was content to trot along in third while watching Iron Band (Jamaica Patton) and Prince Simba (Mike Brink) battle through tough early splits of :29.1 and :57.3.

Still third but on the move behind JD Cheese (Travis Seekman) who grabbed command as the field hit the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:29.1, the Nelson Willis trained colt easily reeled in that one, blowing right by with an eighth of a mile to go then quickly drawing away while leaving his rivals in his wake. JD Cheese was forced to settle for the runner-up role while Todger (Todd Warren) finished third.

After prepping for his debut with a pair of sharp second place finishes in his qualifiers Wrightwood was well backed at the windows returning $4.20.

With a total of 14 freshmen pacing fillies entered for the Incredible Tillie Stake the young ladies were split into a pair of $5,000 divisions.

In the first division the Hosea Williams-owned and trained Lexington Lady used the passing lane to perfection rallying up the inside in the final strides to put a nose in front of Saras Terror as they tripped the timer in a snappy 1:55.4.

Perfectly positioned by driver John De Long, the daughter of Lexington Legend—Stephie Kay left alertly and wound up landing in the garden spot as Sara’s Terror (Brian Carpenter) led the field through splits of :29.2, :59.1 and 1:28.4.

Patiently awaiting room at the pylons as Saras Terror and Fox Valleytiramisu (Robert Smolin) battled through the lane, De Long manoeuvred his charge into the passing lane where she rallied gamely for the hard fought victory. Sara’s Terror was a tough luck second while Fox Valley Addison (Todd Warren) rallied to be third.

Coming off a second place finish in her career debut last week Lexington Lady, who was a $2,500 yearling purchase returned $6.00.

In the second division trainer Nelson Willis, Quaid Racing and driver Casey Leonard struck for their second stakes win of the night as Char N Marg came charging between horses to rally for a one-length victory in 1:56.3.

Using an advantageous draw Leonard positioned the daughter of Sportsmaster-Zip Up Your Pans in the coveted two-hole while Fox Valley Bailey (Dale Hiteman) leisurely cruised through fractions of :30.3, :59.3 and 1:29.1.

Saving ground the entire way Leonard began to search for room with Char N Marg as a first over Fox Valley Gypsy (Clifton Bell) and Fox Valley Bailey continued to slug it out through the lane. With less than a sixteenth of a mile to go, Char N Marg found the room she needed and the good looking filly wasted no time splitting rivals to pick up her first lifetime victory in start number two. Fox Valley Gypsy turned in a very solid effort to finish second while Fox Valley Bailey wound up third.

After flashing a big closing kick in her fourth place finish last week Char N Marg attracted plenty of attention at the betting windows on Sunday night returning just $2.80.

Sophomore trotting fillies closed out the stake action on Sunday night with a field of seven meeting in the first Xpressbet Stake of the season.

This battle could not have closed out the action in a more exciting fashion as last year’s top two money earners in the division, Fox Valley Yoko and Persuasive Look ended on even terms, finishing in a dead-heat for the win while stopping the clock in 1:55.4.

In a race filled with action right from the start Fox Valley Yoko (John De Long) was able to save ground throughout the opening half-mile as Fox Valley Harrah (Todd Warren) trotted through splits of :29.1 and :58.2. The Curt Grummel trained miss then managed to slip to the outside heading around the final bend, picking up the live cover of a second over Persuasive Look (Casey Leonard) who had been grinding away on the outside of horses since the five-eighths pole.

Sitting third and fifth respectively Persuasive Look and Fox Valley Yoko both took dead aim on Bi Polar Rose (Travis Seekman), who had overtaken Fox Valley Harrah as the field sped by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:26.2.

With the trotters fanning out across the track Persuasive Look and Fox Valley Yoko zipped right by the leaders, drawing clear of the rest of their rivals by 3-¼ lengths while finishing in the dead-heat for the win. Tal Wi Wi (Kyle Wilfong), who saved ground throughout the mile finished third.

The win was the fourth in 16 career starts for Fox Valley Yoko who pushed her career bankroll up to $102,240 for owner Patrick Graham. Persuasive Look now sports career numbers of 6-5-5 in 20 lifetime starts with earnings of $108,571 for co-owner trainer Homer Hochstetler and partner Robert Buddig.

(Balmoral Park)


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