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Round Two of Distaff Series (01/09/13)
Posted Tuesday January 9, 2013
By Mike Paradise
Round two of the Incredible Finale Series for state-bred fillies and mares is on tap on Wednesday’s Balmoral card with first leg winners Cee Cee’s Delight and Dallas Jones looking to return to the winner’s circle.
With the field for next week’s $10,000 series final based on the highest place finishers in the first two rounds both Cee Cee’s Delight and Dallas Jones have wrapped up a start in the finale for non-winners of two races or $4,000 lifetime as of Dec. 17, 2012.
Brian Carpenter gave Cee Cee’s Delight a perfect pocket trip behind RT Skyscraper last week and the now 4-year-old mare out-sprinted the 3-2 favorite to the wire and posted a half-length victory in 1:59 flat.
It was Cee Cee’s Delight’s first pari-mutuel start on a mile track for Chicago owner and trainer Hosea Williams, who will be honored at Hall of Fame Dinner on Sunday, Feb. 10 for his “Lifetime Dedication.”
RT Skyscraper (programmed 3-1) could be getting the front in easier shape for driver Trace Tetrick with the shift from the six-slot to the two. However Cee Cee’s Delight (5-2) has shown she has the gate speed to get up-close position from the six.
Their second race challengers are Doriun (8-1, Leroy Miller), O M G (5-1, Marcus Miller), Fox Valley Rocher (4-1, John De Long), Chariot’s Afire (6-1), Kyle Wilfong) and Rich Item (10-1, Sam Widger).
Last week’s 1-2 second division finishers, Dallas Jones (5-2, Casey Leonard) and Feel Like Dancing (3-1, Kyle Wilfong), will have a rematch in Wednesday’s race second split.
Casey Leonard showed a lot of patience when he guided Dallas Jones to her 1:58.1 victory. The Joel Smith trainee had the pole position and got away third but Casey chose to stay inside and take his chances with Dallas Jones rather than take her out of the three-hole and race first up.
When Dallas Jones was shuffled back to last in the field of seven going into the last turn and it appeared the 3-year-old filly was beaten but Casey was able to take her to an outside lane and she overtook the 6-5 public’s choice Feel Like Dancing in deep stretch.
Among their challengers are Our Miss Kristi (6-1, Mike Oosting) and Duneside Brat (4-1, Marcus Miller), a couple of new starters to the series.
Our Miss Kristi made up 17 lengths in her winning qualifier of 2:01.2 a week ago for trainer Nelson Willis and the homebred drew nicely for her very first start with the two-slot for owner Sawgrass Farms.
Dudeside Brat also came on well in the same qualifier to be only a neck short of Our Miss Kristi. The Dudeside Perch filly had two unsuccessful starts during the summer.
An $11,000 yearling purchase by Mystical Marker Farms, Mary Anderson and Jack and Peggy Hood, the Erv Miller trainee is out of the dam Society Brat, making her a half-sister to Next Flight In, winner of 9 of 14 starts and over $150,000 last season for Miller.
Fox Valley Bonita (5-1, Todd Warren), Inxpressiblebeauty (8-1, Phil Knox) and Flirtin With Danger (8-1, Lamar Wingard) are the other second division series hopefuls.
Cee Cee's Delight (No. 5) and R T Skyscraper meet again in leg two of series.
Balmoral Park Photo
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(Mike Paradise writes an additional weekly column—Trot Topics—in Saturday's The Daily Journal. The Kankakee, IL based newspaper has expanded its coverage of racing at Balmoral Park and welcomes comments and questions on Illinois harness racing.