by Tim Jones, USTA Newsroom Correspondent
Boardwalk Hall, with Mike Lachance aboard, overcame a tacky track surface from misting rain to post a three length 1:53.4 win in The Review Stake for 3-year-old trotting colts, formerly known as The Alexander, Monday afternoon at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield.
Lachance floated Boardwalk Hall into the first turn from post six to race fifth on the rail as Johnny Muscles (Jan Johnson) led the field single file in a steady mist.
Odds-on favorite Capetown Hall (Jimmy Takter) was the first to come calling, challenging for the lead towards the quarter. That move brought Lachance and Boardwalk Hall into the mix while heading onto the far turn.
Capetown Hall began to stall midway through the turn forcing Boardwalk Hall three-wide as the field reached three quarters.
Johnny Muscles caught a brief glimpse of Boardwalk Hall going by with an eighth left in the mile, as the latter churned over the sticky track to stop the timer in 1:53.4.
Roman Holiday with Dave Magee aboard finished a hard-charging second. Amazon Clipper and driver Andy Miller finished third.
Lachance commented on the horse and conditions, “He actually handled the track very, very good. He’s not a sound horse. He has bad feet. So the off track was actually beneficial to him.”
The Conway Hall sired colt, trained by Ron Gurfein, picked up his fourth win in ten starts. This winner’s share of the $58,000 purse nearly doubled the colt’s earnings for 2006.
The Review Stake: 2-year-old filly pace
Eight pacers lined up behind the gate in race twelve at the Illinois State Fair, racing for a purse of $45,000 two-year-old filly edition of The Review Stakes.
Me And My Baby, an Artiscape daughter trained by Bruce Nickells and the winner of four of her last five starts, was an impressive winner for Dave Magee.
Leaving from post eight, Me And My Baby never saw the rail until she reached the half in :56.2. Leading the field into the final turn, Vain In Spain mounted a meek challenge to the leader, and raced parked a length back in second.
Shooting off the final turn like a speeding bullet, Me And My Baby quickly opened up four lengths on the field. That margin had widened to six lengths as she crossed the wire in 1:54.3.
Dave Magee, who piloted the winning rocket commented, “She’s really strong. The track was a little tacky, but she handled it good. She was a little anxious on the first turn, but then she settled down.”
Finishing second was Absolutely Michelle (Sam Widger), with Odds On Arttoheart (Tim Tetrick) third.
Me and My Baby has won four of six starts in her freshman campaign with earnings of over $170,000.
The Review Stake: 3-year-old filly trot
Overcast skies to begin Grand Circuit action at the Illinois State Fair turned into a light drizzle during My Foolish Dream’s triumph in the $35,000 Review Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies.
Tresokay and Dwayne Minor led a talented field of six fillies into the first turn, followed by Venezia and D.R. Ackerman. Mark O’Mara, behind My Foolish Dream, raced a parked fifth, and began a steady grind towards the front.
That steady progression was just enough to reach a gapped opening nearing three-eighths, where O’Mara dropped his charge to the rail fourth as Tresokay was still towing along Venezia up front.
The stop on the rail was brief however; O’Mara tugged on the right line and sent My Foolish Dream on another quest for the front as the field reached the half.
Tresokay still led a pocket sitting Venezia at three-quarters, but My Foolish Dream by then had rolled up alongside to challenge for the lead.
The latter appeared to lose a few steps rounding the final turn, but quickly gained momentum again and was steadily reeling in an all out Tresokay.
As both Minor and O’Mara rocked their respective sulkies with whips flailing, both horses hit the wire in unison. The resulting photo showed My Foolish Dream had nosed Tresokay for the 1:56.3 win. Venezia finished third.
The daughter of Dream Vacation, trained by O’Mara has won three in a row. This win moved her earnings for 2006 over the $22,000 plateau and established a new lifetime mark.