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Filly trotter springs 10-1 upset in Illinois stake

June 04, 2008

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Illinois conceived and foaled trotting fillies stepped into the spotlight on Tuesday night at Balmoral Park as a field of nine sophomores lined up for the $12,000 Fox Valley Diva Stake, won by Fox Valley Shannon.


After a huge win in the Violet Stake last week Spread The Chips was dispatched as the overwhelming 1-5 choice in Tuesday’s battle. Unfortunately for the chalk players the race went up for grabs at the quarter-mile mark as the heavy favorite made a break and lost all chance, eventually winding up sixth.


That miscue left the door open for an upset and it was Robert Taylor and Kevin Dixon’s Fox Valley Shannon who stepped to the forefront with a grinding come-from-behind victory in 1:57.


Given a perfect steer by driver Ryan Anderson Fox Valley Shannon saved ground in mid-pack as My Birthday (Sam Widger) carved out splits of :29.1 and :59.2. Latching on to the live cover of a first-over Campaign Wife (Homer Hochstetler) as the field moved around the final turn, Fox Valley Shannon was fourth, just two lengths behind the embattled leaders, as the fillies reached the three-quarters mark in 1:28.4.


Through the lane My Birthday and Campaign Wife continued to slug it out while Fox Valley Shannon methodically continued to close in on the top two. Trotting home in a brisk :27.4, the Robert Taylor-trained miss charged past the top two in the closing yards to win by 1 3/4 lengths. Campaign Wife held on for second while My Birthday finished a hard-fought third.


The daughter of Vaporize had racked up more than $24,000 in earnings through her 12-race career but Tuesday’s victory was her first trip to the winner\'s circle. Despite a second-place finish in last week’s Violet Stake, Fox Valley Shannon was dismissed at 10-1 giving her backers a nice winning mutuel of $22.40 while moving her career earnings over the $30,000 mark. (Balmoral Park)

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