After a big Saturday night at Balmoral Park which featured five Hanover Stakes the action continued on Sunday as a total of 20 sophomore trotting fillies were sent to battle in a pair of $27,050 splits, with Sun Sentinel and Society Hall coming up winners.
The $15,000 Mini Me Stake for freshman pacing colts and the $5,000 Fox Valley Evita for
In the opening division of the Hanover, DM Stables Sun Sentinel, the 1-2 favorite in the race, trotted by her rivals in the lane to record a 1 3/4-length victory in 1:56.4.
The royally-bred daughter of Winky’s Goal was unhurried through the opening part of the race sitting patiently in fourth as Showmeyourmuscles (Jason Dillander) trotted along steadily through opening splits of :27.4 and :57.1.
Heading around the turn driver Dave Magee decided it was time to roll and the Bobby Brower-trained miss responded beautifully, moving to within three lengths of the leader, as they rolled past the three-quarter-mile station in 1:27.4.
In the lane a game Showmeyourmuscles was all out to hold on to her lead but the heavy favorite had the pacesetter right where she wanted her. With a sixteenth of a mile to trot Sun Sentinel was in full stride blowing right by Showmeyourmuscles to record her third win in as many starts this season. Linda’s First Love (Charlie Norris), a 30-1 outsider, turned a ground-saving trip into a third-place check.
With the victory Sun Sentinel now boasts career earnings of $104,000 for her
In the nightcap, Lawrence Gary’s up-and-coming sophomore Society Hall continued to impress on the local scene as she posted a big come-from-behind win in a career best of 1:56.3.
Nicely handled by driver Dillander, the daughter of Conway Hall raced in mid-pack as hometown hero Mogo On the Gogogo (Dave Magee) trotted through a soft opening half of 59. Heading around the final turn Dillander positioned his charge in a perfect second-over position following the cover of Real Hope (D.R. Ackerman) as the ladies hit the three-quarter mile mark in 1:27.2.
Mogo On the Gogogo continued to lead through the lane but a determined Society Hall continued to grind away on the outside of horses. Still facing a 2 1/2-length deficit with an eighth of a mile to go, Society Hall seemed to find another gear. Digging in with long fluid strides the Todd LaFountaine trainee finally wore down the pacesetter using a :28.4 final quarter to win by a widening length. Mogo On The Gogogo had to settle for being the bridesmaid while 70-1 shot Vapor Rises (Dean Magee) came on to be third.
The $15,000 Mini Me Stake produced an impressive performance as Wayne Puckett’s homebred Aint No Hearsay went wire to wire in a sharp 1:54.4.
Given a confident steer by the red-hot Ryan Anderson, Aint No Hearsay shot right to the top from post position seven. After being parked through most of a :28.2 opening quarter the son of Final Cheers settled onto the backstretch with a 1 1/2-length lead.
Easily rolling along on the front end, the Bob Phillips-trained gelding carved out middle splits of :57.4 and :27.3 for
The win was the fifth fastest mile of the year by a 2 year old and was the first in three starts for this promising youngster.
The Fox Valley Evita Stake was nothing more than a stroll in the park for Blackfoot Farms Lil Bit Tuff as she grabbed command from the start and never looked back in route to a three-length victory in her career debut.
Taking advantage of an inside starting spot driver Dave Magee pointed the daughter of Vaporize right for the front taking the field through an opening split of :31.3. Moving well within herself on the backside and around the far turn the Bob Phillips-trained miss put up middle splits of 1:01.1 and 1:32.2.
With the Hall of Famer Magee sitting chilly in the bike through the lane the issue was never in doubt as Lit Bit Tuff cruised under the wire in 2:02.2. Aunt Ellie (Sam Widger) used a strong :29.1 final panel to rally for second while Fox Valley Shannon (Robert Taylor) overcame a miscue in the first turn to finish third, 5 ¼ lengths behind the winner.