Filly Roma Falls Aims for Dygert Repeat

By Mike Paradise
After pulling off an upset victory in the opening leg of the Beulah Dygert Memorial filly trotting stake series at 24-1 odds the ICF 3-year-old Roma Falls Thursday could wrap up a starting berth in that $75,000 (est.) championship in September,
However the Ray Hanna filly trotter hasn’t gone postward since her romping four length victory back on June 2. It’ll be 28 days since her 1:58 winning mile.
“Roma Falls got sick and that’s why she’s been off this long,” explained Hanna. “I planned on racing her at Martinsville (Fair) but she still wasn’t right so I didn’t enter her. She’s good now and she she’s trained good. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that she’ll do well Thursday.”
Roma Falls won a division of the Springfield championship as a freshman and was a close second in the Shawnee at Du Quoin. Her other five starts all came on the Illinois County Fair Circuit for her owners and breeders Mary Lea Jeffers (McAllen, Texas) and Adele Jeffers Everett (Flat Rock, Illinois)
The Hanna trainee was sent off as the betting favorite in a Hawthorne Late Closer Series after a winning qualifier in late April but made a break at the start in her sophomore debut on May 12 and ended-up a non-threatening sixth.
One week later in the Late Closer Final she again was the post time favorite but a first-over trip contributed to the filly’s third place finish.
ROMA FALLSThe fickle betting public then ignored her in her Beulah Dygert opening stake series leg, sending her off as the second longest shot in the race. However Roma Falls proved them wrong, putting it all together and winning rather easily at a $51.80 mutuel. (Four Footed Photo)
“I didn’t expect her to be the favorite in that race but I didn’t expect her to go off at 25-1 either,” said Hanna.
“Roma Falls can be her own worst enemy,” continued the 65-year-old Altamont conditioner. “She can get real nervous at times.”
Hanna is hoping Roma Falls will be calm and collected when she leaves from post two with driver Pat Curtin while the likely post time Rockinprincessabbie (Todd Warren) starts on her right.
Rockinprincessabbie was a game winner in her Dygert filly division in late May and another triumph in leg two would clinch a start in the final on Hawthorne’s September 10 Night of Champions.
Powerful Princess (Casey Leonard) and Vengeful (Todd Warren) are the third race second filly stake favorites. Vengeful was second best to Roma Falls in the first leg while Powerful Princess made a rare break on the move as the 4-5 favorite in the same race and ended up fourth.
Mr Strata (Casey Leonard) and Fear (Todd Warren) took their respective first legs of the Erwin F. Dygert stake series for colt and geldings and will tangle for the first time this season in race four, the first of two Dygert male divisions.
My 3-2 sixth race favorite in the second Dygert colt split is Primed N Powerful (Freddie Patton Jr) who has won 2 of his last 3 starts including the $11,221 Downstate Classic at the Carrollton County Fair nine days ago.

Wrightwood, a Kenny Collier stable-mate of Fear, should also get a lot of play. The gelding had a 27.4 last quarter when he came up only a nose short to Mr. Stata in the series first round.
Wrightwood won half of his six starts as a freshman including Balmoral’s $36,500 Plesac Championship.

Understanding Colic

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ICF Sophomores Take Over the Limelight

