Denyittotheend, an overwhelming favourite, and Mikeleh, upsetting an overwhelming favourite, won $10,000 elimination heats Saturday in 1:56.1 and 1:56.2 respectively to earn spots in the $60,500 Lou Babic Memorial Filly Pace
next Saturday at Freehold Raceway.
In the $15,000 elimination race for the $104,500 Louis Babic Memorial Open Pace, also on the September 10 card, Mortal Zin was the winner in 1:55.2.
The Babic Memorials are sponsored by the New Jersey Sire Stakes Program for state-bred two-year-old pacers. The races are named for the late Louis Babic, a founder of the NJSS Program and longtime standradbred owner.
Denyittotheend (sired by Tell All), with Ron Pierce driving from Post 1, led from the start, but barely hung on to win by a head over Rockin Reese (Rocknroll Hanover). It was the fifth victory in seven starts for the filly, trained by Les Givens for owner Steven Head of Annapolis, Maryland. Also making the final from that heat were My Deal (Western Ideal) and Rock With Delight (Rocknroll Hanover), who finished third and fourth.
In the other Babic Filly elimination, heavily favoured My Ideal Hanover (Western Ideal), led from the start, but faded in the stretch to finish fourth, barely making next Saturday's final. Mikeleh (Western Ideal) picked up the pieces to win by two lengths over Regal Rock (Rocknroll Hanover), while Clear View Hanover (Western Ideal) was third to make the final. Mike Lachance drove Mikeleh to the victory, her first ever for trainer Ross Croghan and owners Arthur Rudolph, Bernard Owen and the Rudolph Stable.
Mortal Zin (Rocknroll Hanover), part of a Ron Burke-trained entry, won the Babic Open elimination by a half length over Bullet Bob (Tell All). Divulge (Tell All, broke at the start, but recovered to finish third. They will join Verdad (Western Ideal) and All Stienam (Tell All), who were awarded byes for the elimination and automatic spots in the final based on their career purse earnings. Also making the final from the elimination race were two colts by Cams Card Shark, Little Michael B and Shark On Board, and Narrangansett (Rocknroll Hanover).
Verdad tuned up for the Babic Open Final with a 1:57 victory in a conditioned race on the Freehold program.