Divas Photo wins Violet in 1:58.1 at Balmoral
May 28, 2012
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Continuing an impressive start to her second season of racing action David Hermann's Divas Photo posted her biggest win to date on Sunday night as she knocked off nine other Illinois conceived and foaled three-year-old trotting fillies in the $50,000 Violet Stake. The final time of 1:58.1 was a career best for the daughter of Photo Color-Mystical Cameo.
Given a great steer by driver Mike Oosting, the Randy Tuftie-trained miss left alertly from post position nine and was able to settle into a perfect spot in fourth thanks in part to a heady drive and several breaking horses as Fox Valley Velvet led the field through an opening quarter in 29.
"I didn't know if we'd be able to get there if we ducked so I figured it was worth taking a chance leaving out of there and see where we landed,” said Oosting. "The way things worked out and the way she got away from the gate wound up being absolutely perfect.”
Heading to the half-mile mark with Fox Valley Velvet still calling the shots, Oosting moved Divas Photo to the outside where she began a steady grind towards the front as the leader hit the halfway point in 59.3.
Moving around the final bend Fox Valley Velvet continued to show the way as Divas Photo moved up on the outside into second. Power Talk (Brian Carpenter) was still looming boldly while enjoying a pocket sitting journey in third while highly regarded Maevey Gravy (Marcus Miller) followed Divas Photo every move on the outside of horses as the field reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:29.
"We were out a long way but my filly really felt strong so I figured there was no reason to go rushing up there,” explained Oosting. "She's been sharp all year long and she loves to trot late so I figured we were in a pretty good spot.”
With the leader clearly in her sights as the diagonally gaited fillies moved through the lane Divas Photo took dead aim on the pace setting Fox Valley Velvet. Getting only mild urging from her pilot Divas Photo gradually wore down the leader to win by a measured neck. Fox Valley Velvet was a hard fought second while Maevey Gravy rallied for third.
The win was the third in five starts this season for Divas Photo, who had some problems minding her manners as a two-year-old and failed to hit the ticket in three starts. Sent off as the third choice among the betting public Divas Photo returned $8.60, $4.20 & $3.00 while running her career bankroll up to $36,865 for her proud connections. (Balmoral Park)