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Some New Faces Are Rolled Out (02/02/13)

Posted Saturday February 2, 2013

                                                   By Mike Paradise

  Saturday’s last live racing program on the circuit for about a week and a half is headed up by the $17,000 Invite, a $16,000 Open for fillies and mares, and a $12,500 “Winner’s Over” trot.

  The ninth race Invitational has the classy St Elmo Hero gunning for his third consecutive Saturday feature victory and being handicapped with outside posts hasn’t made much of a difference to the Bill Crone trainee and driver Mike Oosting and likely won’t tonight.

 Oosting is also behind the favorite Betterluvnexttime assigned the 10-hole in the eighth race distaff Open. The Al Tomlinson trainee has won her last two Balmoral Opens in easy fashion and 3 of the last 4.  The 4-year-old mare is the 3-1 favorite to revisit the winner’s circle.

  The seventh race high-level trot does have a new face. He’s Celebrity Hercules, a 7-year-old son of Kadabra, who makes his debut for trainer Erin Elliott after being purchased for $24,000 by Illinoisans Dandy Farms (Glenview) and Robert Sulzberger (Peotone) at the mid-January Meadowlands Sale.

  Celebrity Hercules has spent most of his career racing in Canada and while this will be his first start in almost two months the gelding did draw off by over 22 lengths in his winning 2:00.4 qualifier last Wednesday morning on a sloppy racing surface.

  Celebrity Hercules also won his last outing of 2012 at The Big M in 1:55.4 handily. In 2011 the gelding was second in the $48,000 Horse & Groom Final after taking a $20,000 leg. A year earlier he took the $55,800 Don Mills Series Final at Woodbine.

  Another local newcomer to keep an eye on Saturday is Time To Roll, a potential Invite pacer who is eligible for the 11th race conditioned pace despite making more than a half-million dollars in 2012 as a 3-year-old.

  The Rocknroll Hanover horse is out of the Real Artist mare Kikikatie and sold for $105,000 at the recent Meadowlands Sale to David Clinard of Mt. Sterling. Time To Roll will make his bow for trainer Tom Simmons.

  The well-bred pacer raced out of the barn of Jimmy Takner in his first two seasons, making only three starts as a freshman. He captured an $18,700 New Jersey Sire Stake at The Meadowlands before finishing third in the $150,000 Final.

  Last year $367,500 of his $518,625 season earnings came when he was second in the $1.47 million North America Cup at Mohawk. He pulled down $75,000 when he won the $175,000 NJSS Final at The Meadowlands.

  A Reminder: There’s no live racing for 11 nights starting tomorrow on Super Bowl Sunday until the Wednesday, Feb. 13 program at Balmoral Park.

  To view Archived Notes and Quotes click here

Notes and Quotes