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Balmoral record for Southern Rocketop in stakes elim

September 24, 2008

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Illinois\' top 2-year-old trotting colts headlined the Tuesday night action at Balmoral Park as a total of 15 youngsters battled in a pair of $12,500 Lincoln Land Stake eliminations. The top five finishers in each split will be back next Tuesday, Sept. 30, to slug it out for a purse of $120,000.

In the opening division Blackfoot Farms\' The Way He Moves took advantage of breaks by three of the seven starters, including 1-5 favorite Dr. McDreamy, en route to a 1 3/4-length triumph in 2:00.2.

Well handled by Hall of Famer Dave Magee, this son of International Chip-Valley Cinderella was able to find a good early spot in second after miscues at the gate and in the opening turn by Sago, Piddles and Dr. McDreamy.

Content to spy the action from his spot on the pylons as Justa Rebel (Dale Hiteman) and a first-over Chip N Dale (Steve Searle) battled tooth and nail through splits of :30, 1:00 and 1:29.4, Magee had his trotter in perfect position as the field headed for home.

Maneuvering off the pylons to avoid the tiring front pair, the John Butenschoen trainee swung to the outside at the eighth pole and proceeded to go right by the top two for his first career victory. Justa Rebel held on for second while Chip N Dale was third. Sago (Tyler Buter) overcame his early miscue to get the fourth spot while B Victorious (Brandon Simpson) was fifth.

After failing to hit the board in his first six career starts, The Way He Moves was overlooked in the wagering, returning $28.80, $11.40 and $7.20. Justa Rebel returned $6.20 and $14.20 while third place finisher Chip N Dale returned $62.60. The reason for the huge show prices was the fact that Dr. McDreamy, who finished seventh, had $11,572 of the $14,000 show pool bet on him.

In the second elimination divisional leader Southern Rocketop continued his dominance over this set with a devastating 5 1/4-length victory in a track record time of 1:54.4. That clocking shattered the previous record of 1:56.1 which Southern Rocketop had set on Sept. 17.

As is his usual style, Southern Rocketop came charging away from post position seven, easily making the front end by the time the field had reached the midway point of the first turn.

With his long flowing strides the son of Psychic Spirit-Summer In The City glided through splits of :28.2, :57.1 and 1:26 for driver Brian Carpenter.

After turning for home Carpenter then stepped on the gas and the Monique Bernardi trained gelding responded beautifully as he sprinted away from the pocket sitting Definer (Buter) with a :28.4 final quarter for his seventh win in 11 career starts. Definer held on for second while Shining Armor (Brent Holland) was a distant third, 14 1/4 lengths behind the winner. Be Bullish (Magee) made a break in the stretch but recovered in time to finish fourth while Chevie Hyper (Ronnie Guhy) earned the last spot in the final with his fifth-place finish.

The odds on choice of the betting public, Southern Rocketop returned $3.20, $2.10 and $2.10.

The girls will have their turn to shine on Wednesday night as a pair of $12,500 Lady Lincoln Land eliminations has attracted 20 two-year-old trotting fillies. Once again the top five will return for a $134,000 finale on Wednesday, Oct. 1. Post time for the opener on Wednesday is 7:20 p.m. (CDT). (Balmoral Park)

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