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Illinois-Bred Stakes Continue At Balmoral

Published: September 21, 2014 2:44 am ET

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Illinois conceived and foaled trotters and pacers were back in the spotlight on Saturday night at Balmoral Park as the Crete plant played host to four stakes or consolations for Super Night participants as part of the big 13-race program.

Freshmen pacing fillies kicked off the action with a field of nine going postward in the $13,900 Thrifty Way Stake.

Avenging a pair of recent tough trips that led to sub-par efforts, Quaid Racing’s Angel Demon came steamrolling down the center of the track to record a three and a half length victory in a career-best of 1:54.2 for driver John De Long.

Saving ground the entire way, the daughter of Sportsmaster—Miss Swift appeared to be hopelessly shuffled out of contention before De Long managed to shake loose from the pylons.

Storming down the center of the track, Angel Demon blew right by a leg weary Girls Hunt Too to pick up her first career victory. Longshot Desi Dune (Todd Warren) turned in a nice effort to finish second while Girls Hunt Too was third.

Now in the barn of conditioner Erin Elliott, Angel Demon returned $5.00, $3.60 and $3.40 while pushing her bankroll to $48,113.

Trotters were next to hit the track as a field of seven diagonally-gaited three-year-old fillies battled in the $20,000 Lady Ann Reed Consolation.

Making amends for her costly break in the rich Super Night final of this event, Donald Huddleston’s Macie Rae was on her best behaviour as she made every call a winning one, reporting home by four and three-quarter lengths in 1:57.1.

With trainer Mike Rogers climbing into the bike for this battle, the daughter of Powerful Emotion—Fox Valley Poetry stormed right to the front, putting up splits of :29.1, :58.1 and 1:27.

After opening up a big lead at the top of the stretch, Rogers let his filly drift a bit through the stretch and she responded beautifully to that careful handling as she widened her margin while notching her 11th victory in 15 starts this season. Bands Alexis (Todd Warren) tried to follow the winner’s every move but was forced to settle for a runner-up role while Fox Valley Skylar (Dale Hiteman) finished third.

Heavily backed off her sparkling record, Macie Rae returned just $2.80, $2.80 and $2.20 while upping her career earnings to $89,520 with career win number 19.

Freshmen pacing colts jumped into the fray with a field of nine youngsters battling in the $13,900 Yates Eagle Stake.

Taking advantage of a perfect two-hole trip, Fox Valley Elijah came rolling through the passing lane to win by one and a half lengths in a career-best of 1:54.2.

Perfectly positioned by driver Todd Warren, the gelded son of Sportsmaster—Eternal Gift had all the best of it while C Note (Travis Seekman) carved out splits of :29, :58.3 and 1:27.

Fit and fresh off that journey, the Nelson Willis trainee gradually wore down the pacesetter, drawing clear in the shadow of the wire for his second lifetime win for the partnership of Kay Willis, Engel Stable Of Illinois and Haugen Stables. C Note held on gamely to finish second while Casey At Bat (Dean Magee) found room late to rally for the show dough.

Part of a Willis-owned entry, Fox Valley Elijah returned $9.60, $4.20 and $4.00 while moving his bankroll to $15,890.

Last but not least were sophomore pacing colts as a field of nine three-year-olds squared off in the $22,400 Pete Langley Memorial Consolation. This race provided the biggest shocker of the night as 19-1 longshot Fox Valley Cupid parlayed a perfect trip into a thrilling nose decision in a career-best of 1:52.3.

Hustled off the wings of the gate by Robert Smolin, the gelded son of Yankee Skyscaper—Fox Valley Cherub landed in the garden spot right on the back of favoured Uncle Ugly as that one put up hot splits of :26.3, :55.1 and 1:23.2.

Moving into the passing lane, the Mike Schulfer trainee gradually wore down the favourite and then held on for dear life as Overloaded (Kyle Wilfong) came flying late to just miss. The other half of that Tom Simmons-trained entry, Fox Valley Van, (Dale Hiteman) was a fast-closing third.

The win was just the second in a 34-race career for Fox Valley Cupid, who has still managed to earn a “cool” $115,830 for owner James Strazlka, Mike Schulfer, James Skvarla and Nancy Magnus. Those lucky enough to back the bay sophomore were rewarded with mutuels of $40.80, $12.80 and $5.80.

Saturday's 50-cent Pick 5 wager was not hit so there will be a carryover of $6,168 added to Sunday's pool. Thus, there will now be a guaranteed pool of $50,000 for Sunday's Pick 5 wager. The Pick 5 is contested on races two to six on Sundays. Past performances courtesy of Trackmaster for the 50-cent Pick 5 and the $1 Pick with its $25,000 guaranteed pool can be found at ustrotting.com

(Balmoral Park)


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