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Trainer: Royale Rose Set For Saturday

Published: September 10, 2015 1:15 pm ET

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Royale Rose, a winner of six of eight career starts, including a blistering 1:52.3 clocking in last week’s elimination action, has been installed as the 3-1 morning line favourite for Saturday’s $187,000 Orange & Blue for two-year-old pacing colts at Balmoral Park.

The son of Ashlees Big Guy-Caribe Royale-Sportsmaster has $30,449 in career earnings for owner Nicole Potts of Bourbonnais, IL, who plunked down just $3,800 at the 2014 Illini Classic Yearling Sale for the youngster.

Royale Rose was bred by Orville Rursch and foaled on April 8, 2013 at Taylor Ridge, IL, and is the fifth foal out of his dam. He is a half-brother to Majestic Royal (by Jodys Cam) p, 6, 1:52.4 ($103,114).

Despite the low purchase price for the youngster, trainer Lyle Scurlock had high hopes for the colt right from the get-go.

“He had perfect confirmation and was just a great looking yearling,” said Spurlock. “I remembered how tough his dam was and how she was able to grind out a pretty nice career bankroll despite racing in strictly overnight events. I figured if he had any of her heart in him for the price we were able to get him for it was definitely worth the risk for a first-crop foal.”

While training down for Scurlock, the good-looking bay did nothing but raise the hopes of all his connections.

“He was completely level headed and never gave us a problem at any point,” explained Scurlock. “He never got pouty or anything like that no matter what came his way and he did everything and more that we asked of him. I wanted to avoid taking a chance at getting him ‘colt-sore,’ so I wasn’t real tough on him, but he always acted like he wanted to do more and that was very encouraging.”

Royale Rose began his career by winning the $4,000 Bingo Johnnie Stake for ICF horses on June 13 at Balmoral Park in 1:57.2 by four lengths. He followed that up on June 20 with another victory in 1:56.1, leading every step of the way in a $5,000 ICF Stake at Balmoral.

On July 11 he finished a strong second to BS Tyrrific in 1:56.3 on the Crete oval, despite pacing his final panel in 26.3. He then returned to action on July 18 and captured his $8,000 Mini Me elimination in 1:56.2 at Balmoral.

The only blemish on his otherwise near-spotless career came on July 25, in the Mini Me Final, when he stopped badly, finishing ninth.

“I changed a few things around after that start with his rigging and he immediately started to show signs of getting sharper once again,” Scurlock explained. “Once he became accustomed to those changes he just continued chugging right along like an old pro, which is why I like him so much.”

Royale Rose rebounded with a big victory on August 1, as he won the $21,325 Hanover Stake at Balmoral in 1:54.3. He followed that up with a career best of 1:52.2 en route to winning the $8,000 Illinois State Fair Stake at Springfield on August 14.

After being scratched ‘sick’ on August 29 from an overnight test at Balmoral Park, the gelding once again shook off the effects of a three-week layoff – he romped to a four-length victory in last week’s elimination.

“I just thought ‘here we go again,’” said an astonished Scurlock. “He gets more adversity tossed at him, but he handles it like an old pro and comes back with a huge effort last week to win his elimination. He just continues to shrug everything off, he never lets anything bother him and he’s going into Saturday’s race at 100 per cent. We’re set, he sure appears set, and we’re all looking for another big effort from him!”

(Balmoral Park)

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