It’s Saturday Night Live at Hawthorne

By Mike Paradise

The first Saturday night feature of Hawthorne’s summer meet brings out six solid pacers in an $8,500 “Winner’s Over” event with the likely betting favorite the Tom Simmons Stable’s classy pacer Somestarsomewhere.

The eighth race headliner will be the first start for Somestarsomewhere since early February when the 5-year-old dropped a scant nose decision in a $12,500 Open at the end of Hawthorne’s winter meet, the pacer’s first career start on Lasix.

Four week earlier Somestarsomewhere did win on the Hawthorne big track with veteran driver Dale Hiteman who returns tonight to guide the horse away from the outside six-slot in the Winner’s Over $30,000 lifetime Handicap.

  (Four Footed Photo)

Somestaromewhere lifetime earnings are more than $300,000 over tonight’s needed earnings level to start in the headliner. The horse was bought by Clinard Properties of Mt. Sterling, Illinois at the 2014 Meadowlands January Sale for $90,000 after racking up over $275,000 in purse money as a 2 and 3-year-old when he was a Breeders Crown finalist both years.

A son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the Art Major broodmare Lovely Assistant, the colt sold for $110,000 as a yearling.

After his last winter race at Hawthorne Simmons brought the pacer back to his farm in Springfield for some R & R. Tom first tried to qualify him on April 15 at the Springfield Fair Grounds but was unsuccessful. In fact, the horse ended-up distanced.

“He had some respiratory problems earlier and in his first (April) qualifier the horse bled through his Lasix. I don’t think we gave him quite enough that day. His throat was really inflamed and he came to a walk in the lane.

“We gave him a week off, treated him, and he cleared-up. He came back last week with a nice qualifier.”

The horse’s second qualifier on April 29 with Simmons was a winning effort in 1:56.4 on a track “listed” good but according to Tom was far from it.

“The track was really bad,” continued the veteran Illinois horseman. “The track was sinking-in about an inch and half and was probably 3 or 4 seconds off, so I was pleased with that qualifying time.

“He may need a start but he should be pretty good against those horses.”

Somestarssomewhere is listed as the 4-1 third choice in the Hawthorne program however I think he’ll go off as the betting favorite despite the layoff and have him at 2-1 in my line.

The Jim Ellison Stable’s Freedomformysoul is the program’s 2-1 choice and the 4-year-old this season has been a busiest horse in the race. He’s made 13 starts and won 4 of them, including an outing at Hawthorne back in mid-January and $12,500 and $25,000 conditioned events last month at the Miami Valley Raceway in Ohio.

Delight Fashion, from the Nelson Willis Stable, is listed at 5-2 in the program after a number of solid efforts at Hoosier Park over the past month. He’s reunited with Casey Leonard and drew nicely with the two-post.

Listed at 6-1 is the Angie Affrunti trainee Southwind Scorpion (Matt Krueger) who loves a long stretch like Hawthorne’s, and the Ray Hanna Stable’s ICF 5-year-old Cole Heat (Pat Curtin) who comes off a 1:52.3 mile in Indiana. The latter has a lifetime mark of 1:49.4, taken last year at Balmoral.

Making his first start as a 3-year-old is Lawrence Crawford Wondrous Sport (8-1, Travis Seekman), who was acquired by his Port St. Joe, Florida owner at the beginning of February and now races for Springfield based trainer Mike Brink.

Wondrous Sport was a model of consistency when he raced out of the barn of trainer Gary Rath as a freshman. He finished third or better in 11 of 12 starts and banked almost $90,000. The Sportsmaster gelding captured his first four career starts, including the $52,000 Mini Me Final.

Wondrous Sport, who hasn’t raced since his third place finish last October 2 in the Cardinal Final, will compete for the first time on Lasix tonight.