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Countdown To Illinois Super Night Begins

Published: September 6, 2015 4:31 pm ET

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The countdown to Super Night XXVII began in earnest on Saturday, September 5 at Balmoral Park as a bevy of stakes eliminations for Illinois' biggest night of racing were contested.

The action kicked off with a pair of $12,500 Filly Orange & Blue eliminations for two-year-old pacing fillies. With 16 entered for this stake, the top five finishers in each elimination will return for next week’s $155,000 est. final.

In the first division, the Hosea Williams-owned and trained Lexington Lady continued her mastery of the fillies, gamely fighting back in the closing yards to win by a head in 1:53.4 for driver Brian Carpenter.

Placed on top as the field moved to the half-mile mark, the daughter of Lexington Legend—Stephie Kay drifted out a bit through a thrilling stretch drive and appeared headed with 100 yards to go by chief rival Char N Marg (Casey Leonard) before digging in late to hold on for her seventh win in 10 career starts. Char N Marg was forced to settle for the runner-up role on this night while Narcissistic (Brent Holland) rallied to be third. Fox Valley Bailey and Fox Valley Addison also gained spots in the final.

In the second elimination, Dandy Farms and John Carver’s Dandys Diva took the shortest route around the track to victory as she came rolling through the passing lane to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.4.

Perfectly handled by driver Mike Oosting, the Jim Ellison-trained daughter of Sportsmaster—C Suzabelle sat inside throughout the mile as Likeafireballshot (Jared Finn) led the way through pedestrian splits. With plenty in reserve for the stretch battle, Oosting secured racing room with a sixteenth of a mile to go and Dandys Diva reeled in the embattled leaders to notch her second win in career start number five. Fox Valley Gypsy (Clifton Bell) overcame the outside starting spot to wind up second while Saras Terror (Matt Krueger) was third. Likeafireballshot and Lexirose earned the last two spots in the final with fourth and fifth-place finishes, respectively.

Next up were older male pacers as a field of 10 battled in a $12,500 Tony Maurello Memorial elimination. The top seven finishers will be joined by Ice Scraper, Fort Silky and Fiveknuckleshuffle in the $95,000 (est.) final.

This battle produced another thrilling finish as Hugh Lacey’s Cole Heat came storming up the passing lane to stick a head in front in the final strides while stopping the clock in a career-best of 1:49.4.

Content to save ground while the heavily favoured Unlocked (Brent Holland) led the field through some brisk splits, Cole Heat was shuffled all the way back to fifth as the field turned for home. But veteran reinsman Dale Hiteman never panicked, eventually finding a seam in the passing lane and the Ray Hanna trained seven-year-old responded marvelously as he stormed home in :26.2 to prevail in the blanket finish. Iam Bonasera (Ridge Warren) was a game second while Unlocked held on for third. A Cool Card was a close up fourth while the remainder of the spots in the final went to Uncle Bud (fifth), Big Brad (sixth) and Gibbs (seventh).

Sophomore pacing fillies were next on the docket as a field of 10 lined up behind the gate for the $12,500 Grandma Ann elimination. Once again, the top seven finishers will move on to next week’s $116,000 (est.) final where they will join Lex, Fox Valley Aubrey and Southern Girl.

Chalk players were rewarded here as the Peter Karras-owned Fox Valley Charm, the 1-5 favourite in the wagering, cruised to an easy one and three-quarter length victory in 1:53 for driver Mike Oosting.

Confidently handled from post three, the Dirk Simpson-trained daughter of Yankee Skyscaper—Fox Valley Cherub had things her own way on the “engine” after pulling off an early give and go with Sportsmuffler (Todd Warren). In control of things the rest of the way, Fox Valley Charm opened up an insurmountable lead at the top of the stretch and was on cruise control the rest of the way as she recorded her sixth win in 12 starts this season. Fox Valley Brooke (Ridge Warren) shook loose late after getting shuffled back on the far turn to finish second while Luvniecestopieces (Casey Leonard) finished third. Also gaining spots in the final were Mr Lelands Filly, I Y Q Too, BS Tyrichess and Lockport Legend.

As usual, the Orange & Blue for two-year-old pacing colts attracted the most entrants as a total of 29 youngsters were sent out in a trio of $12,500 eliminations. The top three in each elimination and one fourth-place finisher (drawn by lot) will be back for Super Night’s richest event with a purse of $186,000 (est.).

