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Contact:  Tom Kelley                                                    Thursday, Nov.15th, 2012

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            Fresh off his stunning pillar to post 22-1 upset in last week’s $157,000 American National at Balmoral Park, Our Dragon King will look to keep the momentum rolling when he squares off against five other two-year-old pacing colts in Friday’s $110,000 Abe Lincoln Stake.

            Confidently handled by driver Brian Carpenter, the gelded son of Dragon Again-Fox Valley Monika who is a half-brother to such Illinois bred standouts as Glass Pack and Doubletrouble stormed to the top from post position eight and then held on gamely to score by 1 ½ lengths in a career best of 1:52.2 on a very windy evening.  That victory came after a couple of sub-par efforts at The Red Mile and Indiana Downs but trainer Dirk Simpson said the colt was not at his best for those races.

            This colt showed a lot of class early on winning a Hanover Stake at Balmoral and racing very well in some Pennsylvania Sire Stakes,” said Simpson. “Unfortunately he got a little sick on us down in Lexington but he has come back out of that well. He trained well coming into the American National and Brian drove him the way he likes to be handled and things wound up working out very nicely.”

            This colt has good gate speed and I took advantage of it despite the eight-hole,” said Carpenter after the upset score.  I just let this colt peddle down the backside and the wind at our backs seemed to help him. I had driven him in his first or second start out here and had won a Hanover with him, so I was familiar with his style of racing. What I really liked about this win though was that he picked up the bit and wanted to race that other horse (Blatantly Best) who had been sitting on his back the entire way down the stretch.”

            Our Dragon King now boasts a record of six wins and three seconds in 14 starts this season with earnings of $224,148 for the partnership of Desyllas Racing, William Beck and Carol Rieken.

            The anticipated battle between Circle City Stake winner Blatantly Best and Balmoral track record holder Big Brad never materialized in last week’s American National after Big Brad wound up hung up in traffic while trying to advance on the outside of horses. But with both of those colts drawing inside of Our Dragon King on Maywood’s half-mile oval, Friday’s Abe Lincoln Stake should be a hotly contested affair from start to finish.