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Southwind Spirit Sets Record In Am-Nat

Published: September 18, 2013 11:34 pm ET

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Despite a track that had been drenched by heavy rains during the late afternoon hours, Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and Stable 45’s Southwind Spirit had no problem negotiating his way over the sloppy going to etch his name into the Balmoral Park record books on Wednesday night.

The $105,000 yearling purchase knocked off nine other two-year-old trotting colts by 11-1/4 lengths in 1:54.1 while taking the $69,000 American National.

The previous mark of 1:54.3 had been set in 2008 by Swan For All.

The good-looking son of Muscle Hill—Spice On Ice effortlessly trotted to the top from post two for driver Mike Oosting and put up splits of :29.2, :58.2 and 1:26.2 while widening his margin at each call.

Under no urging whatsoever from Balmoral’s leading reinsman, Southwind Spirit continued to make it look like a stroll in the park as he sealed the deal with a :27.4 final quarter to become the fastest two-year-old trotter in the history of Balmoral Park. Hot Type (D.R. Ackerman) finished second while Big Bad Bob (Dale Hiteman) was third.

“I never pulled his plugs, never spoke to him or even showed him the whip at any time tonight,” marveled Oosting in the winner's circle. “I shook the lines right at the finish line and he actually took off on me again so there was still plenty left in his tank. That was a huge last three-quarters he trotted tonight. He’s quite an animal.”

Bet as though defeat was out of the question, Southwind Spirit returned $2.20, $2.40 and $2.10 while running his record to 5-2-1 in eight starts with earnings of $138,400 while under the care of conditioner Ron Burke.

In the $63,000 filly division, Robert and Lynda Stewart’s Herroyalhighness shrugged off a first over trip as she splashed to an impressive six and a quarter length triumph in 1:57 for driver Trace Tetrick.

Settling into a nice early spot in mid-pack as Pray With Me (Todd Warren) led the field through splits of :28.1, :57.4 and 1:28.1, Tetrick began a nice steady advance as the field moved into the final turn.

Quickly blowing by the pacesetter as the field turned for home, the daughter of Muscle Hill—Ok To Play left her rivals in her wake through the lane as she reported home “under wraps” with her second win in four career starts for trainer Bob Stewart. Pray With Me held on to finish second while Muscle Babe (Dave Magee) was third.

After the victory, Tetrick seemed quite pleased with the way his charge had performed.

“She was good and strong the entire way tonight,” he said. “I really didn’t want to be first up against the favourite, but that’s just the way it worked out for us. She’s been getting better each week and she continued that progression tonight. I was really happy with the way she finished up that mile in the slop.”

Overlooked at the windows, Herroyalhighness returned $16.40, $6 and $5.80 while upping her bankroll to $39,199.

(With files from Balmoral Park)

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