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Illinois-Bred Frosh In Stakes Action

Published: June 24, 2010 10:16 am ET

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On a night that may have been better suited for ducks than horses, a pair of Illinois-conceived and foaled stakes events were contested last night at a rain-soaked Balmoral Park.

Fans of the Prairie State trotters got their first look at some of this season’s two-year-old crop, as Fox Valley Standardbreds and Jim Edgar’s Fox Valley Iliad made his debut a winning one in 2:04 while capturing the $5,000 Million Dollar Bye Stakes.

Carefully sent to the top after being off the gate just a bit by driver-trainer Homer Hochstetler, the son of Vaporize--Memory Maker gained command after an opening quarter of :30.2.

Trotting along steadily after getting to the pylons with five-eighths of a mile to go, the good looking bay colt rolled through middle splits of 1:01 and 1:34 in a driving rainstorm. After opening up a one and a half-length advantage with an eighth of a mile to go, things appeared to be well in hand, but Fox Valley Iliad was forced to dig down for something extra in the closing strides, holding on to win by a neck over the pocket-sitting Powerful Position (driven by Todd Warren). High Game (Mike Cox) was third.

Freshman pacing fillies were also in action on Wednesday night, as a field of 10 youngsters was sent postward in the $8,000 Incredible Tillie Stakes.

Just as she had done in last week’s Misty Misty Stakes, Obermeier and Quaid Stables' Little Maeve unleashed another wicked rally as she rolled to a six and a half-length win in a career best of 1:56.2 over the 'sloppy' track.

Content to sit in sixth as Fox Valley Sedona (Lavern Hostetler) and Queen Of The Nile (Freddie Patton, Jr.) battled tooth and nail for the lead through splits of :26.2, :56.2 and 1:25.3, driver Dave Magee had Little Maeve perfectly positioned behind stablemate Batgirl (Dale Hiteman) as the Roger Welch-trained twosome moved into the outer flow on the far turn.

Powering around tiring rivals while racing three and four-wide as the field turned for home, Little Maeve took dead aim on Little Miss Henry (Marcus Miller) who popped out of the pocket and grabbed command. Gobbling up ground with her long, fluid strides, the daughter of Ideal Towne--R N Labelle flew right by the leader to record her second win in three career starts. Little Miss Henry held on for second, while 92-1 longshot Primrose Path (Trenton Watson) rallied to finish third.

(Balmoral Park)

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