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A win through Litigation

November 29, 2006
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Heavy favorite Litigator made it look effortless as he trotting to a 3 1/4-length triumph in the final Illinois Standardbred Owners and Breeders Association Stake of 2006 at Balmoral Park Tuesday night. Just six lined up behind the gate but all five could do was chase Litigator across the wire in 1:58.2 in the $14,280 contest.

Eased away from the inside starting spot by driver Ryan Anderson, Litigator was content to trot along in third while Crown Vic (Dave Magee) and Fox Valley Hotrod (Trace Tetrick) strolled through an opening quarter of :30. Deciding enough was enough as the pace slowed to a crawl on the backside, Anderson tugged on the right line and Litigator swept from the third to first in the blink of an eye. In complete command of the proceedings this year’s Su Mac Lad winner hit the half-mile mark in :58.3.

Unchallenged throughout most of the far turn Anderson was able to tap the brakes with his charge getting away with a :30 third quarter as he led the field by the three-quarter mile station in 1:28.3.

In the lane Litigator promptly stepped away from his rivals to lead by three lengths. Under no urging whatsoever from his pilot the Roger Welch trainee was on cruise control as he trotted home with his 13th win in 19 starts this season. Crown Vic came back along the inside of horses to capture the place check while Adam Gram (Tom Graham Jr.) finished third some 6 ½ lengths behind the winner.

The pride of owner Phillip Rietveld of Crete, Ill., Litigator has put together a record of 13-1-1 in his sophomore season. The winner’s check of $7,140 moves the son of Valley Victor’s seasonal bankroll up to $183,390 while his career bankroll jumped to $252,591.

With divisional honors a near certainty Litigator returned just $2.40, $2.10 and $2.10 to his legion of backers. (Balmoral Park)
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