By Mike Paradise
It’s time of the year where we get our first look 2-year-olds at the Hawthorne meet. Saturday’s third race is strictly for freshman fillies and the vast majority of the seven starters are getting ready for some upcoming ICF stake events.
The lone exception is Demarrio Brown’s Well Said filly Philly Wellness who led every step of the way in her May 31 Hawthorne qualifier that went in 2:00.3.Philly Wellness was a $10,000 yearling buy at last season’s Lexington Select Sale and Kyle Husted’s choice to drive her tonight.
Husted was also listed on No. 7 Fox Valley Hotcake, one of two Kim Roth “babies” in the race. The other is Fox Valley Lil Kim (Tim Curtin), the third place finisher behind Philly Wellness in their qualifier.
Fox Valley Hotcake (Juan Franco) is a daughter of Yankee Skyscraper out of the broodmare Fox Valley Cherub and that makes her a full sister to another current Roth trainee, Fox Valley Cupid (1:52.3), and also the former ICF champion mare Fox Valley Charm (1:50.4).
We may see Fox Valley Charm return later in the summer for the Night of Championships Tony Maurello, a stake she won in 2016 and the second place finisher last year. The mare then went to The Meadows under the care of previous Illinois based trainer Dirk Simpson and this year she’s been a terror on the five-eighths Pennsylvania track.
Fox Valley Charm is a five tine winner there in 2018 and four of those cane in $18,000 Preferred Handicaps, including three in a row in the spring. She has over $64,000 on her season card in 15 starts and her career earnings have grown to over $280,000 for Sherman, Illinois owner Peter Karras.
Fox Valley Lil Kim (pp 6) is a Sportsmaster filly out of the broodmare Redhot And Rich. “Lil Kim” has two siblings currently racing at Hawthorne: Fox Valley Ruby (1:54.3) and Fox Valley Catwalk (1:56.1)
Summer Sage (Issac Love), Genie The Mooss (Casey Leonard), Grace Ann (Gary Rath) and Yankee Joanie (Ryan Anderson) are the other freshmen fillies making their pari-mutuel debuts.
Except for Philly Wellness, the other third race youngsters are all eligible to next week’s Violet (Saturday, June 16), followed by the first leg of the Night of Champions Fox Valley Flan stake series that begins on Thursday, June 28th.
Tonight’s Saturday’s feature is the eighth race Open III for filly and mare pacers and it was drawn by groups (1-6) (7-9). The first six slots belong to Dali Treasure (Ridge Warren), Kyles Secret (Tyler Shehan), Yoga Pants (Casey Leonard), Fancy Creek Jolene (Juan Franco), Bucklegirl Bobette (Ryan Anderson) and Blissful Pans (Travis Seekman).
The second grouping has Velocity Layla (pp7, Kyle Husted), I Dance I Prance (pp 8, Kyle Wilfong) and Pretty Image (pp 9, Tim Curtin).
Pretty Image came out ready for the Hawthorne meet and captured consecutive Open III paces in her first two starts in early May. However she was handicapped with outside posts (the 8 and the 9) in her next two outings in Open I events where the trips certainly didn’t go her way in either race and she finished sixth and third.
I Dance U Prance won the May 26 Open I pace in front stepping fashion at 17-1 odds but faded in the lane last week to eighth after racing in second or third for the first three-quarters.
Another Field Trashed: Compelled by the Race Office to start from the 10-hole in the six-horse field didn’t prove to be much of an handicap to the streaking Trashytonguetalker ($3.20) and his driver Casey Leonard as the Terry Leonard trained 6-year-old gelding rolled to his fourth consecutive Open Pace victory at Hawthorne last night.
Casey sent the Trashytonguetalker out from the 10-hole, and managed to drop the pacer into third in the early going as Hot Rod Dylan took the field to a 28 first quarter.
Trashytonguetalker was third, about three lengths off the leader when Casey made the expected “quarter move” with the 3 to 5 heavy favorite. The half was in 55.4 with “Trashy” likely pacing about a 27 second quarter to power to the front.
Hot Rod Dylan got the golden pocket trip and made a game effort at the winner in the lane but “Trashy” still had plenty left, coming home in 27.1 to take it by three quarters of a length in 1:52 flat.
“Trashy’s” season record is now 7 wins in 9 starts, all at Hawthorne, for his owners Chris Schick of Sacramento, California and his Harvard, Illinois trainer. He won his last start at the winter meet in an Open Pace and is now 3-for-3 during the summer session.
The fifth race second $10,000 Open Pace on Friday’s card saw driver Kyle Wilfong give Bettor’s Promise (5.40) a perfect pocket trip and the Liberio Pacheco took advantage of it with a 1:52.1 victory.
The 8-1 longshot (Casey Leonard) rallied strongly (26.3) to be second best, beaten a half-length, while the 6-5 pace-setting favorite Best Man Hanover (Tyler Shehan) held on for third.
Casey bagged five more winning drives on Friday’s program.