Another Successful Du Quoin Meet Ends

By Mike Paradise


Harness racing at the 2021 Du Quoin State Fair concluded Saturday afternoon but not before more ICF champions were crowned after proving best in some historic stake events.


The nine-race card was conducted on a hot (92 degrees) and humid (65 %) afternoon with the Heat Index reaching 103 degrees, making the track conditions fast but obviously uncomfortable for harness racing fans, horsemen, and their horses alike.


Here is how last day of racing at Du Quoin unfolded:


It was a blanket four-horse finish in the aged pace for state-bred fillies and mares with Skeeter Machine, No. 5, Casey Leonard) nipping No. 4 Fox Valley Exploit, with No. 3 Shelly On My Mind and No. 2 My Uptowne Girl close behind. (Four Footed Fotos).

Getting Even: The Jim Molitor trained Ryans Loan Shark, capably handled by Travis Seekman, came motoring down the stretch to take the $28,000 Dudley Hanover opening stake for ICF sophomore pacing colts and geldings.


Second best in a photo finish at Springfield, Ryans Loan Shark ($5.20) bounced back on a “fast” sunbaked Du Quoin racing surface with a 1:54 mile, almost two full seconds off the geldings previous fastest.


Springfield champion Ideal Big Guy cut the fractions, going to a 57 flat first half with Ryans Loan Shark in the middle of the pack. However, in the lane Ryans Loan Shark powered past with authority for his fourth season win for owners Flacco Family Farms (Alexis, IL), Dave Falzone (Chicago) and trainer James Molitor (Chicago).


The pocket horse Partyatmosasplace (Ridge Warren) finished second, beaten two and one-half lengths, while Ideal Big Gut faded to third.


  Getting It Done: With trainer Kyle Husted at his lines the overwhelming 1 to 5 public’s choice Get E Up put away a stretch bid by Kingofmyheart (Atlee Bender) to win the prominent $33,000 Governor’s Cup for two-year-old state bred colt and gelding pacers.


Get E Up’s third consecutive triumph gave the freshman a sweep of the juvenile male pacing state fair stakes. The Sportsmaster gelding nine days ago won the Springfield final for his Salem, Illinois breeder Jerry Graham.


Co-owned by the trio of Husted (Altamont, Illinois), John Schwartz Jr. (Wood Dale, Illinois) and David Brigham (Litchfield, Michigan), Get E Up covered the mile in 1:52.1 after taking over the lead on the backside and going to a 55.3 half.


Cole Thornton (Kyle Wilfong) came on for third.


Sadies Art (Casey Leonard), trained by Clark Fairley for Geoff, Illinois owners Alice and Tom D. Tetrick, pulled off an upset victory in the aged pace showdown for ICF horses and geldings. (Four Footed Fotos).

Oldie a Goodie: Given a golden garden trip by Casey Leonard the 11-year-old Clark Fairley trained Sadies Art ($6.60) pulled away in the lane to capture the $7,000 aged pace stake for ICF males aged four and up.


Owned and bred by Mary Alice and Tom D Tetrick of Geoff, Illinois, the “old-timer” of the field sprinted out from the starting gate and took the two-hole behind the 7-5 favorite He Gone Jack (Ridge Warren) who was able to cruise to 57 first half mile.


However, He Gone Jack weakened in the lane after being passed by Sadies Art and ended up third behind the eventual runner-up Backstreet Lawyer (Kyle Wilfong) as well.


State Fair Sweep:  Fox Valley Cairo, perfectly rated by driver Ridge Warren, made it back-to-back victories at the Illinois state fairs by taking the $33,000 Darn Safe stake by more than one length over the first over Lousdobb (Casey Leonard).


The Mike Brink trained two-year-old gelding took command before the first quarter pole (30 seconds), got away with a leisurely 59.4 half and had more than enough left for the late going to hold off Lousdoob, who took air from the backside on,


Lous Di Nomite, one of five offspring’s of the Alexis, Illinois sire Lous Legacy in the seven-horse field, came on for third.


