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Countdown to Ill. Super Night begins

September 12, 2010

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The countdown to Super Night 2010 began in earnest at Balmoral Park on Saturday, Sept. 11, with 13 of the 14 races on the card serving as elimination’s for next Saturday’s Super Night festivities. A total of eight championship tilts will be contested by Illinois’ finest pacers and trotters next week with more than $1.5 million in purse money up for grabs.

Freshmen pacing fillies kicked off the action on Saturday night with a trio of $12,000 elimination’s for the $218,000 Filly Orange & Blue. The top three finishers along with one fourth place finisher (drawn by lot) will be back next week for the final. 

In the first division Michael Anderson, Shim Racing and John Carver’s Juxa Sister proved best as she knocked off eight rivals by a half-length in a career best of 1:55.
Patiently handled by driver Marcus Miller the daughter of Cole Muffler-Royal Rulah sat near the back of the pack before getting into a third over position in the outer flow. Still fifth as the field turned for home the Ervin Miller-trained miss then uncorked a :26.4 final quarter as she blew by her rivals for her second win in just five career starts. Cuzimademymindup (Dale Hiteman) was a solid second while She’s Automatic (Dave Magee) was third. Just By Design was fourth.

In the middle split Paula Smith and James Runyan’s Fox Valley Touche continued her solid first season of action as she overcame a tough first over trip to win by a length in 1:54.2.

Given a confident steer by veteran Dale Hiteman the daughter Sportsmaster-Thongundrcolrsoops stormed up without cover as the field neared the half-mile mark. Gradually wearing down the pace setting Fox Valley Phoebe (Brandon Simpson) with an eighth of a mile to go the Joel Smith trainee then pulled away from the rest of the field to notch her third win in nine lifetime starts. Elisa’s Model (Marcus Miller) rallied sharply to finish second while Red Hot N Sassy (Tyler Buter) turned a ground saving trip into the show dough. Nina Coleada finished fourth.

In the final division all eyes were focused on Richard Balog’s undefeated Pardon and the 1-5 favorite did not disappoint as she cruised to her ninth straight victory with a 4 1/4-length decision in an effortless 1:53.4.

After getting away fourth driver Dave Magee sent the daughter of Richess Hanover-Rose Dawson to the front and the issue was never in doubt from that point on as the Dirk Simpson trained youngster simply overwhelmed her nine rivals to remain perfect. Mystical MJ (Marcus Miller) was a clear-cut second while Batgirl (Mike Cox) was a distant third. Bigdreamsnhihopes finished fourth.

Next into the spotlight were 3-year-old pacing fillies as 17 sophomores were sent out in a pair of $12,000 Grandma Ann Stake eliminations. The top five finishers in each split will be back next Saturday to battle for a purse of $172,000.

In the first division Ervin Miller Stable and Tanah Merah Farms Rolldownthehiway used the passing lane to perfection as she turned a ground-saving trip into a half-length victory in 1:53.

Skimming the pylons while stablemate Cotton Candy (Dave Magee) set the fractions driver Brandon Simpson moved the daughter of Cole Muffler-Cambridge Lane into the passing lane with less than a sixteenth of a mile to go. The Erv Miller trainee then responded beautifully as she stormed home in :26.4 to pick up her second victory of the season. Cotton Candy held on gamely to finish second while Reilly’s Daughter (Dale Hiteman) overcame a trouble plagued trip to finish third. Also gaining spots in the final were Rev Me Up and Cole Blue.

Another Miller trainee gave the conditioner a clean sweep of the Grandma Ann elimination’s as Mystical Marker Farms and Peggy Hood’s Mystical Victress lived up to her 1-5 billing with a deceptively easy 1 1/2-length victory in 1:51.2 in the nightcap.

Sent to the top from fourth after the field raced through the opening quarter in post position order driver Marcus Miller had the daughter of Sportsmaster-Sneakheravalentine on idle the rest of the way as last year’s Filly Orange & Blue runner-up won for the eighth time in 13 starts this year and for 15th time in 23 lifetime appearances. Fox Valley Oracle (Tyler Buter) followed the winners every move to finish second while Makena Cat (Del Chupp) finished third. Bypass was a distant fourth while Leanmean Normajean was fifth.

The Prairie State’s top older pacers were next on the slate as 14 veterans competed in a pair of $12,000 Tony Maurello Stake eliminations. Once again the top five finishers in each division get the chance to go for a $115,000 jackpot next Saturday.

In the first division the Daryl Bier owned-trained and driver Roy Orbisong made his return to the local scene a winning one as he posted a one-length victory in career best of 1:50.4.

After getting away last in the seven horse field, Bier did a fine job of maneuvering his charge into a live outer flow as the field neared the top of the stretch. Uncorking a wicked :26.4 final quarter, the five-year-old Ft. Apache Hanover gelding then flew by his rivals while on the far outside of horses to record his sixth win in 21 starts this year. My Boy Luke (Mike Oosting) was a game second while He’s Redhot (Marcus Miller) was third. Also moving on to the final will be Fort Silky and Booze Cruzin.

In the second division Engel Stables Mucho Sleazy took his first step towards trying to become a three-time Super Night champion as he rallied in the late going to win by a neck in a blazing 1:50.

Taking advantage of his inside starting spot driver Mike Oosting sat right on the back of the pace setting Thisbigdogwilfight (Todd Warren) throughout the opening three-quarters of a mile. With the pacesetter beginning to tire, Oosting then sent the Paul Stafford-trained 5 year old into the passing lane and the gelded son of Sportsmaster finished things off with an eye-opening :26 final quarter to post his third win in 21 starts this season. Doubletrouble (Brian Carpenter) was a hard fought second while Thisbigdogwilfight held on for third. Well To Do Guru finished fourth while the last spot in the final went to Park Lane Deputy.

