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Rematch in Invite (01/12/13)

Posted Saturday January 12, 2012

                                                     By Mike Paradise

  Saturday evening’s Balmoral Park card has a little bit of everything in it with most of the attention going to the horses in the $17,000 Invitational.

  It’s compact field of seven with the three handicapped outside horses—Iam Bonasera, Al’s Hammered and St Elmo Hero—almost certainly getting most of the play through the betting windows.

  St Elmo Hero will be out to avenge a narrow nose loss to Al’s Hammered in last week’s Invite. The now 4-year-old ICF colt, owned and trained by Bob Phillips, colt nailed the Bill Crone trained 6-5 favorite in the final stride at the end of a 1:51.3 mile.

  Driver Mike Oosting had to take St Elmo three-wide in the first turn and it wasn’t until Iam Bonasera, who also left, made a break that St Elmo hero was able to get past the early leader Fort Silky and take control.

  However, those consecutive early 27 quarters stung St Elmo Hero enough to where he was vulnerable to one of Al’s Hammered patented big late rushes.

  There’s speed from the inside again Lennox Blue Chip (5-1, Josh Sutton), Touch The Rock, (8-1, Sam Widger), Fort Silky (6-1, Casey Leonard) and Kansas Wildcat (10-1, Marcus Miller) leaving from the first four slots.

   Iam Bonasera has showed gate speed in his first two starts of the year following a layoff but he does his best pacing coming out of it on Balmoral’s long homestretch. The Roger Welch trainee (programmed 7-2) has post five with regular driver Todd Warren with his toughest two rivals starting outside of him.

  After a three-week absence The $16,000 Open Pace for fillies and mares is back with nine starters and the luke-warm early program choices will start on opposite ends in the tenth race secondary feature.

  Love This Place (7-2) has the pole position for driver Marcus Miller while Fox Valley Touche (4-1) landed the outside 10-slot for Trace Tetrick. However the 5-year-old ICF mare leaves well enough to likely get a spot up-close.

  Post two through eight belong to I Kill Time (5-1, Sam Widger), Peace (10-1, Dave Magee), Tamarac Sassy (6-1, Ross Leonard), Let’s Talk About Me (9-2, Mike Oosting), the first time Lasix user Let’s Go Higher (8-1, John De Long), Whistle Pig (8-1, Casey Leonard) and Yippy (10-1, Kyle Husted).

  The second leg of the Incredible Finale Series for state-bred colts and geldings will go in single 11-horse division as the sixth race. Look Ma No Hands won last Saturday’s first leg and wrapped up a spot in next week’s $10,000 Final.

  Look Ma No Hands (6-1, Trace Tetrick) drew nicely with the two-slot in the bulky field. The initial favoritism is divided between Partyatbartsplace (7-2, Marcus Miller) with the one-post and LD’s Dash (9-2, Brian Carpenter) with the three.

  Longshot Special: Mike's Price Shots delivered Pin Stripes in Maywood's 11th race Friday night at a $17.60 winning mutuel. Elusive Rainbow was also a top selection a race earlier at $11.00.

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