By Mike Paradise
It’s Round Two this week for Hawthorne’s ICF 3-year-old stake series as the sophomore brigade of trotters and pacers look to take a major step to securing a stating berth in their respective finals on the in-town track’s Night of Champions on September. 10.
First up is Thursday’s $10,000 second leg of the Beulah Dygert stakes for filly trotters and the Erwin S Dygert events for state-bred cold and gelding totters.
A repeat victory by the first leg victors Roma Fall, trained by Ray Hannah, or Rockinbabyprincess, from the Nelson Willis Stable, in the Dygert filly stake or from Willis’ Mr. Strata or Kenny Collier’s Fear in the Dygert colt clash would lock-up a starting berth in their respective $75,000 (est.) Championships in September.
Friday are the $12,500 round divisions of the Plum Peachy for second season ICF pacing fillies where Hosea Williams’ Lexington Lady and Quaid Racing’s Char N Marg look to make it back-to-back victories and sew-up a berth in that $100,000 (est.)Final later on.
Saturday’s $12,500 Robert F Carey Memorial stake will bring out the top ICF male pacers for its second leg. The stakes opening leg divisions were annexed by the Rodney Freese Stable’s Caffeine Kid and longshot Holdonwe’rerolling, trained by Rob Rittof, who popped at $108.00 in his victorious 1:54.1 mile.
The Carey’s pre-stake favorite Dan D Dune, winner of last year’s Orange and Blue Colt Final on Super Night, came up sick and was a late scratch.
Both of the 3-year-old pace championships are expected to have a $100,000 purse.
The fields for all the ICF stake finals for the Night of Champions are determined on a point basis with 50 awarded for a first place finish, 25 for second, 12 for third 8 for fourth, 5 for fifth and 1 point for a starter.
Todd WarrenWarren Red-Hot Chicago native Todd Warren had himself quite a successful past week of driving at Hawthorne, posting 17 winners during the four nights of racing and zooming past the $20 million plateau in money won in his career. (Four Footed Photo)
The 51-year-old Warren had three wins last Thursday, picked-up four more on Friday and then had back-to-back five w9nning drive nights on Saturday and Sunday.
Horses driven by Todd, a resident of Manhattan Illinois, have won over $1 million 9 of the last 10 Illinois racing seasons with his career best coming in 2012 with $2.5 million banked and had 342 first place finishes, two short of his best winning season in 2010 when he had 344,

Incredible Finale Stakes Full of Surprises

By Mike Paradise
Freshman ICF pacing colts and geldings began their long journey towards a possible starting berth on Hawthorne’s Night of Champions latter on in September with the opening legs of the Incredible Finale stake series.

Right from the get-go, things didn’t go as the betting public expected.
Sork, an easy winner in his June 9 debut was hammered down to 1 to 5 odds in the first division and mid-way down the lane appeared he was going to reward his many backers. Sork got his head in front the pacesetting 12-1 longshot Uptown Sleaze past the mid-stretch marker when the winning Nelson Willis trainee looked the favorite in the eye and went bye-bye, pulling away to a 1:56.4 clocking.

Uptown Sleaze No. 1The son of Sagebrush, owned by his breeder Marty Engel of Buffalo Grove, Illinois is out of broodmare Da Sleazy One, making him a full brother to two past former Engel ICF stake champions: Sleazy Does It (1:51.3, $311,381) and Thesleazyprincess (1:52.2, $290,413)
Another longshot took the second Incredible Finale split when Fox Valley Jeter ($16.40) proved fastest in the lane at 7-1 odds in his winning 1:58.1 debut for driver Casey Leonard.
The son of Sportsmasrter was a $25,000 yearling purchase by Phil Langley (Frankfort, IL), Christine Buttice (Leesburg, FL) and trainer Jim Eaton (Crete, IL). Causeway (Travis Seekman) won the photo for second over Fox Valley Reggie (Freddie Patton Jr.).

The chalk players got it right in the third $12,500 division when Sporty Redhot ($4.20), trained by Kim Roth for Berwyn, IL owner Al Beals, pulled away to a four-length victory in 1:56.2 with Todd Warren.
Todd was back in the winner’s circle after the fourth division was over when the Carol Graham’s Gabe Henry ($9.60) powered past for his first career triumph in 1:55.4. The home-bred son of Henry Clay is trained by Tom Graham Jr.

No Typical Sunday: With four divisions each of the opening legs of the ICF stake series for both filly and colt and gelding pacers sprinkled through Friday’s and Saturday’s cards, Hawthorne shifted its $10,000 Open paces to Sunday night.