Springfield champion Fox Valley Cairo (Ridge Warren) made it a state fair sweep in the ICF two-year-old male trot division yesterday at the Du Quoin. (Four Footed Fotos)

Fox Valley Cairo ($3.00), a son of Cassis, won in 1:57 flat, the same time he trotted in his Springfield championship victory for Illinois owners Charles Briggs (Altamont, Illinois), Robert Lacey (Nokomis, Illinois) and trainer Mike Brink (Springfield, Illinois).


  A Surprise Ending: The last of the major ICF stakes Saturday afternoon was the $7,000 showdown for aged filly and mare pacers, and it turned out to be a four-horse blanket finish with the 6-1 Skeeter Machine, driven by Casey Leonard, coming out on top with a nose decision.


The 6-5 second choice My Uptown Girl (Ridge Warren) had the early lead but soon after a 56.1 half the 4-5 favorite Fox Valley Exploit (Kyle Husted) came at her and took command at the top of the stretch.


Meanwhile Skeeter Machine fanned out for the stretch drive and finished the fastest for trainer Alan Bowen, giving the six-year-old mare her 26th career victory. The daughter of Big Green Machine is owned by 99-year-old Francis Greer of Mt. Sterling, Illinois and James Greer of Peoria, Illinois,


The Du Quoin card wasn’t the end of harness racing in Illinois on Haturday, Hawthorne took over the Standardbred baton with a nine-race card in the evening with a 7:10 first post.


Live racing will continue at Hawthorne both Sunday (6:30 post) and Monday (7:10 post).


No Big Surprises in Du Quoin Opener

By Mike Paradise


It was “Racing Under the Lights” as the two-day harness racing meet at the Du Quoin State Fair got under way Friday night.


Instead of sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-90’s at the southern Illinois facility, the 13-race card on the “Magic Mile” was conducted in pleasant 80-degree weather and if horses could talk, they probably all would like to say “thanks for the nighttime start.


All the major ICF stakes came in the first half of the program and he’s how things unfolded.


Talk About Breezing: The $28,000 Windy Skeeter trot for three-year-old fillies was the first of six consecutive ICF championships on the program and it turned out not to be much of a contest.



Breeze At Sunset (Atlee Bender) was all alone at the finish of Friday’s $28,000 Windy Skeeter stake for ICF three-year-old trotting fillies. (Four Footed Fotos)

The Erv Miller stable’s Breeze At Sunset, confidently handled by Atlee Bender was much the best, drawing off by more than eight lengths in a time of 1:57.2 as the heavy 1-2 favorite.


Her main rival Loulita (Casey Leonard) did rally for second, but she never was much of a threat to win it after lagging the gate and falling far behind right from the get-go.


The victory gave Breeze At Sunset a sweep of the Illinois State Fair championships and her sixth triumph in her last seven starts for Bowie Racing LLC (Douglass Overheiser), of Shorewood, Illinois.


He’s Back! Atlee Bender was back to greet the track photographer with another of his father-in-law Erv Miller trained fillies. This time it was the two-year-old pacer Lady Bombay, a front-stepping winner of the first $16,500 division of the Director’s Award stake.


Bender hustled Lady Bombay ($12.40) out to the front from the five-slot in the six-horse field and was able to get away with a soft 59 first half with the 1 to 5 favorite Rollnrozz in fourth in the six-horse field.


By the time Rollinroz got rolling in the stretch, Lady Bombay still had plenty left and handily held her off by about two lengths in 1:56 flat, a new career mark for the Major Bombay sibling, also owned by Douglass Overheiser of Shorewood, Illinois.


Nosing Her Foe Out: The second Director’s Award division was a heck of a horse race with the two-favorites Fox Valley Captiva (4-5, Atlee Bender) and Dandy’s MNM (Kyle Husted) side-by-side for the last quarter of the mile.



Dandy’s MNM (Kyle Husted) nosed out Fox Valley Captiva in the second division of Friday’s Director’s Award two-sear-old filly trot. (Four Footed Fotos)

The nose decision went to the Marv Chupp trained Dandy’s MNM, the 8-5 second choice, in 1:56, another new lifetime mark for the Fort Knox filly owned by A Piece of the Action LLC of Culver City, California.


Dandy’s MNM’s win ended a seven-race losing streak that included four bridesmaid finishes, the last two at Springfield. The filly earlier won a leg of Hawthorne’s Incredible Tillie stake series.


