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Freshman Trotters Shine In American Nationals

Published: September 16, 2008 11:26 pm ET

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After last week's elimination battles produced a pair of new track records, Tuesday's rich American National Stake finals figured to be heated affairs from start to finish at Balmoral Park.

Getting the action underway were the ladies as a field of 10 two-year-olds went postward for a purse of $100,000.

Using her high turn of early speed to grab command Brittany Farms Musical Mystery headed right to the front and proceeded to make every call a winning one in 1:58.2.

Pointed right for the front from post position five by driver Mike Lachance this daughter of Cantab Hall-Musical Victory easily made the top and was comfortably in front as she rolled by an opening quarter in 29.3.

"She's always been able to leave in a hurry," explained Lachance. "But she's not a big horse so sometimes she tends to get a little weak in the late going if she doesn't get a chance to relax at some point in the race."

Lachance was able to get that chance to relax as he tapped the breaks on the backside giving his filly a nice middle-half breather of 1:00 and 1:30.2. By the time the Ron Gurfein trainee hit the top of the stretch she was 1 1/2 lengths in front of a first over One Tough Girl (Dale Hiteman) and the pocket sitting Evening Prayer (D.R. Ackerman). Last week's elimination winner Starcelona (Brent Holland), the even money choice in the race, was also in the hunt as she stormed up from the back of the pack while three wide.

Through the lane a confident Lachance went to work on his filly and the homebred responded beautifully as she began to pull away from her rivals. Trotting straight and true to the wire Musical Mystery powered home in :28.0 to post her fourth win in six career starts. Evening Prayer (D.R. Ackerman) finished third.

After the victory Lachance seemed pretty impressed with the effort turned in by Musical Mystery.

"Getting away with some pretty slow splits definitely helped but she just drew away from the rest of them tonight," said a happy Lachance. "I think tonight's race was probably the best one she's turned in since she got started."

Sent off at odds of 4-1 Musical Mystery returned $10.20, $5.00, $3.00 while running her career earnings up to $106,037.

On the colt side of the docket another field of 10 lined up behind the gate to go for a purse of $114,000.

Fresh off a record setting performance in last week's elimination, John Carver and Mystical Marker Farms' Swan For All was bet down to 3-5 and the heavy favorite did not disappoint his legion of backers as he lowered his track standard with a 2 1/2 length triumph in a blistering 1:54.3.

Reserved early as Dr Mcdreamy (Homer Hochstetler) and King Solomon (Mike Oosting) slugged it out through brisk early splits of: 28.0 and :56.0, driver Andy Miller was more than content to wait for the field to come back to him.

"I knew they were speeding along pretty good up there so I wasn't too worried about where we were," said Miller. "My horse will race anyway you want him to even though he's still so young."

Heading around the final turn the speed began to falter a bit so Miller maneuvered the son of Andover Hall-Swan Lake to the outside where he picked live cover from last week's other elimination winner Definer and driver Tyler Buter. Taking dead aim on the leaders Swan For All was fourth and just four lengths behind the leaders as the field turned for home.

"My horse felt great at that point so I was pretty sure he wasn't going to have any problem reeling the leaders in," said a confident Miller.

Reel them in he did, speeding by everyone with an effortless :28.0 final split, Swan For All was all alone as he cruised under the wire with his third win in as many tries. Dr Mcdreamy turned in a game effort to finish second while Even Better Odds (John Campbell) was third. The heavy favorite in the race returned $3.40, $2.60 and $2.40.

In the winner's circle conditioner Erv Miller was singing the praises of his $300,000 yearling purchase. "He's a very big colt so we took our time getting him ready to race," he explained. "He does everything very easy but he really hasn't figured it all out just yet. He's getting better and better though and when he gets it all together it could be pretty scary how good he could be."

(Balmoral)


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