By Mike Paradise
Friday’s opening day racing program at the Springfield State Fair determined the ICF two-year-old finalists for both sexes and gaits. Those $30,000 to $35,000 championships along with the 3-year-old state bred finals will be contested on Wednesday afternoon, the final day of racing this year at Springfield.
The streaking home-bed pacer Gabe Henry romped to his fifth consecutive victory in the first elimination division of the Illinois State Fair Colt Stake for 2-year-old filly trotters by 5 and 1/2 length in a career best time of 1:52.2, the fastest mile of the afternoon.
The second colt pace elimination went to the Nelson Willis Stable’s Fox Valley Inferno, driven by Casey Leonard for the son of Sportsmaster’s breeder and owner Fox Valley Standardbreds of Sherman, Illinois. The 1:54.4 mile was “Inferno’s” second win in seven career starts.
Tiny Jim, from the barn of Joel Smith, captured the third split with Dale Hiteman in 1:56 flat for O’Fallon, Illinois owners James and Terry Blackman and now sports a freshman record of 2 wins, 2 seconds and one third in six starts. The Duneside Perch colt is the younger brother of the Smith Stable’s Dixie Boy (1:52).
Also gaining the freshman colt final were Fox Valley Reggie, Upbeat Big Guy, from the first division and Uptown Sleaze, Ima Skydancer, from the second and Causway and Sork from the third.
A drawing will take place involving the three fourth place finishers—Slzburgerslzburger, Commondiscourtesy and Fox Valley
Driver Kyle Husted was in the bike of both winners of the ICF 2-year-old filly pace elims first guiding the Nick Prather trained Razzleme Dazzleme to her third win in five career starts and knocking two second off her previous best mile with a 1:54.4 clocking. The son of Sagebrush is owned by Derek and Any Jacobus of Lewistown, Illinois.
One race later Kyle steered San Antonio Rose ($6.00), another Nick Prather trainee, to her third win in five tries, this one a first season best 1:52.4 mile. The son of Ft. Apache Hanover has now won 3 of 5 career starts for Illinois owners Gorge Pollock (Rushville) and D Kay Bartlow (Augusta).
The Husted driven winners will be joined in the $35,000 freshmen filly final by A Real Doozie, Hope Hotspur, Dee Tumbleweed, Do You Dare, Artemesia, Fox Valley Maya, Giftfromthewest and Fox Valley Charliz.
In the initial 2-year-old filly trot elimination Anna’s Lucky Star (Kyle Wilfong) made it 3-for-3 in her first season, winning in 1:59.3. The Nelson Willis trainee, a daughter of Cassius, is owned by her breeder Danny Graham of Salem, Illinois.
Dandy’s ESP (Todd Warren) held off the late charging Beatrice to take the second filly split by a neck in 1:59.2 for her second win in seven starts, this one at 9-1 odds. The Pizzazzed filly belongs to Dandy Farms of Glenview, Illinois and Linda and Robert Grider of Oswego, Illinois.
Other filly trot finalists are Daisy Lou Duke, Fox Valley Ella, Sis’s Ellie Mae, Betsy N Breeze, Beatrice, Lucy Quaider, She’s Savvy and Lou’s Credit Reporter.
In the two colt trot eliminations, first Louscipher (Jamaica Patton) and then Trixie’s Jethro (Jared Finn) were victorious.
For Louscipher (1:58.3) it was his fourth triumph in nine outings for trainer Roshun Trigg and his Alexis, Illinois owners Flacco Family Farms. The J D Finn Stable’s Trixie’s Jethro (1:59.2) is the likely filly too beat in the final after chalking up win No. 6 in seven starts to go along with one second place finish for owner and breeder Charles Doehring of Brownsville, Illinois.
Also advancing to the filly final were Polar B, Matt Q, Muscle Image, Marching To Zion, Lougazi. Sharkbite Mike, Cassisandfifth and Picky Picky Valor.
In the single 3-year-old colt and gelding trot elimination Ridge Warren drove the Mike Brink Stable’s Praise Singer to an upset victory with a lifetime best mile of 1:57.2 for South Of The Tracks Racing of Brimfield, Illinois. The daughter of Pizzazzed paid $48.80.
The first 10 finishers moved on to that $35,000 Final.
Saturday’s Springfield race card was canceled because of a rain-soaked track after a night of heavy thunderstorms swept through the area.