09/13/2013 11:16AM

Balmoral: Shessoluvabull makes her presence felt on Super Night

Balmoral Park
Auniqueacquisition will have to overcome post 10 on Saturday at Balmoral.

The pacing mare Shessoluvabull was never able to garner a Super Night Championship during her racing days. She finished fourth in the $166,200 Grandma Ann Final in 1999 and sixth in the $125,000 Ann Vonian in 2000.

But this Illinois-bred daughter of Silky Stallone-Who’s Counting-Ideal Society has nonetheless redeemed herself by being a super-prolific broodmare, producing three Super Night starters this year, including two full siblings and one half-sibling.

Conditioner Donna Lee Ozment trains the two full Cole Muffler siblings: Iam Bonasera p,4,1:49.2 ($631,657)—Shessoluvabull’s sixth foal—and Auniqueaquistion p,3,1:52.2 ($252,725)—Shessoluvabull’s eighth foal.

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The 6-year-old Iam Bonasera finished second in his $15,000 Maurello elim, clocked in 1:51 with Kyle Wilfong at the lines.

“This horse just feels tremendous,” Ozment noted. “I’ve been pointing him for Super Night ever since I got him this past April.”

The gelding’s 2012 campaign was his best, as he earned $191,339 and took a record of 1:49 2/5 in a $17,000 Balmoral Invitational last October. He has 25 wins, 11 seconds and 6 thirds in 63 career starts.

“When I first got him, he had a lot of back troubles,” Ozment recalled. “I called a local equine chiropractor and she came here and worked on him on a Wednesday and when I jogged him on Thursday, I could see a difference.” 

Iam Bonasera has had plenty of Super Night experience to date, having won last year’s $127,000 Maurello in 1:50 for Todd Warren.  As a 3-year-old in 2010, he won the $174,000 Langley Memorial, clocked in 1:49 3/5 with Dave Magee steering.  In 2009, he was second by half a length in the $240,000 Orange & Blue Final to Power Of A Moment.  Bred by Cottonwood Farm, he is owned by John Carver of Bettendorf, IA and Bert Hochsprung of Elburn, IL.

“I was pretty skeptical initially, but this chiropractor made a believer out of me, with just one adjustment,” the trainer stressed.  “He had vertebrae out of place in his neck and his left shoulder too.  Once she adjusted him he started carrying his head straight.  She’s really helped him a ton.

“He doesn’t have any major medical stuff bothering him,” she continued. “The problem was high in his back and you could see it, watching him go.  He’s just an old war horse.  That first time she adjusted him, he was 80% better.  She’s made a few minor adjustments since then but nothing like that first time.  He trained awful good coming into Super Night and I’m very hopeful of his chances.”

Iam Bonasera’s sister, Auniqueaquistion, is hoping to avenge her narrow loss in last year’s $189,000 Filly Orange & Blue Championship, when she was beaten a scant nose by Thank You Doc in 1:54 1/5 with Mike Oosting in the bike. 

Owned by John Carver, the bay filly had an outstanding freshman campaign, earning $103,010 with four wins and three second in eight starts for Donna. This season, she’s already amassed $149,174 with eight victories and two seconds in 13 starts, including her 1:53 score in her $15,000 Grandma Ann elim a week ago.  Oosting used come-from-behind tactics to get the job done as the filly paced her final panel in a sizzling 26 3/5.

“She’s been pure joy from the minute she walked in the door,” Ozment noted.  “I just love her.  Her only vice is that she’s the worst stall-walker I’ve ever had, so I got her a miniature horse as a companion, and 15 minutes after I put Dora in with her, she was laying down.  She’s so claustrophobic and can’t stand to be alone.  When she’s completely confined she becomes a basket case.

“Tony (trainer Alagna & Donna’s son) got her ready for me as a baby and then sent her to me.  You couldn’t ask for a better horse to have in your barn.”

Ozment says that while the two siblings are very similar in many ways, they look nothing alike physically.

“Bonasera is humongous and Unique is small,” she chuckled. “They look nothing alike, but they act identical on the track.  He’s big—over 17 hands—and dark and she’s refined and light bay. But on the track, if you close your eyes when you’re jogging one of them, you wouldn’t know the difference.  They are both really playful horses and they both enjoy their work every day. Neither one of them are balls of fire when it comes to training; they’re both kind of lazy, but they get the job done.

“I got a chance to look at Simplyirresistibile last weekend in the paddock and she looks just like Bonasera,” Ozment added.

The youngest of the trio and a half-sibling by Richess Hanover to the other two is Shessoluvabull’s ninth foal, Simplyirresistible, who will be making just her sixth career start in tonight’s Orange & Blue Final. 

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Simplyirresistible finished fifth to My Little Bit in her $15,000 Filly Orange & Blue elim, timed in 1:55 3/5 for driver John Roberts and trainer Kristopher Reynolds. She won her previous start on Sept. 1 at Balmoral in a career best 1:54 4/5, an $8,000 ICF freshmen test that saw her post a wire-to-wire effort for these same connections.

She is owned by the Illinois-quartet of James J. Reynolds of Watseka, Richard Lee Reynolds of Monticello, Terry Rathgeber of Champaign, and James Bafia of Minooka.

Shessoluvabull also produced these winners: Love’s Conquest (by Art’s Conquest) p,5,1:55 4/5h ($85,560); the ill-fated Cole Muffler gelding Enzo The Baker p,2,1:51 3/5 ($198,090);  The Face Of Love (by Art’s Conquest) p,4, 1:52 2/5F ($101,619).

- Kimberly Rinker for Balmoral Park