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Milton elimination sets field of 10 for final

September 23, 2007

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To Helen Back roared from well off the pace to score a thrilling 1:51.2 victory in Saturday night\'s single C$50,000 elimination for this year\'s Milton Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack.
It was an important victory, with the winner getting to choose their post position for next week\'s final. Moving Pictures, Armbro Dancer and Darlin\'s Delight all accepted byes into the final, leaving a field of 10 to vie for seven qualifying spots in Saturday evening\'s lone split.
There was plenty of speed to chase in the early stages as Invitro was parked past a quick opening panel of :26 seconds before finally clearing to command. At that point, Ideal Weather came charging out from fourth and worked her way to the front through a :54.3 first half.

No sooner had that one cleared, then Guestimate came out from third to keep the front end moving. She pressed the pacesetter through a third station in 1:23.1, with the backfield beginning to gear up.

As the field turned for home, the winded front-enders began to tire and were easy prey for the closers. To Helen Back and driver Chris Christoforou finished liveliest of all to score over a hard-closing Southwind Madonna, with Illusionist grabbing the show spot.

\"She\'s only been beat probably 15 lengths total in her last six or seven starts,\" said trainer Jason Libby. \"She\'s been knocking on the door, and tonight we changed her bridle hoping that might help. It couldn\'t have rained on a drier plain. When Chris (driver Chris Christoforou) put the whip over her back tonight she took off. I\'m happy we get a chance to race for the big money. The beginning of the year was phenomenal. She made C$200,000 real quick. We\'re going to hope for the best with her.\"

Saturday night\'s win was the fourth in 19 tries this season for the 4-year-old daughter of Astreos-Rocket Science and boosted her seasonal bankroll to just shy of C$250,000 for owners Mike and Anne Shunock of Dorchester, Ontario.

Afterwards, the connections of To Helen Back chose post three for next week\'s C$400,000 final. Here is a look at the entire field for this year\'s Milton Stakes in post position order:

1. Moving Pictures
2. Four Starzz Meliss
3. To Helen Back
4. Invitro
5. Marnie Hall
6. Southwind Madonna
7. Illusionist
8. Armbro Dancer
9. Darlin\'s Delight
10. K G Katriona
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