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Godiva Hall preps for Am Nat

November 04, 2006

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Freshman trotter Godiva Hall received a bye for Saturday night’s American National elimination at Balmoral Park, but trainer Peter Foley wanted to tighten up his charge prior to the Nov. 11 final. Saturday afternoon at Indiana Downs the Like A Prayer two year old swept from last to first to win a $10,000 event in 1:58.1. Indiana Downs’ leading driver Mark O’Mara was in the bike for the one and one-half length victory against a field of five older competitors.

“I had to race here to tighten her up. Whenever you race for big money, I like to race the week before,” said Foley, who qualified Godiva Hall at Indiana Downs Oct. 25 after a layoff since Oct. 4. “I told Mark I just wanted to sit back and turn her loose in the last bit of the mile. She tipped herself out.”

Owned by Stephen and Eugene Oldford of Michigan and North South Partners 2 of Georgia, Godiva Hall has won eight of 10 career starts. The trotter has rolled up more than $240,000 in earnings and is currently enjoying a six-race win streak. She is not eligible to any stakes after next week’s American National, which will be her last start of the season.

Godiva Hall wasn\'t the only freshman using the Shelbyville oval as a tune-up for Balmoral Park. Trotting colt Prayer I Am trotted to victory in the first race on the closing day program, winning for trainer C. Kevin Thomas by three and one-half lengths in 1:59.4. He was driven to victory by Patrick Berry, who has sat behind the colt in each of his last four starts.

“They only had seven in the division, and they didn’t write anything in Illinois,” explained Thomas, who was looking for a start before he final next Saturday. “We were lucky to get a race here. He just popped loose, like Foley’s filly did.”

Prayer I am earned his third win in nine starts in 2006. The Kentucky Sires Stakes finals victor possesses $116,000 in seasonal earnings. He is owned by Roy Dobbins of Bryant, Ala.
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