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Casey, Flacco Family Farms Shine on NOC

By Mike Paradise   Hawthorne’s perennial leading driver Casey Leonard was the star of the 2021 Night of Champions, bringing home four winning horses on Illinois’ premier evening of harness racing.   It was also another memorable gala night for Flacco Family Farms, the breeder of a quartet of Night of Champion winners—Funky Wiggle, Ryans […]

Who’s Going Home a Champion?

By Mike Paradise   It’s hard to believe that nearly five months of harness racing is already behind us but here we are with Hawthorne’s Night of Champions upon us.   It’s already the 25th of September and thankfully, unlike last year when we had to endure rain and a sloppy racetrack for much of […]

Sisters Tangle on Night of Champions

By Mike Paradise   It was a year ago when the distaff pacers Fox Valley Exploit and Allbeastnobeauty made Illinois history by each winning championships on the same Super Night program.   The then three-year-old Fox Valley Exploit completed her sweep of the Plum Peachy stake series for driver-trainer Kyle Husted on Hawthorne’s 2020 Night […]

Three-Year-Old NOC Fields Settled

By Mike Paradise   The finalists for next Saturday’s three-year-old Night of Champion events were determined last night after a quartet of $15,000 final series legs were completed, each with a $15,000 pot on the line.   First up was the Robert F. Carey Memorial stake series for sophomore pacing colts and geldings where Ideal […]

Wilfong and Wheeler Shine

By Mike Paradise   Driver Kyle Wilfong and trainer Herman Wheeler were the stars of Friday night’s bevy of ICF stake eliminations or series legs that determined next week’s finalists on Hawthorne’s Night of Champions.   Wilfong drove five winning horses on the 13-race program while Wheeler sent out four youngsters from his barn and […]

Plenty on Line in Friday’s Events

By Mike Paradise   Except for the September 25th Night of Champions, this is the evening that we will see the best ICF pacers and trotters in action more than at any other time of the Hawthorne meeting. The entire 13-race card is made up of either Night of Champion series events, eliminations, or preps […]

Quite an Achievement for Tom Simmons

By Mike Paradise Congratulations go out to long-time horseman Tom Simmons who will soon attain a very rare milestone for an Illinois based trainer.  When Kelly D won Friday night’s first race it put Simmons one win away from his 2,000th winning horse as a trainer to go along with more than 2,000 winners as […]