10/11/2014 11:53PM

Balmoral: JK Endofanera, Creatine sharp in American-Nationals; Campbell scores a double

Balmoral Park
JK Endofanera won by five lengths on Saturday night.

JK Endofanera stamped himself as the leader in the three-year-old division by capturing his second straight stakes race, the $227,000 American National on Saturday night at Balmoral Park. Driven for the first time by Ron Pierce, the son of Art Major made the top with a burst of speed from post nine and never looked back scoring in 1:49 1/5.

Little Brown Jug winner Limelight Beach also appeared keen to go at the start but the 4-5 favorite couldn’t be held together by Yannick Gingras and made a miscue that cost him any chance. Somewhere In LA rallied solidly for the place spot with Let’s Drink On It closing for third.

“I asked him to go at the top of the stretch and he just exploded,” said Pierce after the victory. “It’s the first time I’ve driven him and he impressed me.”

It was the ninth victory of the season for JK Endofanera, owned and bred by 3 Brothers Stable and trained by Ron Burke.

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Thinking Out Loud, a 26-1 outsider, was parked every step of the way from post eight but still managed to edge a determined Foiled Again in an exciting $179,000 American National division for aged pacers clocked in 1:49 1/5.

Foiled Again got control of the division early in 27 2/5, and once stablemate Bettor’s Edge got in behind, he was able to get a half in 54 4/5. At that point State Treasurer and Tim Tetrick made a huge advance towing Thinking Out Loud into the stretch through a 1:21 2/5 three quarters.

In the stretch it was all about heart, and Foiled Again was asked for everything he had and kept pacing. Campbell worked his magic and kept the five-year-old Thinking Out Loud in pursuit and eventually got by nearing the wire.

“You have to keep going through the wire to beat Foiled Again,” Campbell said.

It was just the fourth win of the season for the Robert McIntosh-trained horse, co-owned by McIntosh, C S X Stables, and Al McIntosh Holdings.

Creatine won his second straight major stakes event for catch-driver Dan Noble, capturing the $166,300 American National open trot. The four-year-old survived a lengthy inquiry where the judges allowed him to stay up despite crossing inside at least three pylons. The son of Andover Hall had to come inside of pacesetter Archangel after sitting the pocket, and driver Noble appeared to be concerned.

“I was in trouble,” said Noble, “Yannick’s horse had me pinched in.”

Creatine set a track record posting a 1:51 3/5 mile in defeating Wishing Stone, with pacesetter Archangel settling for third. Creatine is trained by Bob Stewart and owned by Diamond Creek Racing.

John Campbell guided another longshot—14-1 shot Precocious Beauty—from a pocket trip and got up in time in the $173,500 American National division for three-year-old pacing fillies. The Greg McNair-trained daughter of Art Major had previously appeared to prefer an off-the-pace style of racing, but Campbell changed tactics.

“I looked over and didn’t see many leaving,” said Campbell of his strategy.

Act Now regained from Precocious Beauty early in the mile and tried to lose the field while cutting fractions of 27, 54 4/5 and 1:21 3/5, leaving Precocious Beauty in her dust at headstretch. “For a time I didn’t think we were going to get up to her wheel,” said Campbell.

But Precocious Beauty was resolute and overtook the leader in the 1:50 3/5 mile. Breeder James Avritt Sr. also owns the winner.