ICF Freshmen Take Over the Spotlight

By Mike Paradise

The emphasis this week at Hawthorne will be on ICF two-year-olds of both gaits. The opening legs of the state-bred stakes series will be contested Thursday night with two divisions each of the Fox Valley Flan for fillies and the Kadabra for colts and gelds heading up the 10-race program.

Both first legs of the freshman trot stakes will be the first pari-mutuel starts for several youngsters including Lucy Quaider, Scarlet Ribbons, KRM Sparkle, Fox Valley Elana and Lou’s Game N Match in the first race initial division of the “Flan.”

The Mike Brink trained filly Scarlet Ribbons is a daughter of Powerful Emotion out of the very fruitful broodmare Love You More who has already given us such ICF stalwarts as Fox Valley Lover (1:55), Fox Valley Luxury (1:57.2), Fox Valley Lexus (1:57.4), Fox Valley Legend (1:55.3), Fox Valley Lotus (1:57.30 and her full brother Hail Caesar (1:57.3).

The first race likely favorite will be the John D Finn Stable’s Sis’s Ellie Mae (Jared Finn) a solid second last week in her bow when she trotted in 2:01.3.

Making their debut in the sixth race second “Flan” split are First Aid Kit, Fox Valley Crimson, Lou’s Credit Report and Lou’s Misty Blue. The Rob Rittof Stable’s Dandy’s ESP (pp 1, Todd Warren) is the 3-2 favorite in my line.

The second race first division of the $10,000 Kadabra is expected to have the JD Finn trained Trixie’s Jethro (Jared Finn) as the post time favorite after he breezed on the front end in his debut with a 2:01.1 clocking.

Trixie's Jethro(Four Footed Photo of Trixie’s Jethro)

Among the newcomers in that Kadabra division are It’s My Man Ross, Polar B, Lousciper, Mighty Fortress and the Watch Is Ended, a half-brother to Fox Valley Steffen (1”55) still going strong at the age of 7 with 24 career wins and over $315,000 banked.

The fourth race second Kadabra division is the pari-mutel debut for 7 of the 8 horses in the field: Fox Valley Damon, Marching To Zion, Lougazi, Cassisandfifth, Swiss Bank, Flash Forward, and New Pay.

The lone exception is the eight-horse Matt Q (Casey Leonard) at 6-5 in my line after a wide mile from the 10-hole as a low-end favorite last week when he still got a third-place check for Quaid Racing of Chicago.

Fox Valley Damon is a Powerful Emotion colt out of the dam Armbro Adored. Her second foal was Pizzazzed (1:58.1, $236,970) who has been a successful sire for Fox Valley Standardbreds with such “Fox Valley” stalwarts as “Veto” (1:54.1), “Yoko” (1:55.2), “Legend” (1:556.3) and “Qatar” (1:56.)

Lougazi (Jamaica Patton) is the fourth foal by the Valley Victor mare Winning Blade. Her first was Grey and Cloudy (1:58.3), a 22-time winner who was the Springfield State Fair runner-up in 2013 as a freshman.

Cassisandfifth (Mike Brink) is the half-brother of Brink’s multiple ICF stake champion Tour Hall (1:55.2). Brink’s Marching To Zion is a half-bother to a pair of sub 1:55 trotters who raced out east, South Jersey Flash (1:54.3, $314,733) and South Jersey Honey (1:54, $261,750).

The Incredible Tillie stake series for ICF 2-year-old filly pacers gets under way Friday night. It had 72 nominations. The Incredible Finale stake series with its 61 eligible freshman pacing colts and geldings starts on Saturday evening.