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Veteran Pacers Star In Balmoral Stakes

Published: August 18, 2013 5:10 am ET

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A pair of state-bred stakes, each split into two divisions, along with two carryover pools and two big guaranteed pools highlighted a busy Saturday night of racing action at Balmoral Park.

With a total of 15 distaffers dropped into the box for the Parklane Powerful Stake, a pair of $30,000 splits kicked off the “Elvis Night” action.

In the first division Mystical Marker Farms and Peggy Hood’s outstanding mare, Mystical Victress, cruised to her 44th career victory as she rolled under the wire with a one length decision in 1:51.2 for driver Mike Oosting.

Confidently handled by Oosting, the six-year-old daughter of Sportsmaster came away fourth as Rev Me Up rolled through opening splits of :27.4 and :55.1.

Tipping to the outside on the final turn, the Erv Miller-trained miss quickly pulled alongside the pacesetter as the field reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:23.2. With the money on the line, Mystical Victress set sail for the wire easily gobbling up the leader with a :27.3 final quarter to post her sixth win of the season. Fox Valley Matinee (Brian Carpenter) turned a ground saving trip into the place cheque while Whistle Pig (Casey Leonard) was third.

Bet as though defeat was clearly out of the question, Mystical Victress returned $2.20, $2.10 and $2.10 while upping her career bankroll to $758,973.

In the second division Joshua Carter’s Just By Design used a big backside brush to power into command and never looked back as she reported home a two and three-quarter length winner in 1:52.2 for driver Dave Magee.

Reserved early on as Tamarac Sassy (Casey Leonard) led the field through an opening quarter in :27.3, Magee pulled from sixth as Leonard tried to put on the brakes with the field moving towards the half-mile mark.

Rushing up to challenge the pacesetter as the field hit the half in :57.1, Just By Design easily cleared to the front on the turn and was in complete command as she passed the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:25.

Fit and fresh down the stretch, the Mike Brink-trained five-year-old sealed the deal with a :27.2 final split to post her second win of the season. Pardon (John De Long) turned in a solid effort to be the bridesmaid while Tamarac Sassy held on for third.

The daughter of Sportsmaster returned $6.80, $3.60 and $2.80 while pushing her 2013 record to 2-3-2 in 13 starts. With the win Just By Design now boasts $212,702 in career earnings.

A total of 13 older pacing horses were entered for the Big Tom Stake with each division each carrying a jackpot of $30,000.

Once again trainer Erv Miller and driver Mike Oosting teamed up to get another prohibitive favourite home as Mystical Marker Farms, Paymac Racing, Shim Racing and Kenneth Duffy’s A Cool Card continued his impressive comeback with a one and three-quarter length triumph in 1:51.1.

Hustled from fourth to first after watching Park Lane Deputy (Todd Warren) lead the field through an opening quarter in :27.3, A Cool Card was comfortably in front through middle splits of :55.4 and 1:23.4.

Shrugging off a mild challenge from Whirlwind Diplomacy (Casey Leonard) in the lane, the five-year-old son of Cole Muffler paced home in :27.2 to secure his fourth win in eight starts this season. Park Lane Deputy came on again to finish second while Whirlwind Diplomacy wound up third.

After missing part of 2011 and all of 2012 with a cracked knee, the bay gelding is showing signs of regaining the form that turned heads during his three-year-old season. With Saturday’s win, A Cool Card boasts career numbers 11-1-2 in 16 starts with earnings of $126,900. He returned $2.20, $2.10 and $2.10 to his legion of backers.

In the nightcap, John Prentice and Neva Jane Grevengoed’s Fort Silky continued to enjoy his finest season to date as the seven-year-old gelding scored by a hard fought neck in 1:51.1 with Casey Leonard at the controls.

Hustled away from post position six, the gelded son of Ft Apache Hanover led the field through an opening quarter in :27.

Facing immediate pressure from a headstrong NJs Big Deal (Mike Cox), Leonard briefly released that rival before moving back to the front where he led the field through middle splits of :56.2 and 1:24.

Despite making two moves during the mile, the Terry Leonard trainee gamely held off a late bit up the inside from the pocket-sitting NJs Big Deal with a :27.1 final quarter to post his 37th career victory. Uncle Smoothie (Mike Oosting) finished third.

Another heavy favourite of the betting public, Fort Silky returned $3.00, $2.20 and $2.10 while upping his career bankroll to $458,834 on the strength of a 2013 record of 11-8-1 in 23 starts.

(Balmoral Park)

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