After playing second fiddle to division leader Tour Hall in their last three match-ups, Curt and Craig Grummel's Fox Valley Veto turned the table on his chief rival Wednesday night at Balmoral Park as he posted a hard fought neck decision in the $10,000 Betzotic Stake for ICF 3-year-old trotting colts. The final time of 1:55.4 was a career best for the Curt Grummel trainee.
With only five diagonally gaited sophomores contesting this event driver John De Long placed Fox Valley Veto in third through the early going as Tour Hall (Dave Magee) led the field through splits of :28.4 and :58.4. Moving first-over on the far turn Fox Valley Veto began to carve into the pace setters lead as the field reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:28.3.
Just as they did in the Southern Rocketop Stake back on June 14, Tour Hall and Fox Valley Veto left the rest of the field in their wake as they battled tooth and nail through the final eighth of a mile. With the two colts racing side by side nearing the wire, Fox Valley Veto found a little something extra, poking a neck in front in the shadow of the wire for his first win of the season. Tour Hall was a game second while Bobby B Breeze (Todd Warren) was third, 5 3/4 lengths behind the winner.
The win was the first in five starts this year for the gelded son of Pizzazzed-Yankee Victory who now sports career numbers of 2-6-0 in 15 starts with earnings of $90,666. The second choice in the wagering returned $5.60. There was no show wagering on the race. (Balmoral Park)