By Mike Paradise
With another very productive week of driving at Hawthorne behind him Casey Leonard looks to be in a very good spot to start this shorted week of racing in more winning fashion.
The Chicago circuit’s No. 1 driver had 14 first place finishers last week with five coming on Sunday’s card. Tonight he’ll at the lines of both likely Kadabra post-time favorites, Totally Pazzazzed in the first $12,000 division for 3-year-old ICF trotting colts and geldings and Matt Q, winner of his last three races including two earlier Kadabra legs the second.
“I don’t know how much he’s been tested yet but he’s a very honest little trotter. It’ll be interesting to see where he lines up once he gets tighten down. Right now I guess he’s the best.”
The 38-year-old Leonard was also impressed with the big late winning effort (28.2) from Totally Pazzazzed in his debut a couple of weeks ago for trainer Nick Giberson.
“I also like Nick’s (Giberson’s) colt. He showed me he can come a big last quarter.”
In that race Totally Pazzazzed powered past first leg champion Trixie’s Jethro but with the move inside tonight JD Finn trained gelding could grab an easy lead and give Totally Pazzazzed and others in the race all they can handle.
Making his first start in the Kadabra Series is Shirley Steele’s Picky Picky Valor (Todd Warren) from the Gerald Hansen Stable. The gelding breezed in his initial start and made an impression on the Harvard, Illinois native.
“I really like him. It was only his first start but I liked what I saw from him when I filled in driving him the other night for Tim Curtin. Heck, I like all three of those trotters but I can’t drive them all.”
Casey also has “live” drives in both Fox Valley Flan stake divisions. He’s behind Lucy Quaider, another Quaid Racing youngster in the second split. She was beaten only a half-length in her second leg of the “Flan” when she raced with trotting hobbles for the first time.
Leonard’s first “Flan” drive is the Erv Miller Stable’s Beatrice, currently trained by Jim Eaton. She was sent off at 1 to 2 odds in her bow but had s equipment break at the start and was a non-factor.
How They Stand: After the first two legs of the Fox Valley Flan Series She’s Savvy sits atop the standings with 75 points. Tied for second with 62 points each is Dandy’s ESP and She’s Ellie Mae, followed by Lou’s Credit Point with 55.
In sixth through tenth places are Betsy B Breeze (33), Lucy Quaider (26), Lou’s Game N Match (25), Fox Valley Elana (17), Daisy Lou Duke (13) and Scarlet Ribbons (13).
Matt Q with a perfect score of 100 points is on top of the Kadabra standings with Trixie’s Jethro’s next with 75. Both Cassisandfifth and Totally Pazzazzed have 50). Then it’s Lucipher with 33.
In places sixth through nine you’ll find Marching To Zion (24), New Pay (17), Bands Houdini (13) and Polar B (13).