Illinois 3YO pacers in stakes action at Balmoral
May 05, 2013
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It was a busy night for the Illinois conceived and foaled sophomore set on Saturday night at Balmoral Park as a trio of battles featuring some of the top three-year-old pacers in the Prairie State shared top billing on the 13-race program.
The action kicked off in race three with the first of two $10,000 divisions of the Betzotic Stake attracting a field of eight distaffers. Fresh off a sharp win in her last outing here at Balmoral Park, Roy Drevs and Brett and Candice Wilfong's Feel Like Dancing swept seven rivals right off their feet as she cruised to a 1 ½ length victory in a career best of 1:53.4.
Zipped right to the front from post position four by driver Kyle Wilfong, the home-bred daughter of Skydancer Hanover-Fox Valley Funny cruised through splits of :28, :56.4 and 1:26.1 while relatively unchallenged on the front end. With plenty in reserve for the stretch drive, the Brett Wilfong trained miss sped home in :27.3, keeping the pocket sitting Big Zipper (Robert Smolin) at bay as she cruised to her fourth win in six starts this season. Big Zipper was forced to settle for the bridesmaid role on this night while Ryleigh's Lilly (Mike Oosting) turned in a big effort to rally from far back for the show dough.
Heavily backed at the betting windows Feel Like Dancing returned $3.60, $2.20 & $2.20 while pushing her career record to 4-2-0 in 7 starts with earnings of $20,727.
In the second division of the filly stake Paula Smith, James Runyan and Frank Pike's Dallas Jones continued her fine second season of racing as she powered by the pace setting Five Stars Queen in the stretch to score by a widening 1 ¼ lengths in 1:54.3 for driver Casey Leonard.
Given a perfect steer, the daughter of Sportsmaster-Cams Bett took full advantage of her inside starting spot, saving ground throughout as favored Five Stars Queen (Brian Carpenter) reeled off splits of 28.1, 59.2 & 1:27.2.
Swinging to the outside of horses from third as the field hit the top of the stretch, the Joel Smith trained miss quickly found her best stride as she took dead aim on both the pace-setter and the pocket sitting Incredible Filly (Dave Magee). Reeling in the top pair with just less than a sixteenth of a mile to go Dallas Jones then held firm to the wire, scoring for the fifth time in 14 starts this season. Five Stars Queen held on for second while Mystical Danica (Mike Oosting) rallied sharply to finish third.
The second choice in the wagering Dallas Jones returned $5.40, $2.60 & $2.20 while running her 2013 record to an impressive 5-6-1 in 14 starts with earnings of $32,307.
The final Betzotic Stake of the night featured three-year-old pacing colts slugging it out for a $12,000 jackpot. Fresh off his first lifetime win in the Taser Gun Stake at Maywood Park, the father-son team of Brett and Kyle Wilfong teamed up once again, putting the rapidly improving Crankin' It Up right back in the winner's circle as he posted a two-length victory in 1:53.2.
Using an inside draw and a short field to their advantage Kyle Wilfong and the son of Skydancer Hanover-Crime Scene grabbed command of the proceedings right from the word go, leading the field of six through an opening quarter in 29.4.
The action picked up on the backside as Wilfong elected to turn a hard charging Drunk On You (Dale Hiteman) loose, leaving that gelding to lead the field through middle splits of 57.4 & 1:26.3. Patiently awaiting room in the passing lane as the field moved through the stretch Wilfong then maneuvered his charge down to the pylons and the long striding bay gelding responded beautifully as he rolled right by the pace setter for his second win in four starts this year. Mystical Walter (Todd Warren) shook loose late and rallied nicely to finish second while longshot Kostas Wine (Dave Magee) was third.
Coupled in the wagering with Youmakemewanadance, Crankin' It Up returned $4.40, $2.40 & $2.10 while upping his bankroll to $21,291 for the partnership of Lynn and Barbara Wilfong and Brett and Candace Wilfong. (Balmoral Park)