In the first elimination, BS Tyriffic, one of the division leaders up to this point, had no trouble overcoming post eight as he scooted home with a one and a half length victory in 1:55.4 for driver Kyle Wilfong.

Making a steady advance on the outside of horses despite being parked for most of the mile, the Robert Sanders-trained son of Richess Hanover—Fox Valley Tyra mowed down the leaders in the stretch to notch his fifth win in seven career starts. The pride of owners Robert, Jeremy and Louis Buttice and Frank Santilli also has a pair of seconds in his brief career. Goinduneside (Brent Holland) rallied nicely to pick up the place money while Silver Sage (Dale Hiteman) fought through a tough first over journey to get the show dough. Shootin To Kill was fourth.

In the second elimination, Frank Chick’s Grizzer Bear staged a determined rally in the lane to get up in the final strides, winning by a neck in 1:54.3 with Brent Holland at the controls.

After saving ground through the early portion of this battle, the Erv Miller-trained son of Sportsmaster—Czarina Katrina appeared to be hopelessly shuffled to seventh at the top of the stretch. After running into another road block in mid-stretch, Holland made an aggressive move to the inside. The lightly raced youngster then gunned through along the pylons like a seasoned veteran to notch his first lifetime victory in start number four. Red Red Redneck (Ridge Warren) was a hard luck second while JBs Hero (Robert Smolin) was third. He Gone Jack went a long mile while finishing fourth.

In the final elimination of the Orange & Blue, Nicole Potts' Royale Rose returned from a stint on the “sick” shelf to post a very impressive four-length victory in 1:52.3 for Matt Krueger.

Despite facing constant pressure while posting wicked splits of :28.2, :55.1 and 1:23.2, the gelded son of Ashlees Big Guy—Caribe Royale turned aside every challenge then left his rivals in his wake as he rolled to his sixth win in eight lifetime starts for trainer Lyle Scurlock. Dan D Dune (Mike Oosting) shook loose in time to rally for second while Wondrous Sport (Casey Leonard) was third. Longshot Big Monty finished fourth.

A total of 19 distaffers were entered for the $95,000 (est.) Lorna Propes Stake for three-year-olds and up necessitating a pair of $12,500 eliminations with the top five advancing to next week’s final.

In the first split, it was John Barnard’s Ryleighs Lilly who lived up to her heavily favoured status as she shook off a five week layoff to win by one and a quarter lengths in 1:53.1 for Casey Leonard.

After making a long first over sweep to the lead as the field moved down the backstretch, the Bill Crone-trained miss then held off several challenges as she stood tall to the wire for her seventh win in 19 starts this season. Togetherforever (Mike Oosting) turned in a solid effort to finish second while Incredible Filly (Mike Rogers) used a ground-saving trip to get the show dough. Also gaining spots in the final were Just By Design and Moon Bay Dancer.

In the nightcap, the Merle P’Pool-leased Rev Me Up overcame a tough trip to post a hard fought three-quarter-length victory in 1:53.1 for driver Brian Carpenter.

Despite being five-wide in the first turn and then having to rough it first over for the final five-eighths of a mile, the eight-year-old daughter of Park Place still had enough to wear down the pacesetting State Street Liz for her ninth win in 32 starts this season for trainer Mark P’Pool. Party Hangover (Mike Oosting) rallied late to finish second while Kimberly R (Dale Hiteman) was third. Also gaining spots in the final were State Street Liz and Thesleazyprincess.

In a “prep” for the $112,000 (est.) Langley Memorial on Super Night, the red-hot Engine One O One continued his winning ways as he teamed up with Mike Oosting to record a sharp one and a half length victory in a career-best of 1:52.4. Favoured Earndawg (Todd Warren) held on well to finish second after carving out all the splits while Mighty Hot Shot (Ridge Warren) was third.

Live racing continues on Sunday, Sept. 6 with a pair of American National Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts and fillies sharing top billing while eliminations for the Lady Ann Reed and a Su Mac Lad Stake Prep will also be contested. All the action gets underway at 7:10 p.m. on Sunday night with the $1 Pick 4 (races 7-10) now featuring a $30,000 guaranteed pool. The 10-cent Hi Five (race 10) will feature a guaranteed pool of $20,000 on Sunday’s while the highly successful trifecta guarantee on race nine will give fans the chance to play into a $25,000 guaranteed pool.

(Balmoral Park)

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