Both have eight horse fields and will go as back-to-back races—7 and 8—and were handicapped by groups.
The first distaff unit (posts 1 to 3) will be manned by Feetonthedashboard (10-1), Rocknroll Hoochcoo (10-1) and Ryleigh’s Lilly (12-1). The likely post time favorites will come from the second grouping (post 4 through 8) manned by Mystical Nectar (5-1), Char N Marg (3-1), last week’s winner Seeyouatthefionish (5-2), Fox Valley Charm (4-1) and OK Heavenly (8-1).

Cole Heat (6-1), an Open winner two weeks ago and Somestarsomewhere (3-1) who proved best last week, drew for posts 7 and 8 in the eighth race $10,000 Open for male pacers with the latter getting the outside slot.
The first six posts were drawn and they ended up with the likely favorite Freedomformysoul (5-2 in my line) landing the pole position a second straight time, followed by Sunset Dreamer (8-1), Mystical Walter (6-1), Sir Mammo (12-1), Dinky Dune (5-1) and Mr Coolie (10-1).

Freshman Colts Get Their Chance

By Mike Paradise
Saturday’s opening leg of the Incredible Finale stake series for ICF freshman pacing colts and geldings proved to every bit as popular with horsemen and their owners as Friday’s Incredible Tillie stake was for fillies and mares.
Again four first leg divisions were needed to get 36 Incredible Finale eligible juvenile male paces raced in their first step towards Hawthorne’s Night of Champion final on Saturday, September 10.

The pre-race favorites in all four of Saturday’s four divisions will most likely go to youngsters who have already had a pari-mutuel start and in some cases a winning one at that.

SORK The Shawn Nessa Stable’s Sork (pp 1, Todd Warren) will no doubt be a low-end betting favorite at post time of the second race after a rather dominating 1:56.4 victory two weeks ago when he was sent off as the 4-5 favorite.

One of the first starters to challenge Sork is Fox Valley Hoss (Travis Seekman) from the barn of trainer Mike Brown He’s a son of Sportsmaster out of the broodmare Tyler Too and he was sold as a yearling buy for $30,000 to James Behrendt of Connecticut.

There’s no clear cut favorite in the fourth race second split. Both Fox Valley Reggie (Freddie Patton Jr.) and Upbeat Big Guy (at Curtin) come off wins. Among the first-time starters they’ll meet is the Carl Porcelli Stable’s Commondiscourtesy (Kyle Husted), Herman Wheeler’s Determined Dune (Pat Curtin) and Jim Eaton’s Fox Valley Jeter (Casey Leonard).

Commondiscourtesy is the third foal of Crystal Cricket. Her first was John Barnard’s star pacer St Elmo Hero (1:59, $783,306). Determined Dune is a full sister to Wheeler’s Little Miss Torrie. Fox Valley Jeter sold for $25,000 as a yearling.

Beaten favorite Ima Skydancer (pp 3 Ryan Anderson) and Patrick Q (pp 5, Juan Franco who both had solid efforts in their first pari-mutuel tests should get a lot of play in the third division.

An interesting first starter in that sixth race is Royale Big Guy, another Porcelli trainee own s by the Megan Rogers Stable of Chicago. Her 3-year-old brother is Royal Rose (1:51.2), winner of the/ Cardinal and a Balmoral Hanover. Another is Tiny Jim, the brother of fifth race favorite Dixie’s Boy. Both are Joel Smith trained pacers.
It should be pointed out that Casey Leonard chose to drive the Brett Ballinger first-time starter Fancy Creek over sixth race pacers Patrick Q, Sporty Redhot and Royale Big Guy.

The Nelson Willis Stable’s Fox Valley Inferno as only a neck short despite a wide mile in his debut and is the likely fourth division favorite. The Mike Brink Stable’s Sullivan was raced easy inside in his debut before unleashing a 27.2 final panel and finished second a week ago.

