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Diva's Photo, Ants Iner Pants win at Balmoral

April 18, 2012

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Illinois conceived and foaled trotting fillies squared off for the first time in 2012 on Wednesday night at Balmoral Park as a pair of $10,000 divisions of the Trotting Tilly Stakes attracted a total of 15 participants.
In the opening split, David Hermann's Diva's Photo showed no signs of the breaking problems that have plagued her throughout her brief career as she parlayed a perfect two-hole trip into a 1 ½ length victory in 2:00.1. Handled perfectly by driver Marcus Miller, the daughter of Photo Color-Mystical Cameo looked steady as she floated away from post position two, landing right on the back of the hard-leaving Tsunamichick (Brian Carpenter), who led the field through splits of :30.3, 1:01.2 and 1:30.4.
After fending off a first-over bid from B Fly McQueen (Michael Reading), who moved first up at the half-mile mark, Tsunamichick began to drift a bit as the field raced through the stretch. That provided plenty of room for Miller and Divas Photo, who came rolling up the inside to post her first career victory in start number four. Tsunamichick held on for second while B Fly McQueen was third.
Well backed at the windows after showing a pair of :27 and change final quarters in her qualifying attempts this season, the Randy Tuftie trained miss returned $6.40, $5.60 and $4.20.
In the second division, Steve Searle and Tom Wisniewski's Ants Iner Pants made her sophomore debut a winning one as she came flying from far back to score by 2 ½ lengths in a career best of 1:59.4.
Content to bide her time near the back of the pack with driver-trainer Searle at the controls, the daughter of Band's Gold Chip-Patient Dream had a good view of the action as Star Of Victory (John Roberts), Powerful Rosie (Brian Carpenter) and Powerful Force (Dale Hiteman) all took turns on the front end as the ladies battled through splits of :30, :58.4 and 1:29.3.
With the hotly-contested action finally starting to take a toll on the horses up front, Searle had Ants Iner Pants in a perfect second over position as the field reached the top of the stretch. Tipping three wide off the cover of longshot Chief's Irish Rose (Rod Allums), Ants Iner Pants quickly swallowed up the tiring leaders and began to draw clear.
As Ants Iner Pants swiftly headed towards her sixth victory in 14 career starts, a fierce battle continued for the minor spoils. When all was said and done it was Star Of Victory, who was pushed back after leading early. re-rallying to grab the place check while Fox Valley Helen came on late to be third.
The close second choice in the morning line, Ants Iner Pants was overlooked at the windows on Wednesday night returning a nice mutuel of $16.40, $6.40 and $3.40 while running her career bankroll up to $46,770. (Balmoral Park)
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