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Nino Marino Takes Lincoln Land Elim

Published: September 30, 2013 11:06 am ET

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State-bred trotting colts were in the spotlight on Sunday, September 29 at Balmoral Park in Illinois, as a field of eight youngsters looked for spots in next week’s $105,000 Lincoln Land Stakes final.

With four of the eight starters having made early breaks in the race, things were up for grabs from the word ‘go.’ When the smoke cleared it was Ron Marino and David Hermann’s Nino Marino who emerged with a three-quarter-length victory in 1:59.3 for driver Dean Magee.

Benefiting from a perfect pocket-sitting trip as Big Bad Bob (driven by Dale Hiteman) put up splits in :29.3, :58.2 and 1:29, the Randy Tuftie-trained son of Pizzazzed—Never Ms Still overtook the pacesetter with an eighth of a mile to go and eventually drew clear for his second win in five lifetime starts. Big Bad Bob held on for second while Battleshoe King (Buddy Simpson) was third.

Also gaining spots in the final – where they will be joined by Tour Hall, Bobby B Breeze and Fox Valley Veto – were Photo Surprise, Battleshoe Crown, Polars Big Spender and Finnster.

Sophomore pacing fillies were also in action on Sunday night, as a field of 10 Illinois-conceived and foaled three-year-olds battled in the $14,000 Direct Dottie Stake. This test produced the biggest surprise of the night as John Barnard’s Ryleighs Lilly lit up the tote board at odds of 46-1with a half-length victory in a career best of 1:54.1.

Reserved through the early going by driver Robert Smolin the daughter of Western Hero—Fox Valley Chosen moved up third over through the final five-eighths of a mile. Exploding off her cover in the lane, the Bill Crone-trained miss flew home in :27.1 to secure her second win in 16 starts this year. Aliyah Maria (John De Long), who provided live cover for the winner, was a game second, while Zumba (Matt Krueger) rallied from far back to be third as the early speed collapsed in the lane.

Returning $95.20, $30.00 and $15.60, Ryleighs Lilly helped key a $7,394.00 trifecta payout.


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