By Mike Paradise
The first Saturday card of Hawthorne’s summer meeting has all the right ingredients to make it an entertaining and competitive 12-race card.
The winning recipe for the evening begins with an earlier-than-normal 6:30 pm first post, a conditioned trot with two different 2017 Night of Champions stake winners in the mix.
Then you first add a well-balanced Open III pace for older mare pacers, followed by a wide-open Open III trot. Blend in a pair of first round divisions of two Late Closer Series with no clear-cut favorites.
Sprinkle in more competitive conditioned and claiming races to complete the program with a last race scheduled to go off at 10:32 pm and enjoy.
The first race $6,500 conditioned trot brings out the Shirley Steele’s 4-year-old Picky Picky Valor (Tim Curtin), victorious in last September’s 115,000 Erwin F. Dygert and Kevin Miller’s 3-year-old Illinimike (Mike Brink), who took the $115,000 Kadabra the same evening as a freshman.
The Steve Searle’s Trotting Grace, the $135,000 Fox Valley Flan bridesmaid, makes her season debut with driver Kyle Husted in Saturday’s opener as well.
The fifth race, Open III pace for fillies and mares will line up from the pole position out with, I Dance U Prance (Kyle Wilfong), Narcian Jewel (Casey Leonard), Night of Champions victor Bucklegirl Bobette (Kyle Husted), Pretty Image (Tim Curtin) and Sweetshadyshark (Travis Seekman). Barcian Jewel won a Open I Pace this past winter at Hawthorne.
The sixth race Open III trot, is comprised of Primed N Powerful (Ryan Anderson), All About Cowboys (Juan Franco), Louscipher (Casey Leonard), Schwarber (Tim Curtin), Lous Credit Report ) and Bo I See Time (Kyle Wilfong). Both All About Cowboys and Bo I See Time visited the Hoosier Park winner’s circle in April.
The Tom Simmons Stable’s Beach Shootingstar (pp 1, Casey Leonard) and Skyway Fireball (pp 4, Kyle Wilfong), from the barn of David Brooks, will likely share the public’s favoritism in the fourth race first Bob Larry Series split.
They’ll be challenged in the Late Closer for non-winners of $30,000 (ICF $45,000) lifetime as of March 31st of this year by, Et Tu Brute (Bob Smolin), Platinum (Freeman Miller Jr.), Rocknroll High (Tim Curran) and Jaded Truth (Richard S. Finn).
The Brett Wilfong Stable’s You’remyhearthrob (pp 1, Kyle Wilfong), is listed as heavy 7-5 odds in the ninth race ,second Bob Larry split, after a strong second place finish at Hoosier in her sophomore debut.
Looking to turn the tables on the Wilfong family home bred pacer are Sheriff Coffey (Ryan Anderson), Rockin Celebration (Tyler Shehan), Intuitive Writer (Kyle Husted), Renegade Express (Travis Seekman (one of my “Price Shots” to consider), Sagebrush Shocker (Casey Leonard) and Lyons King (Tim Curtin).
The Mike Paradise Late Closer divisions will go as races seven and ten. It’s strictly for ICF 3 and 4-year-old pacers without $10,000 in career earnings going into April 1st of this year.
The first Paradise division will have posts one through seven manned by Ricky The Flash (Ridge Warren), U Makin Me Wait (Casey Leonard), Fox Valley Sinful (Kyle Wilfong), Fox Valley Jalan (Tim Curtin), Piscotty (Juan Franco), Piglet (Gary Rath) and Special Sauce (Ryan Anderson).
The second Paradise split, also a seven-horse field, landed Dandy’s Phoenix (Casey Leonard), Herecomesmagotta (Tim Curtin), Sports Analyst (Jamaica Patton), Smokin Eyes (Gary Rath), Fox Valley Brutus (Ridge Warren), Sagebrush Sharp (Tyler Shehan) and Unimagineable (Kyle Wilfong).
Friday’s Wrap-up: The first of four opening legs of Late Closer events last night saw driver Tyler Shehan nicely rate the 3-year-old ICF trotting filly Lous Silver Star to an upset victory in the Bea Farber trot.
Sent off at 22-1 odds the Roshun Trigg trotter went right to the top from the pole position and never looked back, trotting a 1:58 flat mile at a $47.20 winning mutuel in the second race.
Regardless of an early break True Detective took second, beaten less than two lengths. Totally Pazzazzed was third.
Despite leaving from the 10-hole in a 12-horse field Never Say That ($7.60), was an easy winner in the first round of the Daryl Busse trot. Driver Kyle Wilfong left with the Bret Wilfong trainee, avoided first a breaker going into the first turn and then another coming out of it and went on to lead at every pole in the 1:59.1 mile.
Broadway Joe was second best, almost four lengths behind while Lous Misty Lou was a non-threatening third.
Fox Valley Catwalk ($4.40, Tim Curtin ), was all out to extend her winning streak to six in a row in the Walter Paisley opener, edging Princess Oshie by only a head with C Far right there third, a half-length behind in the 1:56.1 mile.
Juan Franco rallied the 27-1 longshot Ryan’s Mistress ($57.60), to her victory in the first round of the Dave Magee series for trainer Roshun Trigg. The 3-year-old filly covered the mile in 1:58.1 with a quick a 27.1 last quarter.
Frontier Red nudged-out the favorite Piana for second, beaten a little more than one length.