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Lady Laker Equals Record In 'Hanover'

Published: July 14, 2013 6:14 pm ET

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Sophomore pacers and trotters took center stage on Saturday night at Balmoral Park as five divisions of Hanover Stakes shared top billing on the 13-race program.

Trotting fillies kicked off the action as a field of eight diagonally gaited three-year-olds squared off for a purse of $35,000.

Getting things started with a bang, David Vanderhyde’s Lady Laker put her name into the Balmoral Park record books as she trotted to a one length victory in 1:54, equalling the track standard for three-year-old trotting fillies that had been shared by Armbro Temple (2000) and Springtime Volo (2010).

Given a perfect steer by leading driver Mike Oosting, the daughter of Lockkeeper settled into a nice spot in fifth despite having the outside starting spot. Saving ground through the opening half as even-money favourite True Day Dream (Mark O’Mara) rolled through splits of :28.1 and :58, Oosting maneuvered his filly to the outside as the field moved mid-way around the final bend.

Grinding away first over on the outside as the favourite hit the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:26, Lady Laker was just a length and a half behind as the field straightened for the money. Charging home in :27.4, the Al Tomlinson-trained miss finally overtook the pacesetter with less than a sixteenth of a mile to go, eventually drawing clear in the shadow of the wire for her second win in four starts this year. True Day Dream was forced to settle for second while Little Ms Chrissy (Robert Taylor) was third.

After a perfect four-for-four season as a two-year-old, Lady Laker now boasts a record of six wins and one second in eight starts with earnings of $78,700.

Next on the docket were three-year-old pacing fillies. With a total of 19 fillies dropped into the box two divisions of this stake were needed with each carrying a purse of $26,300.

In the opening split John Carver’s Auniqueaquistion bounced back from being distanced the prior week because of an abnormal heartbeat as she cruised to an easy four and a half length victory in 1:52.2 for driver Mike Oosting.

Reserved in sixth as R Marie Hanvoer (John DeLong) led the field through splits of :27.3 and :56.4, Oosting moved to the outside where he was able to grab live cover from My Marissa Clair (Phil Knox) as the field sped into the far turn.

Tipping three-wide around stalling cover as R Marie Hanover hit the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:25, Oosting had clear sailing for the daughter of Cole Muffler and Shessoluvabull as the field headed for home. Quickly blowing right by the leaders with a :27 final quarter, Auniqueaquistion left the rest of the field in her wake as she cruised to her fifth win in eight starts this season. Dallas Jones (Casey Leonard) rallied late to finish second while Five Stars Queen (Brian Carpenter) was third.

One of the top distaffers in the Prairie State in both of her first two seasons of racing for trainer Donna Lee Ozment, Auniqueaquistion now boasts nine wins and five seconds in 16 career start with earnings of $205,985.

The second division provided a thrilling finish with less than a length separating the top five finishers. When the smoke cleared from a furious stretch drive it was the Steve Carter-trained KZ Beach Girl who had prevailed, winning by a head in a career-best of 1:54 for driver Dale Hiteman.

After getting away third in the early going, Hiteman moved the daughter of Jennas Beach Boy and Artical to the front as the field raced by an opening quarter in :29.

Hiteman then elected to let a hard-charging State Street Liz (Robert Smolin) go, winding up in the pocket spot as the field raced through middle splits of :57 and 1:26.2.

With fillies coming from everywhere, Hiteman appeared to hopelessly trapped behind horses after floating off the pylons in the stretch. Then as luck would have it, State Street Liz ducked back down into the passing lane, impeding the progress of Triple Lane Melody (Dean Magee) and allowing Hiteman and KZ Beach Girl room to squeeze through between horses and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. State Street Liz finished second, but was disqualified and placed fourth for the open stretch violation. That moved Mystical Danica (Mike Oosting) up from third to second while Triple Lane Melody was fourth placed third.

The victory was the third in eight starts this year for KZ Beach Girl, who now has $81,425 in earnings for the partnership of Carter, Carter, Grubbs and Reid.

Sophomore pacing colts closed out the action with 15 three-year-olds squaring off in a pair of $30,000 splits.

In the opener Steven Newcom, Larry Taylor and Tex Moats' good-looking colt Latest Desire had no trouble dispatching of six rivals as he reported home with a two and a half length victory in a lifetime-best of 1:50.4 with Hall of Famer Dave Magee in tow.

Sitting fourth as Some Heart Throb (Kyle Wilfong) led the field through an opening quarter in :27.2, Magee then sent the son of Real Desire and Latest Design to the top and the big brown colt glided over to the pylons as the sophomores hit the half-mile mark in :55.

Continuing to show the way past the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:23.3, Latest Desire shrugged off a first over challenge from Monopoly Man (John DeLong) as the field turned for home and then proceeded to seal the deal with a :27.1 final quarter as he scored for the second time in three starts this year. Big Brad (Robert Smolin) rallied late to finish second while Some Heart Throb (Kyle Wilfong) was third.

Under the guidance of conditioner Nick Giberson, Latest Desire now has five wins and one third in six lifetime starts with earnings of $76,894.

In the second division, Paymaq Racing, D&M Trading and Mystical Marker Farms' Mystical Walter continued his impressive second season as he recorded a one and three-quarter length victory in a career-best time of 1:50 for Casey Leonard.

Fresh off a win in the Hothead Stake at Balmoral last week, the gelded son of Yankee Skyscaper and Yankee Blue was ducked off the gate by Leonard, getting away an unhurried fifth as Eddie Sweat (Todd Warren) led the field through a quick opening quarter in :27.

With the brisk fractions continuing, Leonard confidently moved up first over as Eddie Sweat led the field through middle splits of :55 and 1:22.1. Finding another gear as the field straightened for the cash, the Erv Miller trainee kicked home strong and was never seriously threatened as he cruised under the wire for his third win in nine starts this year. Real Rocker (Dale Hiteman) finished second while Crankin It Up (Kyle Wilfong) was third.

Now sporting a career record of 6-4-2 in 14 starts, Mystical Walter upped his bankroll to $88,794 with Saturday’s victory.

(Balmoral Park)

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