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2010 sneaks up on us.

Jan 5, 2010

By G. Leek for


As 2010 sneaks up on us, so did the Incredible Finale Pacing Series Final for filly and mares which was scheduled as race eight of the eleven races scheduled for Wednesday night program.

To start the final racing week of 2009 driver Josh Sutton stormed home with the Erin Elliott trained MY NEW DAWN to kick off the program and the final racing card of the year at Balmoral Park. Well, we all know that nobody is hotter then Erin Elliott in December as she has send out eleven winners out of thirty six starters, but Nelson Willis has been doing just fine as of late by winning his fair share of races. Wednesday night was not any different as Willis sent out both the third and fourth race winners in TOTINGHAM HOTSPUR (Josh Sutton) and LANGTREE LILLY (Rick Dane Jr), the latter was a long shot winner of a consolation of the pacing series returning 40 dollars for every two that was bet on her.


Hall of Famer Dave Magee was running late for Wednesday’s races, so trainer Charles Gates Jt was left to find a replacement for his new charge GOOD RIDE COWBOY, and since Gates was going to team up with Sam Widger in Race 6 with RADIANT TRUTH. Why not team up with Widger also in race 5 with the Gabriel and Robert Wand four year old Smokey Legend trotter since Widger was available? And that’s exactly what Gates did. When the wings of the starting gate folded Widger left, secured, and turned the two hole to a three length victory in 2:00.2/5 giving GOOD RIDE COWBOY a new life mark, and victory number nine of the year.


In Race 6 RADIANT TRUTH had to settle for fifth after cutting some quick early fractions, prevailing was Mike Oosting with FOX VALLEY SEE YA for owners Don Richardson and Olivia Luna. Otto Arriaga trains the three year old son of SPORTSMASTER who drew off to win in a new life mark of 1:57.


In the Incredible Finale Final, breeder, owner. trainer Eligio Boccia seen his two year old SAGEBRUSH filly DEE DEE SAGE (Del Chupp) grind first over to take home the seven thousand dollar final by a neck, finishing in second was KENNANS ETHEL (Mike Oosting). Getting only beat one length was REILY’S DAUGHTER (Marcus Miller) while shaking loose late, and rounding out the super was TEMPERMANT (Tyler Buter) who came from last to fourth in the stretch. The pacing fillies covered the mile in 1:56.4/5 on a track listed as good.


Owners John Carver and Ron Phillips witnessed their Valley Victor three year old trotting filly REFOCUS mind her manners again this week, as trainer, driver Jamaica Patton managed to get the talented filly to the wire first even while drifting to the middle of the racetrack, REFOCUS covered the mile in 1:59 giving her two straight victories.


Trainer Jim Eaton witnessed why Dave Magee is a hall of famer as he watched his five year old KINNICK close out the Wednesday night racing action with a perfect pocket trip mastered by Magee. KINNICK covered the mile in 157 while getting up in the final yards to get by DAVES WAY (Sam Widger), KINNICK returned 40.60 for every two dollars wagered on him.


In dash title news driver Mike Oosting managed to get yet another driving title on the Crete oval. While top local horsemen Homer Hochstetler won the dash title for trainers.


When the action moved to Maywood Park on Thursday it marked the official last day of the 2009 racing season but before the books could be closed for the 2009 season the Final of the Incredible Finale Pacing series for the colts had to be completed. With a total of ten different colts winning the preliminary rounds the final had to be split up as race 8 & race 9 on the 11 race program.


To start the Thursday night evening of racing INVITATION TO PLAY and Casey Leonard came three wide off dead cover to report home first in 2:03 for owner trainer Robert Mc Cabe of Wisconsin. Leonard was also able to report home first in race 6 with the Vince Accardo trained MAGICAL FIVE giving him a driving double. Josh Sutton and Sam Widger also reported driving doubles in the evening.


In the first division of the Incredible Finale young sensation Tyler Buter took over the controls on RUSH OF FOOLS and guided him home to a first over victory in 1:57 for owners Phil Langley, Ken Spurlock, and John Johnston. The two year old son of COLE MUFFLER is trained by Jim Eaton. Coming up with a big mile in the final was PHRANQUE  for trainer Nelson Willis and driver Sam Widger, the two year old had been making breaks of late.


In the second division INCREDIBLE AL went gate to wire with driver Sam Widger for trainer Don Brown who co owns the pacer with Allan Weischer. The 3yr old son of Incredible Finale cover the mile in 1:56.4/5 on a track listed as fast but on a very cold night with temperatures in the mid teens.


Before champagne bottles could be popped and a new year come in POWERFUL PRISSY swooped three wide down the back side and brush to the top where she reported home in 2:00.4/5 for owner Frank Colmone. Steve Searle handles the training and driving duties on the five year old Sportsmaster mare, with this victory it gave POWERFUL PRISSY a two race win streak.


In Dash Title news young Josh Sutton reported his first Maywood driving title, while Dave McCaffrey defends his Training Title yet for another year. With all that being said the 2009 racing season came and went.


