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Thirty-One-Length Winner At Balmoral

Published: June 24, 2009 12:36 pm ET

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Illinois-conceived and foaled trotters and pacers shared the spotlight on a very busy Tuesday night at Balmoral Park.

A total of 12 diagonally-gaited colt and gelding trotters squared off in a pair of $5,000 Million Dollar Bye Stakes divisions (non-wagering), while 18 two-year-old filly pacers squared off in a pair of $10,000 Incredible Tillie Stakes splits.

The proceedings started with a bang, as Iris Horowitz’s trotter Shore Road trotted the fastest mile of the year by a two-year-old, as he destroyed his rivals by an amazing 31 and quarter lengths in 1:57.1.

After spotting the field some 12 to 15 lengths after making a break behind the gate, driver Brandon Simpson managed to get the gelded son of High Falls--Knowing Vice back on the trot and the two wasted no time getting back into the proceedings. They powered up to grab the lead as the field reached the opening quarter in :31.2.

Moving effortlessly the rest of the way, the Shawn Nessa trainee proceeded to rip through middle splits of :59.3 and 1:28. Without a rival in sight, Shore Road continued his demolition of the field, trotting home in :29.1 to record his second win in as many starts. Muscatine (driven by Dale Hiteman) finished second, while Vapor Magic (Mike Oosting) was third.

Unofficially, press box reports had Shore Road trotting his middle half in a blistering :54.3, which made driver Brandon Simpson shake his head.

“I almost feel bad if that’s how fast we went,” Simpson said in amazement. “He was doing everything on his own, though, and I wasn’t asking him for anything. I’ve never had the pleasure of sitting behind a trotter that has gone that fast at such an early stage in his career.”

In the second division, trotting guru Homer Hochstetler guided Rose Between Two Thorns Big Bucks to a neck decision in 2:01.

Making his career debut, the Hochstetler-trained son of American Native--Blank Check grabbed the early lead before releasing a hard-charging Mystical Malachi (Todd Warren), as the field trotted by an opening panel in :31.1.

Content to sit in the pocket as Mystical Malachi trotted through splits of 1:01 and 1:31.3, Hochstetler then maneuvered Big Bucks to the outside as the field turned for home. Gradually wearing down the pace setter, Big Bucks seemed to be well within himself as he trotted by Mystical Malachi and then held off a late bid by Leaveitonthetrack (Marcus Miller) to make his debut a winning one. Leaveitonthetrack was a game second, while Mystical Malachi wound up six lengths back in third.

In the first division of the Incredible Tillie Stakes, Fox Valley Naomi and driver Mike Oosting pulled off a mild upset, as they flew by their rivals in the lane to win by one and a quarter lengths in 1:57.1.

Kept well off the early pace as My New Dawn and Fox Valley Angie battled through splits of :29.3, :59.1 and 1:29.1, the daughter of Sportsmaster--No Uglies picked up a live cover flow as the field headed around the final turn.

Sweeping up three-wide around her rivals, the $13,000 yearling purchase blew right by the leaders with a blistering :27.3 final quarter to get the victory. Mystic Major (Dale Hiteman), the overwhelming 2-5 favourite of the betting public, provided the winners cover but was forced to settle for the bridesmaid role while Fox Valley Angie (Dave Magee) held on for third.

The win was the first in two career starts for the Mike Schulfer-trained miss which is owned in partnership by Buttice, Buttice, Norton and Santilli.

In the nightcap, the James Rowney-owned and trained Echoes Of My Soul shed the runner-up role she had assumed in her first two career starts, as she reported home with a one-length triumph in 1:56.2.

Given a perfect steer by driver Todd Warren, the roan daughter of Cole Muffler--Broadway Dazzler left alertly from Post 4 and was neatly tucked in second as Things Left Unsaid (Brian Carpenter) grabbed the early lead as at the :28.2 opening quarter.

Content to save ground through middle splits of :59.1 and 1:27.4 which were being set by Park Lane Dawn (Homer Hochstetler), Warren had Echoes In My Soul sitting fourth as the field reached the top of the stretch.

After maneuvering his charge to the outside, Echoes In My Soul responded beautifully as she charged by the first over Leanmean Normajean (Hans Schulfer) in the final sixteenth of a mile to get her maiden victory. Leanmean Normajean held on for second while Thingsleftunsaid was third.

(With files from Balmoral)

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