Not So Easy Does It: Springfield three-year-old filly pace champion Scorecard Dandy was scratched because of an injury a few races before the field went to the gate for the $28,00 Time Dancer stake and that left the door wide open for two-time Plum Peachy stake series winner to nail down her fifth victory of the year and she did just that for trainer Mike Brink.. . . but it wasn’t easy.


Hart’s Heart was shuffled back to fourth (and last) on the backside and needed a game last quarter of a mile to overtake the pace setting Bootsy Bombay (Kyle Husted) by one and one-half lengths at the end of the 1:55.4 mile.


The overwhelming 1 to 9 favorite Hart’s Heart, owned and bred by sisters Donna Crebs (Cantrall, IL) and Judy Gonzo (Lincoln, IL), has now thus far earned $56,803 in her second racing season


Nicely Driven: A patience drive from Kyle Wilfong paid off for the 1-5 favorite Funky Wiggle in the $33,000 Shawnee stake for ICF freshman filly trotters.


Wilfong sent Funky Wiggle out from the start and grabbed the two-hole behind the Hot Trotn Trixie (Archie Buford) who coasted to a 59.2 half. She was then challenged by Armbro Lark (Charles Arthur) and as these two fillies battled, Wilfong bided his time with his  Curt Grummel trained filly.


In the lane Funky Wiggles worn down the leaders, winning by more than one length in 1:57.1. The daughter of Lou’s Legacy also captured the Illinois State Fair Championship at Springfield eight days earlier for owner and breeder Dr. Patrick Graham.



Sumbodygetdisfool (Todd Warren) is shown as he is about to get past Coco D’Lascito and win the $28,000 Pronto Don for three-year-old ICF male trotters. (Four Footed Fotos)

He’s No Fool: The $28,000 Pronto Don trotting stake saw Sumbodygetdisfool put on a furious stretch rally and again defeat the 3-5 favorite Coco D;Lascito (JD Finn), just as he did a little more than week ago in the Springfield showdown for state-bred  three-year-old colts and geldings.


A heads-up drive from Todd Warren enabled the Roshun Trigg trained gelding to nail down his seventh season win for Brandon, Mississippi owner Laquinton Shavers.


Coco D’Lascoto had things his own way on the front end with leisurely fractions of 29.1 and 59 with Somebodygetdisfool in fourth, some five lengths behind but the Armbro Approach winning gelding was saving his best for the last quarter of the mile and got up in time once again.


As Expected: Earlier in non-wagering events Annas Lucky Star (Kyle Wilfong) was much the best in the $7,000 Aged Trot for ICF fillies and mares in 1:55.4 and Talk About Valor (Travis Seekman) also was a comfortable front-end winner in the horse and gelding division with a 1:54.1 clocking.


Afternoon Delight: Day two of the short Du Quoin State Fair harness racing meet arrives much earlier than Friday’s nighttime did with a 12 noon first post today on its 10-race card.


The prominent ICF stakes comprise the first five events on the program with mostly County Fair Challenges following,


The wide-open $28,000 First Lady Cup for state-bred three-year-old pacing colts and geldings gets things started. Springfield’s championship one-two finishers Ideal Big Guy (pp 8, Casey Leonard) and Ryans Loan Shark (pp 4, Travis Seekman) are the morning line favorites.


The $33,000 Governor’s Cup for freshman male pacers completes Saturday’s Daily Double. Since ICF multi-stakes champion Fox Valley Ozzy didn’t make the trip to Du Quoin, Springfield titleholder Get E Up (Kyle Husted) no doubt will be the heavy public’s choice.


The first of a pair of $7,000 aged pace showdowns are next with the two inside horses, He Gone Jack (pp 1, Ridge Warren) and Backstreet Lawyer (pp 2, Kyle Wilfong), the pre-race choices in the horse and gelding division.


The fifth race aged filly and mare division looks like a good one with Springfield’s one-two horses at the finish wire Fox Valley Exploit (pp 4, Kyle Husted) and My Uptowne Girl (pp 2, Ridge Warren) squaring off again with another state-fair title on the line.


In between the aged pace battles is the $33,000 Darn Safe championship for juvenile male trotters.


