Anna’s Lucky Star Shining Brightly

Hawthorne track record holder Anna’s Lucky Star will put her six race unbeaten streak on the line in Sunday’s $18,900 Violet Championship. The home-bred filly has almost $37,000 in her freshman season despite starting her career about a month after others in her division and missing the Incredible Tilly stake series.
Trained by Nelson Willis for her Salem, Illinois owner and breeder Danny Graham, Ann’s Lucky star first start came in late July, about a month after the stake series got under way at Hawthorne.
“My wife and me thought we had her staked to everything but found out we didn’t,” said Danny. “We still don’t know how it happened. It was our mistake and that’s why she didn’t race in that Hawthorne series.”

  Springfield champion Anna's Lucky Star (Kyle Wilfong) set a track record at Hawthorne last week for a 2-year-old trotting filly. (Four Footed Photo)

Springfield champion Anna’s Lucky Star (Kyle Wilfong) set a track record at Hawthorne last week for a 2-year-old trotting filly. (Four Footed Photo)

Anna’s Lucky Star first stakes race came in her State Fair elimination at Springfield, her third straight win. She followed with a career fastest 1:56.4 victory in the final and 10 days alter took the Shawnee at Du Quoin in 1:58.1, all with her regular driver Kyle Wilfong.
Did Danny think she was his home-bred filly would be the very good ICF trotter right from the start.
“No I didn’t but Nelson (Willis) thought she was really good from the get-go
“My brother broke her last fall at Altamont and jogged her for about a month. We then had her at Buzzy’s (Tom Graham Jr) farm and he took some bone chips out of her and later in March jogged her. We got her trained down to about 2:25 and then sent her over to Nelson in April.”
Anna’s Lucky Star is out of Graham’s very successful broodmare Queen Jamie. Her most notable offspring was Anthonyskywalker (1:54) who raced for trainer Homer Hochstetler from 2019 through 2013 and earned almost $200,000 in those years.
“Queen Jamie’s first foal was Sonny Knew, named after my dad Sonny Graham and trotted in 1:56.2 at Springfield, a national season record that year for a 2-year-old trotter,” continued Danny.
“She had Red Victor who raced for Roger Welch who then sold him. The filly had a 3-year-old record of 55 and a piece. A few years later she had Powerful Anthony and we ended up selling him to my brother Doug who raced him at the County Fairs and won something like $25,000 with him.
“I’ve decided to keep Anna’s Lucky Star and her sister Rockinprincessabbie. They’ll become broodmares because Queen Jamie is 21 years old. ‘Anna’ is named after my youngest granddaughter and Rockinprincessabbie after my oldest.”
Anna’s Lucky Star’s 1:58.2 mile last weekend was a new track record at Hawthorne for a 2-year-old trotting filly and expectations were high on the filly’s chances for Sunday. However Danny’s enthusiasm was dampen after a phone call Wednesday from his trainer.
“I did get some bad news from Spider (Nelson Willis) who called and told me the horse was sick today (Wednesday). They’re treating her and right now it’s 50-50 if she’ll race Sunday.
“She was really good last week and I thought we would call it a year with her after the Violet Sunday. Now we’ll just have to wait and see that was her final race.”
Anna’s Lucky Star was entered later and the day and couldn’t have drawn any more favorably than she did with the one-slot
The two through 10 posts will be manned by Heartland Honey, Sis’s Ellie Mae, Fox Valley Elana, Lou’s Game N Match, Daisy Luke Duke, Fox Valley Ella, T E’;s My Way and Beatrice.