After celebrations were over on the first action returned back to Maywood to start the New Year with a 14 race card that included a lot of overnight racing action. In the featured race of the evening a condition race for pacers that were non winners of 8500 in there last five starts was the feature. Driver Rick Dane gunned out with DYLAN ROCKS and worked the give and go with KANSAS WILDCAT (Brandon Simpson) and turned the pocket trip into the pocket rocket when he was able to out sprint his rivals to the wire in 1:56.4/5 DYLAN ROCKS got victory number 1 on the year for his owner Rock & Roll stables.  The five year old COLE MUFFLER gelding is trained by Kim Roth.


Young reins man Marcus Miller started the new year with a statement as he guided home both the first race and second race winners in WAKE UP MIKE and WOLF CREEK VIXEN for trainers Dee Coozi and Jim Meade. Miller did get a driving triple on the evening but was not able to visit the winners circle again until race 12 with the Joe Nero III trained SEEMINGLY Z TAM  giving him co leading driver honors with last year driving champ Josh Sutton as the 2010 season gets underway. Sutton was also able to get three winners home on the Friday night card RICH N FLASHY (Todd Crone), INNOVATION (Dave McCaffrey), and DIAMOND LEGACY (Al Kopiec). Tyler Buter and Dean Magee were able to guide home two winners a piece, Buter guided home SWEET TALKIN TOM (Perry Smith), and NOT SO SLIM (Alex Adam). Dean Magee in the other hand guided TRIGGERFISH (Jose Morales) and NJ’S SUPER (Jo Fletcher) victories. In training news fourteen different trainers won a race on opening night of the 2010 season.


When racing switch over to Balmoral Park to start the 2010 racing season, racing would start without last years driving champ as it was announced that Mike “DOUBLE O|” Oosting would not be driving on the Saturday evenings card.  None the less racing had to continue with a fourteen race card programmed for the season opener, the Open Pace was the highlight of the evening as eight of the best local pacers would be competing for the first place check.  HEATH was scratched by the judges out of the race so it only left seven precipitants to compete and six of which would be trying to knock JEREMY’S SUCCESSOR of the hill and try to become king of the hill. When it was all said and done JEREMY’S SUCCESSOR remains as the king of the hill for yet another week as Tyler Buter was able to change tactics and come storming home to give the Andrea Ann Hill pacer his second Open pace in a row in the Crete area since arriving from the east coast. Dean Eckley handles the training duties; Eckley had three winners on the Saturday night racing card when IM ALL COUNTRY (Tyler Buter) and JOVIAL JESTER N (Rick Dane) were also victorious on the racing evening.


Erin Elliott started the New Year right where she left off in December having two winners on the program when both CHALIBI (Tyler Buter), and RACSAN MATT (Andy Shetler) were victorious on the evening. Tyler Buter guided home four winners on the evening IM ALL COUNTRY (D.Eckley), CHALIBI (E.Elliott), JEREMY’S SUCCESSOR (D.Eckley), and COUNTRY ZACH (Je. Seekman).


Hardworking reins man Mark Saporito and Rodney Mills both got early victories to the New Year with PANTASTIC GUY (K.Rinker) and MARTI’S ARTI (J. Arnold). Trainer Guy Calvert claimed three horses two weeks ago then lost RIP ROCKIN RAIDER through the claim box but was able to get ROLL BAR HANOVER to the winners circle as Josh Sutton guided the pacer to the victory.


COLDHEARTEDREVENGE notched victory number 51 of his career when Sam Widger was able to guide the nine year old son of ARTS CONQUEST to a first over victory for trainer Paul Stafford of the Ken Rucker Stable.   


When the final night of racing before the winter break would start, a twelve race program was scheduled for the Sunday racing action. The Sunday program was filled with condition races, a lot of drivers managed to get a piece of the pie before the new year would sneak up and get past them as four drivers were able to get two victories a piece and four others managed to at least get one win a piece. Josh Sutton, Leroy Miller, Sam Widger, and Brandon Simpson all guided home two winners, while Dave Magee, Rodney Allums jr, Tyler Buter, and Casey Leonard all got one win a piece. In training news there were eleven different trainers to get wins on the twelve race program; Brandon Simpson was the only one to manage to get two wins with LUCKY B SKIPALONG and FOX VALLEY GARIEL on the evening.


GOOD RIDE COWBOY managed to get his second win of the week when Dave Magee guided the Charles Gates Jr trotter home first in race nine. DAVACHAN made a winning return to the races after being away from racing action for thirty five days for trainer Jeff Baker; Casey Leonard handled the driving duties. Since we are on victorious horses off lay offs TOPVILLE DYNAMITE also returned off a eight six day layoff from the races for trainer Erin Elliott to get the victory in race 8, Josh Sutton handled the driving duties on the pacer. PACIFICLY and SPORTY BABE both visited the winners circle twice in eight days as they both repeated in races seven and ten for their connections.


Now that the New Year is here 2010 has snuck up on us.  All we can do is look forward to another year of harness racing.