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Illiniharnessracing / News Article


Super Night and Breeders Crown Champ Trying To Rebound

By G. Leek for Illiniharnessracing.com

 

The 2008 Illinois horse of the year Fox Valley Topaz returns to action at Balmoral Park on Saturday night in race nine. Following a shaky start in 2010 while mainly racing at The Meadowlands in East Rutherford New Jersey, she returns to her home turf trying to rebound.

 

But everything has not always been shaky for the four year old daughter of Sportsmaster.

 

In 2008 it was generally all glory for the Sportsmaster daughter as she was victorious in ten of fifteen starts as a freshman.  Winning her first five lifetime starts that included victories in all three legs of the She’s So Hot at Hawthorne Racecourse, plus an elimination and the final at the state fair at Springfield. Conversely, her first defeat of her career occurred in late summer when she was defeated in the eliminations of the First Lady at Duquoin. However she quickly rebounded in the final as she got back on the winning ways just five days later.

 

After a humid summer day at Duquoin, Fox Valley Topaz was given a week off before competing in the Orange and Blue Filly Eliminations, and once again tasted defeat as Right Right from the Erv Miller stable was able to get the jump and out sprint her to the wire on elimination night. Nevertheless in the final it was a different story as driver Mike Oosting used his inside advantage to its full potential as he quarter polled the young Fox Valley Topaz and became a convincing Super Night Champion for Team Rucker and Marty Engel.

 

Following a Super Night victory it was time to take an attempt with the Illinois champion on a half mile racetrack and it was over to Maywood Park to compete in the Violet elimination.  Again Topaz tasted defeat this time coming in the form of Cane Z Tam; nonetheless she was a very gusty third taking into consideration that she was racing from the eight hole. One week later from the inside she was victorious again and completed the Grand Slam in Illinois as she conquered all four of the major stake final’s for Illinois Bred two year old fillies. Winning The State fair Championship at Springfield, The First Lady at DuQuoin, The Orange & Blue at Balmoral and The Violet at Maywood Park--an outstanding accomplishment by all means. However that would not be the highlight of her freshmen season.

 

After competing in the American National and finishing third, then winning the Sarah Meyers at Maywood it was time to give the pride of Illinois and Team Rucker/Engel a chance against open company by competing in the Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands.  When she finished fourth in her elimination she made the rich $700,000 final-- the showcase for two year old plus divisonal honors.

 

In the rich Breeders Crown Final everything looked helpless for the Illinois champ as she was fourth over turning for home and was a ways back.  However David Miller was able to urge the classy filly home as she was able to out sprint them to the wire and became one more Illinois bred Breeders Crown Champion.

 

After the Breeders Crown win a little R & R was in the books for the World Champion and she was not seen again until May of her sophomore year in a qualifier-where she was victorious.  Eleven days later in an elimination of the Violet Fox Valley Topaz picked up where she left off with another pari-mutuel win. However her only other win in 2009 came on Super Night in the Grandma Ann Final ending a unsteady sophomore season--that only seen her get two wins while competing all over North America.   

 

Now, 2010 has also not been a record year for the Rucker superstar as the talented miss has yet to visit the Winners Circle in sixteen starts while competing with the best America has to offer.

 

Some may count her out for now thinking she has lost a step or two. Although what we have to remember is the Champ is back home with Paul Stafford and Super Night is right around the corner.  In addition we all know this lady gets in top form right around mid September every year and always rebound’s at the best time.


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