State-bred youngsters grabbed the spotlight on Saturday, Oct. 17th at Balmoral Park as a total of 16 Illinois conceived and foaled two-year-old pacing colts were sent to battle in a pair of $26,450 Sarah Myers Stake splits. The first division produced an eye catching last to first victory for Fox Valley Barbosa while the star of the division, Power Of A Moment, went wire to wire to take the nightcap.
Despite drawing outside for the third consecutive start, Ray Hanna Bryce Geller and Jim Edgar’s Fox Valley Barbosa did not let that stop him in the first division as he uncorked a wicked 27.0 final quarter to take the opening split by 1 ½ lengths in a lifetime best of 1:53.4.
Reserved at the back of the pack as Dynamo Blue (James Stiltner), Curb Your Z Tam (Josh Sutton) and Apache Renegade (Todd Warren) all took turns on the front end through splits of 27.4, 56.1 & 1:25.1 driver Dale Hiteman was in no hurry with Fox Valley Barbosa.
Fanning out five-wide as the field straightened for home the Ray Hanna trained son of Sportsmaster-Barberry Hanover began to pick off one rival after another as he flew home for his sixth win in 15 starts this season. Burnthemidnightoil (Dave Magee), who was just in front of Fox Valley Barbosa for most of the mile, rallied gamely to finish second while Apache Renegade held on for third.
There was no such drama in the second division as driver Marcus Miller took advantage of the inside starting spot by shooting right to the front with Power Of A Moment and then rattling off easy splits of 28.0, 57.0 & 1:25.3. The Ervin Miller trainee then sealed the deal with an effortless 27.4 final quarter to win by 2 ½ lengths in 1:53.2.
Now sporting nine straight victories and 11 wins in 14 career starts this son of Cole Muffler-Panfastic pushed his career bankroll up to $278,100 for the partnership of the Ervin Miller Stable, Leland Mathias and Bert Hochsprung.
Ernie Miller (Dave Magee) followed the winners every move and tried to get to him in the lane but the lightly raced youngster was forced to settle for the runner-up role on this night. Parker Place (Travis Seekman) finished third.
Sarah Myers Stake action continues on Sunday night with a total 17 two-year-old pacing fillies battling in a pair of $26,735 splits which will go as races seven and 11 on the 12-race program which begins at 6:30 p.m. (Balmoral)