The Porcelli Stable’s first-time starter Fox Valley Flynn (Pat Curtin) is a full sister to the circuit’s regulars Fox Valley Cupid (1:52.3) and Fox Valley Charm (1:52). They’re all daughters of Yankee Skyscraper out of the dam Fox Valley Cherub.

Tillie Tales: The 4-5 favorite Princess Sage ($3.60) wouldn’t be denied in Friday’s first division of the initial round of the Incredible Tillie stake series for ICF pacing fillies posting a narrow neck victory over the 12-1 longshot Sheadealer.

Clinton, Mississippi native Freddie Patton Jr. cut fractions of 29.2, 58.4 and 1:28.1 with Princess Sage when Sheadealer who was given a three-hole trip from Casey Leonard, got past the public’s choice in the lane. However, Princess Sage fought back and proved best at the end of a 1:56.4 mile for Patton, who also trains the Sagebrush filly.

Razzleme Dazzleme-6-24 Razzleme Dazzleme ($11.60), nicely driven by Kyle Husted, wore down the overwhelming 1 to 5 favorite Filly Forte in deep stretch to pull off an upset in the second “Tillie” division.

(Four Footed Photos)
Husted settled Razzleme Dazzleme into fourth while Filly Forty took the field to a 1:00.4 half. Kyle tipped the Nick Prather trainee filly out as they neared the last turn and the Sagebrush filly grinded her way to be alongside the pacesetter at the three-quarters (1:30) before digging in when it counted in the 1:58.4 mile.

The Ray Hanna Stable’s Fox Valley Dandy was the surprise winner of the third “Tillie” division at 27-1 odds for driver Dale Hiteman. The victory came in the daughter of Sportsmaster’s very first outing.
Fox Valley Dandy raced next to last in ninth through most of the first half but when they turned for home Hiteman had her in striking position and the filly delivered the goods, surging past the 1-2 favorite Hope Hotspur in the late going to win in 1:58.1.

Chalk players got a reprieve in the fourth and final split when the heavy 1 to 5 favorite Jump Right Up ($2.60, Todd Warren) drew away to a two-length victory at the end of her 1::58 flat mile. It was the second straight victory for the Ideal Towne filly owned by Quaid Racing of Chicago and trainer Nelson Willis’ wife Cynthia Kay of Beecher, IL.

2016 IHHA Election News

Nine Candidates File Nominating Petitions for IHHA Board of Directors Election

The 2016 IHHA Board of Directors election will take place at the Annual Meeting on Saturday, August 20, 2016, at 12:00 noon at the IHHA office located at 15 Spinning Wheel Road, Suite 432, Hinsdale, Illinois.

To be elected at the annual meeting will be five (5) directors to serve terms of three (3) years each. The following nine (9) candidates filed petitions to be placed on the ballot for election to the Board:

  1. Dennis Brightwell
  2. Merv Chupp
  3. Angela Coleman
  4. Marty Engel
  5. Gerry Hansen
  6. Bernie Paul
  7. Duncan Price
  8. Gene Williams
  9. Rita Williams

Ballots will be mailed to all IHHA members (in good standing as of June 30, 2016) on July 22, 2016 through the offices of Legacy Certified Public Accountants, which have been retained as the official Election Supervisor in conjunction with Article III of the IHHA By-Laws.