Sophomore pacing colts took center stage in the next set of elimination battles as 19 three year olds battled for starting spots in next Saturday’s $173,000 Pete Langley Memorial Stake. The top five finishers in each of the $12,000 preliminaries will get the chance to showcase their abilities on Super Night.

Team Miller grabbed the headlines in the first elimination as last year’s Orange & Blue champion Power Of A Moment had no trouble dispatching of eight rivals as he rolled to a 2 3/4-length victory in 1:51.1 for driver Marcus Miller and trainer Ervin Miller.

The good looking son of Cole Muffler-Panfastic was sixth in the early stages before moving to the outside as the field moved towards the half-mile mark. Using his patented grinding style Power Of A Moment swept into command midway around the final turn. The issue was never in doubt from that point on as the bay gelding rolled under the wire with his 16th lifetime win in 27 starts for the ownership group of Leland Mathias, Bert Hochsprung and the Ervin Miller Stable.  Delco Willobee (John De Long) finished second while JHS (Dave Magee) was third. Also earnings spots in the final were Cooperstown Kid (Todd Warren) and Indescribable (Dale Hiteman).

Trainer Erv Miller posted his fifth win of the night in the second division as John Carver, Mystical Marker Farms and Peggy and Jack Hood’s Iam Bonasera proved that he’ll be a willing opponent for his stablemate next week as he paced away from nine rivals in the lane to win by 3 1/2 lengths in 1:50.

Given a Hall of Fame steer by Dave Magee the son of Cole Muffler-Shessolovabull found a nice spot in fifth as Southern Sport (Brandon Simpson) and Voomerang (Mike Oosting) battled for control through the opening three-quarters of mile. Ranging up with cover as the field neared the top of the stretch Iam Bonasera then unleashed his powerful closing burst, rattling off a :26.2 final quarter, while blowing by his rivals for his fourth win in 12 starts this season. Finance The Master (Travis Seekman) finished second while Voomerang was third. Southern Sport finished fourth despite a brief miscue in the late going while Ice Man Cometh was fifth.

A total of 33 two-year-old pacing colts were entered for the Orange & Blue Stake necessitating a quartet of $12,000 eliminations. The top two finishers in each elimination along with two third place finishers (drawn by lot) will advance to $265,000 final next week.

In the first tussle Mark & Stephanie Winship and Amy Giberson’s Playin For Keeps lived up to his name as he romped to 5 3/4-length triumph in a career best of 1:52.1.  

Positioned perfectly in the pocket by driver Tyler Buter as Think Rich (Brian Carpenter) sped through quick early splits Buter vacated the garden spot as the field straightened for home. Quickly blowing by the tiring leader the full brother to Power Of A Moment was on cruise control the rest of the way as he scored for the second time in nine lifetime starts. The Nick Giberson trainee has also been on the board in all nine career attempts. Sporty Gypsy (Dale Hiteman) finished second while longshot Hopetobefirst (Marcus Miller) was third. 

The second elimination provided a thrilling finish as Mack Racing Stables Mr. Bedrock held off a big late bid by Dry Creek Striker to win by a head in 1:53.4.

After getting away to a slow start for driver-trainer Robert Taylor the son of Richess Hanover-Lake Hills Leota then began a steady grind on the outside as the field headed for the half-mile mark. After picking up cover on the final turn Taylor tipped his colt three wide as the field turned for home. Quickly sweeping by the leaders Mr. Bedrock appeared to be home free but a hard charging Dry Creek Striker (Robert Smolin) made things very interesting as he came flying home in :26.2 to just miss taking it all. Winchesters Hero (Tyler Buter) was a close up third. The win was the fourth in eight starts for Mr. Bedrock. 

In the third division Stretch It Over Stables Fox Valley Griffin continued his recent hot streak winning for the third straight race as charged home with a three-length victory in 1:54 for driver Brandon Simpson. 

Using their inside starting spot to full advantage Simpson and Fox Valley Griffin managed to save ground throughout the opening three-quarters of a mile. Swinging off the pylons at the top of the stretch the John Butenschoen-trained son of Sportsmaster-Fox Valley Gale easily blew by the embattled leaders cruising home in :27 to post his third win in six lifetime starts. AJ Get’s The Money (Tyler Buter) was second while King Z Tam (Dave Magee) rallied to be third.

Another perfect record was on the line in the final event of the night as William P. De Long,William C. De Long’s and E.J. Miller Jr’s came in sporting a five for five record. But when the smoke cleared it was the driver-trainer combination of Marcus Miller and Ervin Miller who toted home top honors as the lightly raced Dutch Richman gave Erv Miller his sixth win of the night with a four-length score in a career best of 1:51.2.

Scoring the biggest upset of the night Marcus Miller (four wins) gave the gelded son of Richess Hanover-Fox Valley Estella the perfect steer as he saved ground every step of the way after leaving from the inside post. After watching Fox Valley Mercury (Dave Magee) and a first-over He’s So Hot (Mike Oosting) battle tooth and nail Miller maneuvered his charge into the passing lane where he exploded with a :26.2 final quarter to get the victory for owners Leland Mathias, Harvey Eisman and the Ervin Miller Stable. Fox Valley Mercury held on for second while Boi (Brandon Simpson) edged out He’s So Hot for the show spot. 
The elimination action continues on Sunday night with a pair of Lorna Propes Stake eliminations (3yo & up fillies and mares), two Su Mac Lad Stake elim’s (3yo colt trotters) and a Lady Ann Reed Stake elimination (3yo filly trot).  (Balmoral)
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