The Mike Brink stable’s Springfield winner Fox Valley Cairo (pp 1, Ridge Warren) will seek to make it three victories ion a row. The Cassius gelding will be confronted by five sons of the stallion Lou’s Legacy along with another Cassis offspring Hot To Trot Sparky (Archie Buford), a Kadabra leg runner-up who can be quick from the starting gate.


The Lou’s Legacy brigade is made up of Lous Barboissa (Atlee Bender), July 28th Kadabra leg winner Lousdobb (Casey Leonard), Lous Lancelot (Juan Franco), Lubbock Holiday (John D Finn) and Lou’s Di Nomite (Kyle Wilfong),


First Post: 12 noon
1—Ryans Loan Shark, Ideal Big Guy, Partyatmosasplace
2—Get E Up, Kingofmyheart, Major Grin
3—He Gone Jack, Backstreet Lawyer, Sadies Art
4—Fox Valley Cairo, Lousdobb, Hot To Trot Sparky
5—Fox Valley Exploit, My Uptowne Girl, Skeeter Machine
6—Sweet Sweet Connie, Ryans Shark Attack, Shez Selfcontained
7—Pericles, Illini Storm, Luckmania
8—Mailbox Money, Cupcake Cassi, Jazkeyn
9—Aqua’s Bud, Hidalgo Howie, Blacky
10—Coming Fashion, Tucked Away, Electric Mist
Best Bet: Get E Up (2nd race)

IHHA Officers Elected

Annually at the August board meeting, the IHHA directors elect officers for the association. This year the results were as follows: Marty Engel – President, Casey Leonard – Vice President,  Clark Fairly – 2nd Vice-President,  Secretary – Gerry Hansen,  Treasurer – Al Beals, Assistant Treasurer – David Brink.

A trio of “Lou Lous” in Open Trot

By Mike Paradise


After having to compete in Indiana in two of his last three starts, the Merv Chupp Stable’s “money making machine” Pine Dream is back on the local scene for Sunday’s $12,000 Open for trotters.


Not unexpectedly, the now nine-year-old veteran was assigned the outside seven-post by the Hawthorne Race Office in the seventh face feature where half of his opposition are Steve Searle trained “Lou Lou’s. Otherwise know has stable-mates Louzotic (Casey Leonard), Lousraptor (Juan Franco) and Louscardamon (Kyle Husted).


Louscardamon (Kyle Husted), winner of the August 8th Open Trot at Hawthorne, is one of three Steve Searle trained horses in Sunday’s featured seventh race. (Four Footed Fotos)

The Searle threesome each have the capability to come out on top tonight. The five-year-old Louscaramon did just that on August 8th, the last time the trotting Open was contested at Hawthorne. The five-year-old mare Louzotic prevailed in a mid-June Open and Lousraptor proved best in an Open back in May.


Reign And Shine (pp 1, Jordon Patton), Cash Hit (pp 2, Travis eekman) and Walter White (pp 4, Ridge Warren) are Sunday’s other three Open hopefuls with the latter displaying signs he could be ready for an overdue victory.


The nine-year-old Jim Eaton trained Walter White boasts a career bankroll over more than $550,000 and comes off a pair of game efforts at Hoosier Park. The gelding has showed he can unleash gate speed and that may be the strategy tonight in hopes of ending a nine-race losing streak.


Meanwhile Pine Dream has continued to pad his ever-growing bank account for trainer Merv Chupp. The last time this old-timer missed a purse check was 19 starts ago back in early March, the horse’s last outing in Ohio. Pine Dream’s 2021 earnings are over $57,000 and we’re only in the month of August.


Three years ago, Chupp bought Pine Dream at a sale for $27,000. Since then, the trotter has raked in $306,921 for his 64-year-old Goshen, Indiana native with over 1,200 wins as a driver and 926 as a trainer.


  Du Quoin Next Up: With the two-day harness racing meeting at the Du Quoin on tap this upcoming weekend, Illinois trotting queen Annas Lucky Star is skipping tonight’s Hawthorne Open to prepare for the ICF aged mare trotting championship at the southern Illinois facility on the Friday, August 27th card that begins at 7 pm. The Saturday Du Quoin State Fair program has a 12 noon first post.


