By Mike Paradise
Heading into last year’s Illinois State Fair meetings neither Lousraptor nor Lourhianon, the favorites in their respective $21,750 divisions of Sunday’s Cardinal trotting stakes, were considered among the leaders in the ICF freshmen colt and trotting division.
They certainly are now.
The Roshun Trigg trained Lousraptor will be at first-flash odds of 8-5 in Sunday’s Hawthorne opener, the first division of the Cardinal after drawing off a week ago in the first leg of the Erwin F. Dygert series, when Casey Leonard took over the gelding’s lines.
Lourhianon (Tim Curtin), swept the recent Daryl Busse series and did it in dominating fashion.
An earlier column enlightened us how Lourhianon, winless in 13 first season starts with only $6,476 banked, already has over $21,000 on his 3-year-old card and will carry a four-race winning streak into the fourth race second Cardinal split.
Trainer Kennedy Lindsey explained he gelded Lourhianon to keep his mind on racing (and it has) and he added: “I’ve gone to using acupuncture and chiropractic on Lourhianon and my other horses. I believe it has made a difference (it has).”
In the case of Lousraptor, he had no trouble winning races as a freshman, but they weren’t in front of the Hawthorne TV camera. The trotter raced only once at Hawthorne as a 2-year-old (July 15) and finished second beaten five lengths by Trixie’s Turbo.
On the other hand, Lousraptor did win on five different Illinois County Fair tracks and was second in his four other trips postward at the fairs. All together the gelding was one or two, in all 13 of his 2018 outings.
Lousraptor showed at the State Fairs he couldn’t be taken lightly when his 3-year-old season came along. The trotter captured the $27,500 Springfield juvenile crown and was the runner-up to Louscardamon in the $25,000 Darn Safe at Du Quoin, his final race of 2018.
In this year’s initial pari-mutuel start, Lousraptor drew the 10-hole and was parked-out much of the mile and ended up a far back eighth. He made a break the next time out, while still in contention. Nevertheless, when the wagering public sent him off as the 3-2 betting choice with Casey, he delivered the goods with a 1:58.1 mile under wraps.
Awaiting Lousraptor are: Prince Cassis (Ryan Anderson), Super Betcha (Ridge Warren), Big Garcia Vega (Ronnie Gillespie), Swaneelou (Kyle Wilong) and Captainblacksparrow.
Looking to put an end to Lourhianon’s winning streak are: Lous Endeavor (Juan Franco), Trixie’s Turbo (Tyler Shehan), Fox Valley Cruise (Casey Leonard) and Louscardamon (Kyle Husted).
Both Lousraptor and Lourhianon are sons of Lou’s Legacy and the even-money Violet filly trot favorite Louzotic (Kyle Husted), is also sired by Lou’s Legacy, in fact no less than 10 of tonight’s 23 stake starters are.
Last year’s ICF filly freshman trotting champ Louzotic was much the best in last Sunday’s first Beulah Dygert leg, pulling away by five lengths in her career fastest 1:55.2 mile for Flacco Family Farms of Alexis, Illinois.
They also own Lousraptor, Lous Endeavor and Louscardamon in the Cardinal, plus with Violet Hopefuls: Lou Scion (Ronnie Gillespie), Lou’s Paramour (Ridge Warren), Joe Joes Violet (Casey Leonard) and Skippymalou (Kyle Wilfong).
Sunday’s other Violet challengers are Fox Valley Elicit (Tim Curtin), Ivanka (Travis Seekman), Puddin Cheeks (Jared Finn), Ours Is Victory (Ryan Anderson) and Heidi High (Juan Franco).
No Surprises Here: The “chalk” players were all smiles after Saturday’s night’s two $22,950 divisions of the Violet stake for ICF freshman pacing fillies were in the history book, as both heavy favorites Perch ($2.20) and Fox Valley Torrid ($3.20) were victorious.
Driver Kyle Wilfong had the 1-9 prohibitive choice Perch racing fourth, until the final turn where he tipped the Jay Garrels trained filly out and she went on to rush past, for her third season win in four tries. The time of 1:55.4 was on a “good” track that absorbed quite a bit of rain earlier in the night.
Two races later Casey Leonard patiently drove the 3-5 betting facorite Fox Valley Torrid, to her come-from-behind triumph in the second Violet split. Casey had the Rodney Freese filly in the pocket early on when Valar Morghulis had the lead and then in the three-hole, when Fox Valley Halsey took over command.
It wasn’t until mid-way in the last turn, that Fox Valley Torrid got out and rolling and with some mild urging proved best in the 1:54.1 mile. Fox Valley Lolo (Tyler Shehan), finished well to be second.