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Valley Victory, Goldsmith Maid elims at Chester

August 31, 2009
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A track-record performance from Bar Slide ($11.00) earned her top billing on Sunday (Aug. 30) afternoon at Harrah's Chester Casino and Racetrack, as she held off overwhelming 1-5 favorite Costa Rica in the last of four $20,000 Goldsmith Maid eliminations.

The 2-year-old daughter of Yankee Glide-Marla Bar found an easy lead and a hassle-free pace, clearing Costa Rica (Ron Pierce) and Fouroclocktea (Dave Palone) with absolutely no trouble in the first 100 yards, and rating a languid 1:00.3 half mile.

Facing mild pressure up the backstretch from Nice Kronos, Bar Slide picked up the tempo to a three-quarter split of 1:28.4, and Costa Rica remained in close order throughout. With Bar Slide breaking stride at the apex of the far turn, Costa Rica had ample room to pull pocket at the head of the stretch, but every step of her 27.4 last quarter was matched by Bar Slide, prevailing by a half-length in 1:57, one fifth of a second faster than the previous track record, which was held by Fashion Feline.

"She raced really well, and the soft half definitely helped," commented driver David Miller. "She was really sharp in her last start, and I knew Costa Rica was the horse I had to beat. Since they added the trotting hopples, she's been solid."

Joe Holloway trains Bar Slide for Fredericka Caldwell and Bluestone Farms, LLC.

Favorites were blanked in the other three Goldsmith Maid eliminations, with Action-Broadway (1:57.4, Brett Miller), Barham Hanover (1:58, Mike Wilder), and 20-1 longshot Lindy's Two Step (1:57.2, Ron Pierce) taking their splits.

In three $20,000 eliminations of the Valley Victory, Lucky Chucky ($3.60) took the spotlight, showing an incredible turn of foot from just off the pace in a 1:55.4 effort. Sitting just off Plan B In HD (George Brennan) and Baximum (David Miller) through the entire first circuit, John Campbell edged the 2-year-old son of Windsong's Legacy-Aerobics to the outside, and his response was immediate, pulling away in the final three-eighths to win by 5-1/4 lengths, just a fifth of a second shy of Lear Jetta's track record of 1:55.3.

Looking into next week's $450,000 final, Hall of Fame driver John Campbell hopes for a similar scenario.
"He's pretty versatile," he said. "I think he's better off the pace than at the front, but he's won from the front. Hopefully we get a good pace up front, it seems to suit him best."

Trainer Chuck Sylvester owns Lucky Chucky in partnership with Neal Goldman and Amy Stoltzfus.

Pilgrims Taj (1:56.4, Mike Lachance) and On the Tab (1:59, Marcus Johansson) also took their eliminations.

The finals for the Valley Victory and the Goldsmith Maid will take place on Sept. 6, with final entries closing on Sept. 1. (Chester)

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