Hawthorne will be dark Friday evening and instead will race on Monday night, August 30th, following their regular Saturday (August 28th) and Sunday (August 29th) evening programs.


Easy Does It: The 2-5 favorite Dreaming Image (Atlee Bender) breezed to almost a five-length victory in last night’s $12,000 Club Hawthorne series final for filly and mare pacers.


It was the third consecutive win for the trained mare who Matt Rodriguez (Aurora, Illinois), who shares ownership of the mare with Dylan Niefeldt (Peotone, Illinois).


Sweetsadyshark (Travis Seekman) and Helen’s Girl (Juan Franco) were second and third, respectively.

IHHA Board of Directors 2021 Election Results

2021 IHHA Board of Directors Election Results

August 21, 2021

The following are the results from the IHHA Board of Directors election which took place today, Saturday, August 21, 2021. The top five vote getters will serve three year terms as directors.

  1. Ed Teefey
  2. Steve Searle
  3. Al Beals
  4. Gary Rath
  5. Jeff Davis
  1. Michelle Monier
  2. Kim Roth
  3. Dee Cozzi

Congratulations to all the candidates that participated in this election.  At the upcoming Board of Directors Meeting on Monday, August 23th, the IHHA Board will elect the officers that will serve during the 2021/2022 cycle.

Thanks to all members who participated in the election process. It is through your voice and support that the IHHA can continue to address and work on the issues of concern to our industry.


Sweet Revenge for He’zzz A Wise Sky

By Mike Paradise


He’zzz A Wise Sky didn’t just reclaim the crown last night as the top aged pacer at the Hawthorne meet, the four-year-old ICF pacer took it back with an abundance of conviction.


The John Filomeno trained pacer demolished his five Open pace rivals with a sizzling 1:49.1 mile, finishing more than five lengths ahead of the two-time Illinois Harness Horse of the Year Fox Valley Gemini (Casey Leonard), an honor that He’zzz A Wise Sky won in 2020 at the age of three.


He’zzz A Wise Sky (Kyle Wilfong) left no doubt he was the best in last night’s $12,000 Open Pace. (Four Footed Fotos)

Regular driver Kyle Wilfong, as expected, hurried He’zzz A Wise Sky away from his designated six slot, and as anticipated, Ridge Warren sent Bobcat Bay out from the five and Kyle Husted did the same with Lying In Cash from post three.


Bobcat Bay had command at the quarter mile pole but at the cost of a scorching 26.3 first quarter. Lying In Cash was right behind, but not for long, as Wilfong settled He’zzz A Wise Sky into third as Casey dropped “Gemini” into fourth.


On the backside Husted quickly took Lying In Cash out of the pocket and to the front while Wilfong, for the time being, kept He’zzz A Wise Sky in third. Heading to the half Wilfong pulled the 4-5 favorite out and went after the leaders.


It took a sub 27 quarter by He’zzz A Wise Sky ($3.60) to make the top at a quick 53.2 half. Fox Valley Gemini then started to make his bid in the final turn however He’zzz A Wise Sky still had a ton of pace left, pulling away for his seventh win on the season for Justice, Illinois owner Triple ZZZ Stable.


Primo Giovani was a distant third, beaten 10-plus lengths, in the second race Friday headliner.


It was sweet revenge for He’zzz A Wise Sky and his connections. After his victory in the July 6th Hawthorne Open, the pride of his breeders, Donald and Joann Filomeno, He’zz A Wise Sky was a tiring third to Lying In Cash in the July 30th Open and third best to Bobcat Bay in the August 8th feature.


A trip to Hoosier Park a week ago saw He’zzz A Wise Sky turn things around in a big way as he popped at 14-1 odds in a $51,000 Invite with a 1:49.1 clocking, a new career mark the horse equaled Friday night.


Worth the Wait: Looking over Saturday’s nine race card at Hawthorne the top two events look to be the best two, both for filly and mare pacers.


The eighth is the $12,000 Club Hawthorne Series final, a 10-horse field with the Matt Rodriguez Stable’s Dreaming Image (pp 7, Atlee Bender at 5-2) and Helen”s Girl (pp 2, Juan Franco at 3-1) as the pre-race favorites. Both come off strong wins in last Saturday’s second leg.


