26435 S. Dixie Highway, Crete,
Illinois, 60417 (708)
Department Saturday, Nov. 14th,
2009 Tom Kelley
AMERICAN NATIONALS PROVIDE PLENTY OF
North America’s top horses and drivers invaded Balmoral
Park on Saturday, Nov. 14th
as the Crete plant played host to the American
National Festival of Racing. With six championship tilts on the card and more
than $1.1 million in purse money up for grabs the action was fast and furious
all night long. Here is a recap of all the championship races.
NATIONAL 3YO FILLY PACE
once again that she’s among the best sophomore pacing fillies in the country
Bulletproof Enterprises Yellow Diamond had no trouble disposing of seven rivals
as she cruised to an effortless 5 ¾ length triumph in 1:51.2 for driver Tim
Sent to the
front from post position seven by Tetrick the daughter of Western
Terror-Mattatonic cleared to the top just after an opening quarter in 27.0.
(Brainard) said that she loves the front end and that what her lines showed so
that’s where I put her,” said Tetrick.
through middle splits of 54.3 & 1:23.3 Yellow Diamond was well in hand to the
countries leading money earning driver as she rolled to the top of the stretch.
turned for home I just let her loose a little and she just took off from the
rest of them,” Tetrick said.
her lead as she headed for the wire Yellow Diamond was completely “wrapped up”
by her driver as she easily reported home with her 13th victory in
21 starts this season. My Heart Was True (Brandon Simpson) chased the winner
every step of the way but was forced to settle for the bridesmaid role while
Not Justapretty Face (Peter Wrenn) was third.
victory Yellow Diamond now boasts an incredible record of 13-3-4 in 21 starts
with earnings of a whopping $1,263,671 in this her first season of racing.
winner’s circle Tetrick continued to marvel at Yellow Diamond’s
a sweetheart of a filly to drive and things couldn’t have been much easier
tonight,” exclaimed Tetrick. “She’s been facing the best in the country all
season long and she hasn’t missed a beat.”
to Brainard Yellow Diamond will remain on the local scene as plans call for her
to head to Maywood
Park for next Friday’s
(Nov.20th) Cinderella Stake.
NATIONAL 2YO FILLY PACE
to be one of the most wide-open races of the night was exactly that as the Roger
Welch owned and trained homebred Gigglicious picked a great time to post her
maiden victory pacing to a 1 ¾ length victory at odds of 8-1 for Tim Tetrick.
drawing post position nine in the field of 10 Tetrick was able to work out a
golden second over journey after coming away ninth.
weren’t going much up on the front end (27.4 & 57.3 & 1:27.3) so I
never even had to use my filly to get into good striking position at the top of
the stretch,” explained Tetrick.
and a close up fourth as the field turned for home Tetrick liked his chances of
pulling off the upset.
“As we were rolling along I was
thinking to myself what a dream trip this was turning into,” said Tetrick with
a grin. “My filly still felt very strong to me and I could see the ones up
front were starting to struggle a bit to get home.”
After tipping off her cover with
just over an eighth of a mile to go Gigglicious began picking off filly after
filly as she made her way to the front. Blowing by the field in the closing
yards the daughter of Giggles The Clown tripped the timer in 1:55.1. The pace
setting Makes You Wonder (Peter Wrenn) held on for second while
Rolldownthehiway (Marcus Miller) was a hard fought third.
In the winner’s circle a jubilant
Welch seemed to be a bit stunned by the upset his filly had just pulled off.
“This is what you dream of when you
go through all the work with these horses,” he said. “I guess if you’re going
to break your maiden the best time to break it is when you’re going for a
NATIONAL 2YO COLT & GELDING PACE
a youngster picked a very opportune time to pick up his first career score as
William Switala & James Martin’s OK Commander held on gamely in the late
going to record a three-quarter length victory in 1:51.4.
away from the gate by driver Brian Sears the son of Art Major-Double Crème
landed in third as stablemates Morgan Shark (Peter
Wrenn) and Perrito Caliente (Travis Seekman) battled through an opening quarter
the race it looked there was going to be plenty of speed but when the gate
opened nobody really left out of there so I decided to send my colt and look
for a good early spot,” Sears explained.
third after an opening quarter in 28.1 Sears sent the Gregg McNair trainee up
to the front as the field reached the half in 56.2.
“I knew the
horse on the lead had to be used pretty hard to get there so that’s when I
decided to send my horse up to see if I could gain control of things,” said
along on the front end OK Command was a length in front as he passed by the
three-quarter-mile mark in 1:24.1.
gamely through the lane OK Commander was all out as he held off a big late
rally from Allthatgltrsisgold (Dave Magee) to notch his first win in 12
attempts. Perrito Caliente held on for third. The winners share of $86,400
helped push OK Commander’s bankroll up to $143,533.
