Despite a track that had been drenched by heavy rains during the late afternoon hours, Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Stable 45's Southwind Spirit had no problem negotiating his way over the sloppy going Wednesday night as the $105,000 yearling purchase etched his name into the Balmoral Park record books knocking off nine other 2-year-old trotting colts by 11 ¼ lengths in 1:54.1 while taking the $69,000 American National. The previous mark of 1:54.3 had been set in 2008 by Swan For All.
The son of Muscle Hill-Spice On Ice effortlessly trotted to the top from post two for driver Mike Oosting putting up splits of :29.2, :58.2 and 1:26.2 while widening his margin at each call. Under no urging whatsoever from Balmoral's leading reinsman, Southwind Spirit continued to make it look like a stroll in the park as he sealed the deal with a :27.4 final quarter to become the fastest two-year-old trotter in the history of Balmoral Park. Hot Type (D.R. Ackerman) finished second while Big Bad Bob (Dale Hiteman) was third.
"I never pulled his plugs, never spoke to him or even showed him the whip at any time tonight,” marveled Oosting in the winner's circle. "I shook the lines right at the finish line and he actually took off on me again so there was still plenty left in his tank. That was a huge last three-quarters he trotted tonight. He's quite an animal.”
Bet as though defeat was out of the question, Southwind Spirit returned $2.20 while running his record to 5-2-1 in eight starts with earnings of $138,400 while under the guidance of conditioner Ron Burke.
In the $63,000 Filly division, Bob and Lynda Stewart's Herroyalhighness shrugged off a first-over trip as she splashed to an impressive 6 1/4-length triumph in 1:57 for driver Trace Tetrick. Pray With Me held on to be second while Muscle Babe (Dave Magee) was third.
After the victory Tetrick seemed quite pleased with the way his charge had performed.
"She was good and strong the entire way tonight,” he said of the daughter of Muscle Hill who is trained by Bob Stewart. "I really didn't want to be first-up against the favorite but that's just the way it worked out for us. She's been getting better each week and she continued that progression tonight. I was really happy with the way she finished up that mile in the slop.”
Overlooked at the windows, Herroyalhighness returned $16.40 while upping her bankroll to $39,199. (Balmoral Park)