In fact, Dreaming Image is going for a series weep. The four-year-old mare also was an easy winner in her first leg. In both series outings she has been hammered at the betting windows, going off at 3-5 on August 7th and at 1-5 a week later,


Also looking to grab the winner’s share of the $12,000 purse are Party Belle, Daybreak Girl, Finley’s Filly, Ezpay, Fox Valley Sierra, Double Parked, Sweetshadyshark and Tempest Heart.


An Open 2 in Disguise: While the filly and mare Open didn’t fill with only four entries, two of those—My Uptown Girl and Rollin Coal—were moved to race nine, a very competitive conditioned pace.


In fact, at least five other distaffers in the field, have competed in Hawthorne Opens this summer. It’s a wide-open event and it was wisely placed as the finale because it should get plenty of play with four gimmicks available to be wagered on.


From the pole position out you’ll find Vel Donna, Lilly Von Shtupp, Look Kimbo, Eliza Dushku N, Pootie Cat, Allbeastnobeauty, My Uptown Girl, Charlotte Royal N, Rollin Coal and Mamama Moonshine.


Hail the New Springfield Champions

By Mike Paradise


With sunny skies and a warm 88 degrees, the 2021 harness racing meet at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield came to an end Thursday afternoon.  Eight Illinois State Fair Colt Stakes championships were decided on the 13-race card and as usual there were some surprises.


Here’s out it all played out:


No Doubt About It:  ICF freshman filly trotters kicked off the first of the ISFSC championship events and when the dust settled it was the 3-5 favorite Funky Wiggle, nicely handled by Kyle Wilfong, clearly the best.


It was the first of five $40,000 pots on the line for ICF first season pacers or trotters.


The 1:56.1 mile was more than two seconds faster than the Curt Grummel trained filly had trotted in her previous seven starts. Owned by her breeder Dr. Patrick Graham of Pittsfield, Illinois, the Lou’s Legacy offspring rallied from fifth at the half to draw away by about four lengths over Ironclad Creation with the pacesetting Hot Trotn Trixie ending up third best.


Driver Archie Buford looks ready to celebrate Rollnroz’s victory in the ISFCS championships Thursday at Springfield. (Four Footed Fotos)

Just Rollin Along: The two-year-old filly pace championship was next and the Roshun Trigg trained Rollnroz gave driver Archie Buford his first career major stakes winner and the filly did it rather easily.


The 30-year-old Mississippi native got Rollnroz on top on the back side and the Fort Knox filly never looked back, two lengths the best over the favorite Dandy’s MNM with Iwannarocknroll getting third.


Owned by Eric and Rosalind Jaynes, of Magee, Mississippi, the win was the 10th in 15 trips postward for Rollnroz and the time of 1:53.2 shaved more than two seconds off the filly’s previous fastest mile.


Where They Go! The Mike Brink Stable’s Fox Valley Cairo was the dominating winner of the two-year-old colt and gelding trot showdown., perfectly rated by driver Ridge Warren.


Sent to the top, Fox Valley Cairo coasted to a 58.4 half and had plenty left in the tank for the stretch drive, so much so that Ridge had time to look over his should in the lane to see where the opposition was.


Fox Valley Cairo, owned by the Illinois trio of Charles Biggs (Altamont), Dr. Robert Lacey (Nokomis) and trainer Mike Brink (Springfield), trotted the mile in 1:57 flat and was well in hand at the wire, some three and one-half lengths ahead.


Pocket Trip: The last of the five two-year-old ISFCS championship was for male pacers and it saw trainer Kyle Husted give Get E Up a winning two-hole journey over the 1-2 favorite Fox Valley Ozzy (Casey Leonard) with a quick 1:52 flat clocking.



Get E Up (Kyle Husted) edges out Fox Valley Ozzy (Casey Leonard) in Thursday’s two-year-old colt and gelding pace championship at Springfield (Four Foot Fotos)

Get E Up got his driver’s desired trip behind Fox Valley Ozzy right from the start and “Ozzy” never got much of a breather, pressured to a 27.3 first quarter and a 55.3 half.


