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Faves Prevail In American Nationals

Published: August 23, 2008 6:30 pm ET

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With big money up for grabs in a pair of American National Stakes for sophomore trotters Balmoral Park played host to some of North America's top diagonally gaited three-year-olds on Saturday night.

With a purse of $185,000 on the line in the three-year-old filly match-up Falkbolagen Ab's Lantern Kronos made amends for a tough luck loss in the Hambletonian Oaks with 1 3/4 length triumph in a speedy 1:54.4.

Handled with perfection by trainer Jimmy Takter, the Swedish bred daughter of Viking Kronos-Bell Power floated away from post position nine. Neatly finding a seat in fifth as Prada Hall (Trevor Ritchie) rolled through an opening split of 27.4 Takter was more than content with his fillies early positioning.

"I knew there were a few horses in there that could leave in a hurry so I just wanted to float out and try to stay close," explained Takter. "She was very headstrong though and I had a tough time wrestling her over to the pylons tonight."

Content to save ground as Prada Hall continued to roll along Lantern Kronos was just six-lengths off the leader as she passed the half-mile mark in 56.4.

The trip turned "golden" for this year's Elegant Image Stakes winner as the field headed around the final turn. Following live cover from Along The Way (Mike Lachance), who had pulled from fourth on the bend, Lantern Kronos was poised to strike while second over as Prada Hall led the field by the three-quarter-mile station in 1:27.1.

Tipping off his cover Takter took dead aim on a game Prada Hall as the fillies rolled through the lane.

"I knew I had plenty of horse left but this stretch is so long that it can be a little tricky," said Takter.

Gobbling up ground with her long fluid strides Lantern Kronos blew by the leader with a 27.1 final split to pick up her ninth win in 11 starts this season. Prada Hall turned in a solid effort to finish second while Princessndiamonds (Mike Oosting) took advantage of a ground saving trip to get the show money.

Lantern Kronos - Filly Trotters

After the race Takter seemed quite pleased by the effort of his prize filly.

"She was very very good tonight," said Takter. "I never even had to pull the plugs on her."

If things check out alright on Monday, Takter plans to send his filly, who now sports a record of 9-1-0 with $678,909 in earnings, to DuQuoin for next week's Filly World Trotting Derby. Heavily backed at the windows Lantern Kronos returned $2.80, $2.20 and $2.40 to her legion of fans.

The heavy chalk had no trouble finding the winner's circle in the $200,000 Colt trot as Asa Farm, Team Garberg & Stall Sixpence's Clerk Magistrate, the 3-5 favorite in the race, cruised to a deceptively easy half-length victory in a career best of 1:53.2.

Looking to gain a good early spot driver Trevor Ritchie floated the son of Andover Hall-Weather Bird away from post position seven, but eventually decided the best place to be was on the point as several other potential "leavers" decided to take back.

"He trotted away from the gate very well tonight and he doesn't always do that," said Ritchie. "That's why I just decided to go on with him and put him on the front end."

Trotting effortlessly through splits of 27.4, 55.4 and 1:24.4 Clerk Magistrate was basically unchallenged giving his pilot plenty of confidence as the field headed for home.

"Once we got settled away he relaxed perfectly and was doing everything on his own with very little effort," explained Ritchie. "At the top of the stretch I pulled his blinds down and just basically rode him out from there."

A rapidly improving Gallantly (Mike Lachance) shook loose late as he uncorked a 27.3 final quarter to finish second while the pocket sitting Pine After Pine (David Miller) hung on for third.

Clerk Magistrate - Colt Trotters

The Per Henriksen trained colt has posted a record of 5-3-2 in 13 starts this season with earnings of $422,477. Tentative plans call for Clerk Magistrate, who returned $3.40, $2.60 and $2.40, to make the trip downstate to DuQuoin for the World Trotting Derby next week.

In other action on Saturday night, Shirley LeVin's Illinois bred star My Boy David paced the fastest mile of the season here in Chicago as he tripped the timer in 1:48.4 while winning the $18,000 Falcon Seelster Free For All for driver Brent Holland. Enough Hanover (Josh Sutton) was second while last week's winner Coldheartedrevenge (Mike Oosting) was third.

Another Illinois bred sensation, Thisbigdogwilfight, put up a new life mark of 1:49.1 while taking a $9,000 conditioned event. The pride of the Redbud Stable and Michael McNeely has been lightly raced this season, but it looks as though he may be rounding into shape just in time for Super Night.

(Balmoral Park)

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