By Mike Paradise
It’s time for the Hawthorne spotlight to be turned to the often unpredictable 2-year-old ICF trotting division. On tap Sunday evening is the $47,400 Cardinal for freshman trotting colts and geldings and a pair of $23,900 divisions of the Violet stake for first season fillies.
Even though this is the first pari-mutuel start for all but one of the 19 fillies in the two Violet splits, there appears to be a stick-out, at least on paper, in the second race first division.
Her name is Heidi High, driven by her owner and trainer Charles Arthur. The young filly had to raise a lot of eyebrows from those who watched her compete a week ago in Springfield when she motored to 1:59.1in her initial career start and finished over 21 lengths ahead of the second place horse.
That’s a very quick mile this early for a 2-year-old trotter right ftom the get-go and that probably explains why she’s the prohibitive 4 to 5 favorite in the Hawthorne program. Of course the fact that the front-end appears to be her cup of tea and she drew the pole position tonight, certainly is another reason she’ll be hammered down at the betting windows,
However there are no certainties with 2-year-olds in mid-June, especially ICF trotters.
Looking to defeat the Mississippi owned daughter of New Balance are Jenas Hart Ofvalor (Casey Leonard), Notnangel (Anthony Macdonald), Skippymalou (Juan Franco), Pizza Maker (Mike Oosting), Count On It (Ryan Anderson), Lou’s Paramour (Kyle Husted) and E L Game On (Kyle Wilfong).
The fourth race second Violet division has Lous Mistress (Casey Leonard) and Puddin Cheeks (Jared Finn) as the 9-5 and 2-1 co-favorites in the track’s morning line.
Both fillies were timed in 2:02 flat last Sunday at Springfield in their respective races with Puddin Cheeks winning her event in front-stepping fashion by almost 15 lengths while Lous Mistress was second beaten less than a length in her race by Loussolataire (Kyle Wilfong) who leaves from the outside nine-slot in the race. The Steve Renard trained filly has already made six starts, and three came in May against older trotters at Hawthorne.
Joe Joes Violet (Ronnie Gillespie), Friday I’m In Love (Mike Oosting), Louzotic (Steve Searle), Ivanka (Anthony Macdonald), Sonnie Rae (Ridge Warren) and Encantado (Kyle Husted) are the other Violet candidates.
The three inside horses, Fox Valley Picaso (Casey Leonard), Captainblacksparrow (Kyle Wilfong) and Super Betcha (Mike Ossting), are expected to attract a heavy portion of the public’s waferinf dollars in the third race $47,400 Cardinal trot.
Fox Valley Picaso (pp 1) had a quick 2:00 flat winning qualifier for trainer Herman Miller when he was four lengths the best. Both Captainblacksparrow (pp 2) and Super Betcha (pp 3) were winners when they debuted a week ago at Springfield on its non-betting program. Their 2:05-plus times can be a bit misleading since both youngsters were raced easy through very modest fractions (1:02 half mile times).
Captainblacksparrow, who wears trotting hobbles, is trained by Mike Rogers while Super Betcha is out of trainer Mike Brink’s barn.
To their right, with posts four through eight respectively, are Rusty Red Valor (Tim Curtin), Frontier Manard (Freddie Patton Jr.), Swaneelou (Rodney Debeck), Foxvalleyrushhour (Herman Wheeler) and Lis Endeavor (Ronnie Gillespie).
Violet Pace Champs Crowned: The Herman Wheeler Stable’s Yankee Joanie (Ryan Anderson) and Winter Gram (Ridge Warren), trained by Tom Graham Jr, came away last night with victories in their respective $23,675 divisions of the 2-year-old Violet filly pace.
Yankee Joanie ($7.40) made a move on the backside to go from fourth to first at the half-mile pole (1:00.2) and came home in 27.1 to hold-off the 3-2 favorite Foolishlitlegirl (Casey Leonard) by three-quarters of a length in the 1:57 flat mile.
Grace Ann (Gary Rath) was third, about seven lengths behind Foolishlittlegirl who had a pocket-trip behind Yankee Joanie. Thelatter also won her debut a week earlier for owner by Milton Greer of Jackson, Tennessee.
In the second Violet pace split Ridge Warren sent the first-time starter Winter Gram ($10.00) to the front and nicely rated the home-bred filly to a winning 1:58 mile for co-owners owners and breeders Carol Graham and trainer Tom Graham Jr. of Salem, Illinois.
The even-money favorite Fox Valley Halsey (Casey Leonard) shook loose in the lane late and ended-up a half-length behind Winter Gram. Fox Valley Hotcake was third, another three lengths behind.
Anna’s Lucky Star (Kyle Wilfong) made it back-to-back victories in the $10,000 Open Trot for trainer Nelson Willis when she worn down Picky Picky Valor in the stretch and pulled away by three lengths in a 1:55 flat mile.
Narcian Jewel (Tyler Shehan) came from far out of it and powered past in time to take the $10,000 Open Pace for fillies and mares by a neck over Pretty Image (Tim Curtin). Frank Petrelli trains the 1:52.3 winning mare.
The trotter Overandovervictory (Kyle Husted) popped at $19.60 mutuel as my one and only Saturday “Price Shot.”