The two ICF freshmen raced side-by-side through the stretch with Get E Up winning for the third time in five lifetime starts for owners Kyle Husted (Altamont, IL), David Brigham (Litchfield, MI) and John Schwarz (Wood Dale, IL). Kingofmyheart finished third.


The three-year-olds took over the Springfield spotlight for the last five $30,000 championship showdowns.


Patience Pays Off: A patient drive by Atlee Bender enabled him to guide the 6-5 second choice Breeze At Sunset to a 1:55.2 winning mile for Erv Miller in the filly trot. One length behind was BC’s Rose while Loulita held on for third:


Bender hurried Breeze At Sunset away from the outside nine-slot however Casey Leonard did the same with Loulita from the eight and Kyle Wilfong with BC’s Rose from the seven.


Breeze At Sunset settled in third and stayed there behind the front-stepping even money favorite Loulita with BC’S Rose in the two-hole. They remained that way until mid-stretch when Breeze At Sunset kicked into a faster gear and rolled past the early leaders for her Shorewood Illinois proprietor Bowie Racing LLC.


No Fooling Around: The colt and gelding sophomore trot gave the crowd a thrilling stretch duel with the 8-1 longshot Sumbodygetdisfool (Todd Warren) putting his head in front of the heavy 1-2 favorite Coco D’Lascito (J D Finn) right before the finish wire..


Coco D’ Lascito cut the fractions, going to a 57 half, but Todd Warren had a firm hold of Sumbodygetdisfool in the middle of the pack after three horses went off stride at the start, and the Roshun Trigg trained trotter got up in time for owner Laquinton Shavers of Brandon, Mississippi.



Juan Franco drove Scorecard Dandy (8-1) to her upset win Thursday in the three-year-old filly pace final at Springfield. (Four Footed Fotos)

“Juanderful” Victory: In the filly division a heads-up drive by driver Juan Franco saw his filly Scorecard Dandy upset the overwhelming 1 to 5 favorite Hart’s Heart (Kyle Wilfong).in 1:54.3.


Franco hustled Scorecard Dandy away from the gate the fastest while Hart’s Heart was dropped into fifth in the eight-horse field. The Guatemala native was able to back the field down to a leisurely 59.2 first half with the first over Hart’s Heart now second on his outside.


In the lane, Franco asked the Gregory Kain trained filly for more and she delivered, pulling away and getting the job done for Green Acres LLC (Beecher, IL) and Mike Klimas (Oak Lawn, IL)


  A Game “Big Guy”: In the finale for pacing colts and geldings Ideal Big Guy (Casey Leonard) nailed the 3-5 favorite Ryans Loan Shark (Travis Seekman) in the final stride to take home the winner’s share of the $30,000 purse.


Casey hurried Ideal Big Guy to the front from the outside seven slot at the start, but Seekman came out of third at the quarter pole and zipped to the top. After a 58.1 half it appeared Ryans Loan Shark was in good shape, but Leonard and Ideal Big Guy had another outcome in mind.


Casey pulled the Terry Leonard trainee out of the pocket coming out of the last turn and the two state-bred pacers battled down the lane with “The Big Guy” getting his nose in front when it counted the most.


Ideal Big Guy is owned by the Illinois trio of Dandy Farms Racing Stable (Glenview), Terry Leonard (Harvard) and Peter Kouchis (Palos Park).


They’re Back: The $12,000 Open Pace returns tonight with a stellar field of six horses, four of them—Lying In Cash (pp3, Kyle Husted), Fox Valley Gemini (pp4, Casey Leonard), Bobcat Bay (pp5, Ridge Warren) and He’zzz A Wise Sky (pp 6, Kyle Wilfong)—are a winner of Hawthorne’s top overnight event in either July or August.


He’zzz A Wise Sky was assigned the outside six-slot after a sizzling winning performance last week at Hoosier Park  winning a $51,000 Invitational in a career fastest time of 1:49.1.


The John Filomeno trained ICF home-bred had to leave from the eight-slot in an 11-horse field with two trailers and was parked-out the first haft to scorching fractions of 25.4 and 53:3 to get command and still was a neck the best for driver John Delong


Primo Giovanni (pp 1, Todd Warren) and On Duty (pp 2, Atlee Bender), complete Hawthorne’s second race headliner.