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Locksweeper takes Hanover at Balmoral

June 23, 2008

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Trotters headlined Sunday’s Balmoral Park card with the $43,800 Hanover Stake getting top billing on an action-packed closing night program, and although 12 entries were dropped into the box for the Hanover that number was reduced by one with the late defection of Glide Sally Glide. When the smoke had cleared from this wide open event it was the Dan O’Mara leased, trained and driven Locksweeper who emerged with the victory in 1:56.4.


Whisked away from post position eight this daughter of Lockeeper easily made the top as she led the field through an opening quarter in :29.2. Continuing along on her front-end mission this good looking chestnut opened up a 2 ½-length advantage as she moved by the half-mile mark in :58.3. Princessndiamonds (Dave Magee) was enjoying a pocket-sitting journey in second at that point while My Birthday (Sam Widger), who had maneuvered her way through traffic after starting in the second tier, was hustling up first-over into third. 


O’Mara then looked to bottom out the field as they moved around the far turn widening Locksweeper’s advantage to 4 ½ lengths as she trotted a third quarter in :28 to reach the three-quarter-mile station in 1:26.3.


Through the lane Locksweeper continued to hold firm as Princessndiamonds and Campaign Wife (Homer Hochstetler), the 8-5 favorite in the race, tried desperately to cut  into the deficit. With a sixteenth of a mile to go a game Locksweeper finally began to get a little leg weary. Desperately trying to hang on as a determined Princessndiamonds continued to chew into the margin the finish line came just in time for Locksweeper as she hit the wire a neck in front of Princessndiamonds. Campaign Wife was third, 2 ¼ lengths behind the winner.  


Sent off as the second choice in the wagering, Locksweeper returned $7, $4.80 and $3.20 as she won for the seventh time in 19 lifetime starts.


Balmoral fans also got their first look at this season\'s state-bred 2-year-old filly trotting crop as a pair of $5,000 Fox Valley Evita Stake splits were contested as non-wagering events prior to the start of the regular 12-race program.


In the first division Kevin Dixon and Robert Taylor’s Miss Vickie used the inside post to full advantage grabbing command from the word go and never looking back in route to a 1 ¾-length victory in 2:03.3.


Hustled away from the gate by driver-trainer Robert Taylor this daughter of Valley Victor hit the brakes on the backside and was allowed to stroll through leisurely splits of 31.4, 1:05.1 and 1:35.4 the rest of the way.


With a strong tailwind at her back and the soft fractions under her belt Miss Vickie sprinted home in :27.4 to pick up her maiden victory. Lekka (Mike Oosting) overcame a misstep in the first turn and a parked the mile journey to finish second while Tropical Chance (Tyler Buter) finished third.


In the second division, Ronald and Deloris Phillips and John Carver’s Princessfancyfeet swept into command after an opening quarter in :32.1 and was never headed as she reported home with a 3 ¼-length triumph in 2:04.3.


Allowed to settle in third through the early going by driver-trainer Jamaica Patton this daughter of Physic Spirit quickly charged into the lead on the backside and proceeded to take the field through middle splits of 1:03.4 and 1:35.1.


When her main competition Tropical Trixie (John Finn) made a break after the pulling from the pocket in the stretch the issue was never in doubt as Princessfancyfeet posted her second win in three career starts. Fox Valley Lover (Dale Hiteman) finished second while Soaring Sadie (Jared Finn) was third. (Balmoral Park)


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