With a busy weekend of two-year-old action in the books, the countdown to one of Balmoral Park’s biggest events in history, American National Stakes Night, will begin in earnest.
A pair of American National eliminations for freshmen pacers headlined the track’s Saturday, November 2 action, as 10 two-year-old pacing fillies battling for a purse of $18,530. The top eight finishers will return on Saturday, November 9 to battle for $115,000.
Using a two-hole trip to perfection, driver Todd Warren guided the Roger Welch-trained Always Electric to a one-length victory in 1:54.2.
After being used hard to grab control of the proceedings, Warren elected to allow a hard-charging Shell Bell (driven by Dale Hiteman) go after pacing through an opening quarter in :28.
Sitting in the garden spot through middle splits of :56.4 and 1:26, the Roger Welch-trained miss was locked and loaded as the field turned for home. Maneuvering his charge into the passing lane, Warren sent the daughter of Always A Virgin—Miss Yankee Doodle on her way and the filly responded beautifully as she swallowed up her rivals with a :28.1 final quarter to post her sixth win from 13 starts. Shell Bell held on for second while Thesleazyprincess (Mike Oosting) was third. Also gaining spots in the final were Jaded Dream, Boxed Chocolates, One Jazzy Lady, Game of Dreamers and Tough Rose.
Another field of 10 was sent postward in the $17,330 colt elimination with the top eight again moving on to next week’s $113,000 final.
Once again, a perfect two-hole journey proved to be the winning ticket as the Chris Ryder-trained Bushwacker zipped by his rivals in the lane to score by a deceptively easy length in a career best of 1:51.4 with Mike Oosting at the controls.
Taking advantage of an inside starting spot Oosting positioned the son of Rocknroll Hanover—Dolphins Can Talk, who was a $135,000 yearling purchase, in the garden spot as Somesizesomestyle (Brett Miller) ripped through splits of :27, :54.1 and 1:22.1.
Moving out of the pocket at the top of the lane, Bushwacker overpowered the pacesetter with an eighth of a mile to go and then drew clear in the shadow of the wire for his second win from five lifetime starts. Somesizesomestyle held for second while Wicked Business (Travis Seekman) finished third. Also gaining spots in the final were Odds On Rhodonite, Archetto Hanover, Rocknroll Reality, Unlocked and Traffic Cop.
State-bred trotters were in action on Sunday, November 3, as a field of nine diagonally-gaited fillies met in the $10,000 Monee Stakes. After struggling with breaking problems in two of her last three outings, Dr. Patrick Graham’s Fox Valley Lotus was on her best behaviour on Sunday and the filly showed the type of ability she has with a sharp two and a half-length, come-from-behind win in 2:00.4.
Patiently saving ground as Baileys Wish (Dave Magee) put up splits of :30, :59.1 and 1:29, the daughter of Pizazzed—Love You More shook loose in the lane and zipped right by the pacesetter for her second win from 11 lifetime starts. Baileys Wish held on for second while Fox Valley Skylar (Dale Hiteman) finished third. The win helped push the Curt Grummel trainee’s career bankroll over the $50,000 plateau.