Home - IHHA - The Illinois Harness Horseman's Association
IHHA Contact Us

15 Spinning Wheel Road, Suite 432 • Hinsdale, IL 60521
Phone: 630-323-0808 • Toll Free (IL): 800-572-0213 • Fax: 630-323-0761 • Infoline: 888-601-7223

IHHA Navigation

Aliyah Maria a Potent Acquisition (06/30/13)

Posted Sunday June 30, 2013

                                                   By Mike Paradise

  When the season began trainer Roger Welch didn’t have one of the very elite ICF 3-year-old filly pacers fillies in his barn. However, that all changed in early May when Aliyah Maria arrived.

  Acquired privately by Chicago owner Rocky Ruffolo, Aliyah Maria has risen near the top of her division in the last seven weeks.

  The good-looking black filly has finished first or second in all six starts for the Welch Stable, winning the $55,300 Violet, and pacing a last quarter in :27 seconds or faster in six of those outings.

  And she’s added over $40,000 on her card for Ruffolo with much of the big money ICF stake races still on the horizon.

  “Rocky really did his homework on Aliyah Maria,” said Welch. “He checked her out in the program called me up and asked me what I thought of her and I had to start laughing because I was looking at her in the program the day before.

 “I told Rocky he may have smoked out a good one with her. I know the breeders Freddie and Sharon Finn, they’re friends of mind. They do a good job with their young horses and as it turned out they did a wonderful job getting Alicia Maria to the races.

  “Rocky told me he made a phone call to them and learned the filly was for sale. So he negotiated a price and got the Aliyah Maria and I couldn’t be more pleased to have her.

  “As of now Rocky has the buy of the year on the circuit. Aliyah Maria is an easy horse to train. She’s well behaved and the filly can really fly home. I really like her”

  Aliyah Maria is going after her third consecutive victory in Sunday’s $12,000 Betzotic, which drew a bulky 11-horse field. In her last start eight days ago the filly motored to a career fastest 1:52.3 clocking, pacing a :26.4 last quarter.

  “That last start might have been her best for me,” continued Roger. “She paced in 52 and change, came home under 27 seconds and was full of pace at the end.”

  Aliyah Maria missed the Maywood Filly Pace but she’ll be there for all of the other major filly stakes in Illinois.

  “She wasn’t nominated for the Maywood Filly Pace,” explained Roger. “But she’s eligible for the Ann Vonian coming up in July at Balmoral and of course, Super Night, Springfield and Du Quoin and everything else in Illinois.

  “I’m looking forward to the summer with her and I’m sure Rocky feels the same.”

  Taking on Aliyah Maria (2-1) in Sunday’s fifth race, and her regular driver Todd Warren, are Fox Valley Ruby (Dean Magee), My Marisa Clair (Phil Knox), Incredible Filly (Ronnie Gillespie), Dune In red (Dean Magee), Dallas Jones (Casey Leonard). Mystical Danica (Dave Magee), State Street Liz (Bobby Smolin), Ryleigh’s Lilly (John De Long), Feel like Dancing (Kyle Wilfong) and R Ciao Baby (Casey Leonard) who has post 11 in the second tier.

  To view Archived Notes and Quotes click here


            Aliyah Maria has her trainer Roger Welch all all smiles since her arrival.

                                                                                                    R.E.B. Photo




Cafe Press


Click here to add your email address to receive updates from the IHHA.