Incredible Tillie Stake Comes Up Big

By Mike Paradise
Horsemen flooded the Hawthorne Race Office entry box with 37 horses to be processed into the opening leg of Friday’s Incredible Tillie stake series for 2-year-old ICF pacing fillies necessitating four divisions to be sprinkled throughout the 12-race card.
The $12,500 divisions will go as nine-horse fields in races 1, 3 and 6 while race 5 will have 10 horses line-up at the starting gate.
The Top Ten point earners in the four legs of the series will earn a start in the Incredible Tillie Championship on Hawthorne’s September 10 Night of Champions program. The Consolations are schedule for Sunday, September 11.
A win in a series stake leg is worth 50 points, then its 25 for second, 12 for third, 8 for fourth 5 for fifth and 1 point for starting in a stake series leg.
One of the more impressive performances thus far by a Incredible Tillie hopeful came last week when Filly Forty, a Roshun Trigg filly owned by Dossie Minor of Springfield, Illinois, came from far out of it to post a winning debut in 1:57.3 with a quick 26.4 final quarter.
The victory came with Jamaica Patton at her lines.
Jamaica Patton headshot“That was the first time I ever sat behind the filly,” said the 35-year-old Mississippi native. “Roshun (trainer Trigg) told me she was a late closer so I really wasn’t that worried when we were far back in the early going. She really came up with a big effort in her very first start.”
Filly Forty is by Duneside Perttie out of the former ICF champion mare Filly Finale who raced for trainer Brian Calvert and won the $55,500 Violet at Balmoral, the $55,000 Springfield Final and a $27,600 division of Du Quoin’s Time Dancer as a 3-year-old.
Filly Forty could turn out to be quite a bargain buy for her Springfield owner. Minor only paid $1,800 for filly at the 2014 Illini Classic Sale.
Filly Forty leaves from post six in Friday’s third race, second division of the Incredible Tillie stake series. I’ve got her listed at 8-5 in my line with the Nick Prather’s Razzle Dazzleme next at 5-2.
Trainer Bob Phillips has a horse in each of the four Incredible Tillie divisions—Just Doit Queeny (first), Annie Girl (second), Fox Valley Maya (third) and Da Blue Jay (forth).
Veteran conditioner Nelson Willis sends out a trio of freshman fillies and two of them, are division favorites. Hope Hotspur (Casey Leonard) is my 9-5 choice in race five and Jump Right Up a game 1:57.2 winner last week, at odds 4-5 in race six in my line.
Willis also has Sheadealer (8-1, Casey Leonard) in the first race opener where her main threats appear to be Princess Sage (8-5, Freddie Patton Jr.) and Dandy’s Dududidudu (3-1, Todd Warren),
Hillbilly Heaven: Fans of the old TV hit comedy series The Beverly Hillbillies got just what they were looking f0r Thursday night when “Ellie Mae” and “Jethro” teamed-up for the first Daily Double on the card, although it was of the petite variety at a $6.40 payoff.
Sis’s Ellie Mae ($4.00) led from start to finish in her winning 2:02.1 mile in the first $10,000 Fox Valley Flan leg of the ICF stake series for ICF freshman filly trotters and Trixie’s Jethro ($2.60) followed with a nine-plus length romp in the park in 2:00 flat in the first division of the $10,000 Kadabra for state-bred juvenile rotting colts and geldings.
Jared Finn drove both the John D Finn trainees. Breeder Charles Doehring owns Trixie’s Jethro and shares ownership of Sis’s Ellie Mae with his fellow Brownsville, Illinois breeder James Rine.
The “Chalk” parade continued in the second split of the Kadabra with the 1 to 2 favorite Matt Q sweeping past in the stretch and drawing away for Quaid Racing of Chicago, IL.
No one in the eight-horse field was in danger of getting s speeding ticket. The race went in a little more than a training mile time of 2:06.2 thanks to a 1:04.4 first half set by the leader Swiss Bank.
Casey Leonard was contend to race Matt Q in fifth and really didn’t get the Nelson Willis trainee into second gear until they field got to the last turn.
Casey swung Matt Q out in the middle of the track for the stretch drive and the freshman gelding hardly broke a sweat chalking up his first career victory.
The betting public also had it right in the second Fox Valley Flan stake division sending off the first-time starter Lou’s Credit Report off at even-money with Jamaica Patton and the Roshun Trigg trainee didn’t disappoint, winning in 2:02.1 and paying am even $4.00.