NATIONAL AGED PACE
Mister Big and Art Official making the final starts of their storied careers it
was Strollin Stables, William Robinson and James Koehler’s Won The West, the
defending champion in this event, who stole the show again as he crushed a
field whose career earnings totaled almost $14 million by six lengths in a blistering 1:48.2.
changed right from the word go as speedball Shark Gesture (George Brennan) made
a break as the wings of the gate folded leaving Mister Big (Brian Sears) all
alone on the lead through an opening quarter in 26.3.
the half Mister Big was still in control of the proceedings which forced driver
Dave Palone to get Won The West out and rolling. The five-year-old son of Western Hanover was moving first over into third as the
field reached the halfway point in 54.3.
loves to grind and when Shark Gesture made that early break I didn’t want Brian
to get loose by himself on the lead,” said Palone. “I figured I’d just try to
get myself up alongside of Mister Big by the time we hit the top of the stretch
and that’s exactly the way it worked out.”
With the familiar
foes battling neck and neck by the three-quarter mile mark in 1:22.1 the field
set sail for home. It did not take long to see who would emerge victorious on
this night though as Won The West quickly blew by a tiring Mister Big. Opening
up his margin with each powerful stride the Ronnie Burke trainee etched his
name into the record books, joining the great Bret Hanover, as only the second
horse in the rich history of the American Nationals to win three consecutive
titles. Art Official (Peter Wrenn) turned in a solid effort to finish second
while longshot Robin I Scoot (Trace Tetrick) rallied to be third.
victory, which pushed the five-year-olds career bankroll up to $2,164,935,
Palone was quite impressed by his charges effort.
hit the top of the stretch I kicked out the plugs on him and he just took off,”
said Palone. “He hit a gear that I didn’t even know he had tonight.”
NATIONAL AGED TROT
no surprises here as the heavily favored Lanson turned a perfect pocket sitting
journey in to a 1 ½ length triumph in 1:53.4 for driver Mike Lachance.
from post position five Lachance elected to let a hard leaving Michaelrowyourboat (Jimmy Smith) take control
of the race as the field moved to the opening quarter in 27.0.
a long year for him so when that other horse gave me a chance to be covered up
for as long as he did I was more than happy to let him go,” said Lachance.
to sit right on the back of the pace setter through a half in 55.4 Lachance
finally pulled from the pocket as the field reached the three-quarter-mile mark
long stretch here but my horse felt strong after the trip he had so I figured I
had better get him out and moving,” Lachance explained.
strongly on the outside Lanson moved past the early leader and then gamely
fought off late challenges from Wind Surfer (Dave Palone) and ABC Mercedes
(Mark O’Mara) to post his eighth win in 19 starts this year. Wind Surfer was a
fast closing second while ABC Mercedes was a hard luck third after getting
trapped between horses in the late stages.
The victory pushed the Don Swick trainee’s career bankroll up to
$574,231 for the Royal Wire Products of North Royalton, Ohio.
NATIONAL 3YO COLT PACE
figured to be a showcase for another Tracy Brainard trainee, If I Can Dream,
turned into a nightmare when the colt made a break heading to the gate and came
away eighth allowing another Bulletproof Enterprises owned sophomore, Straight
Shooting to record a one-length victory in a snappy 1:50.1 for driver George
2-5 favorite sitting near the back of the pack for most of the mile driver
Brian Sears pointed Standupnkissme right for the front where he proceeded to
rattle off splits of 27.2, 55.3 & 1:22..4.
first over Sheer Desire (Dave Palone) providing live cover for Straight
Shooting Brennan had the Ronnie Burke trained colt perfectly positioned in
fourth as the field set sail for home.
Gingras told me last night that he thought the bigger track would pick up this
horse a little since he struggled through the turns at Yonkers last week,” said Brennan. “He was
handling the surface perfectly tonight and with the great second over cover
taking me just where I needed to be I knew my colt would get home well.”
stretch Sheer Desire quickly swallowed up Standupnkissme but that lead was
short lived as Straight Shooting came calling. Finishing up his mile with a big
27.0 final quarter the son of Western Terror-Mattcheck Girl blew right by the
leader in route to his second win in 18 starts this year. Annieswesterncard
(Travis Seekman) was a solid second while Sheer Desire held on for third. If I
Can Dream (Tim Tetrick) found his best stride late after a troubled trip and
wound up fourth.
win Straight Shooting now boasts career earnings of $562,531.