By Mike Paradise
Two more summer champions were crowned last night at Hawthorne. In one case the winner had to work hard to get the job done, in the other the victorious filly hardly broke out in a sweat to earn a stop in the winner’s circle.
The 3-5 favorite Apple Valley, nicely handled by Jordan Ross, wouldn’t be denied in the $50,000 Plum Peachy three-year-old Illinois bred filly championship.
It wasn’t easy but the James Molitor trained filly put away bids by Kzzzmelikeumissme and later by Pattycake Moose to win in 1:52.4 by a little more than one length. Pattycake Moose (Casey Leonard) was a game second while the 63-1 longshot Bombay Parkway rallied for the third-place dough with Wyatt Avenatti at her lines.
An early first quarter duel saw Pattycake Moose have command with Apple Valley dropping into second at the 28.1 first quarter pole. When Kyle Wilfong took Kzzzsmelikeumissme out of fourth and after the lead on the backside, he flushed out Apple Valley who sprinted to the top and hit the half in 55.4. The winner put away at bid by Kizzzmelikeumissme going into the last turn and then held tough for win number five in nine season starts for Glenwood, Illinois owner Michael Perrin.
Funny Wiggle (Kyle Wilfong) dominated the opposition in the $50,000 Beulah Dygert Memorial Championship for second season state-bred trotting fillies.
When the dust settled the Curt Grummel trained winner was almost seven lengths better in 1:55.4 than the bridesmaid Ironclad Creation (Atlee Bender), with Creations Dream MV finishing third.
Funky Wiggle ($3.40) was taken back at the start and settled in fifth, almost 10 lengths off the earlier pacesetter Ironclad Creation who got to the first quarter in 28.4 and the half in 57.4. Wilfong got the cover he wanted behind Lous Xanadu through the second and third quarters before the Steve Searle trainee went off stride.
The 2021 Illinois Two-Year-Old Filly of the Year powered past and drew off in a convincing manner for her third win in five season starts and upped in career earnings to $155,478 for her owner and breeder Dr Patrick Graham of Lockridge, Iowa.
“Tillie” Finalists Set: Three divisions of the Incredible Tillie stakes were contested last night to determine next week’s starting field for the $50,000 championship for ICF freshman filly pacers.
The first $12,000 division saw South Gate Sally (Atlee Bender) and Dandy’s Showtime (Casey Leonard) put on a torrid stretch duel with South Gate Sally ($7.60) proving best by a neck for trainer Mark Walker.
Both fillies came from far back, as did the fourth-place finisher, and the 4-5 favorite, Filly’s Revenge who broke at the start, fell far behind, and made-up ton of ground. The 70-1 longshot Lots Of Sass made the final with a third place finish to join South Gate Sally and Dandy’s Showtime as finalists.
South Gate Sally’s initial career victory came in her fifth start for Illinois owners Blake and Geoffrey Driskill and Mark and Karen Sue Walker, all of Carrollton.
In the third Incredible Tillie elimination Rona Mae, at 13-1 odds, put on a gutsy wining performance for her driver Phil Knox, beating the prohibitive 1 to 9 favorite The Magical Woman (Atlee Bender) in 1:56 flat.
Knox sent Rona Mae out at the start from the outside nine-slot. Bender took The Magical Woman out of fourth on the backside and raced first over to Rona Mae until the stretch and then passed the pacesetter only to have Rona Mae come back later in the lane to grab the victory,
Also making the “Tillie” final was the show horse U R My Shiningstar (Kyle Wilfong).
Daddys Revenge (Casey Leonard) uncorked a 27 flat last panel and pulled away to five-plus length 1:55 triumph in the last Incredible Tillie grouping. Trainer Mike Brink shares ownership with the $3.40 winner with Lori Searle of Springfield, Illinois.
Joining Daddys Revenge in the final are the second and third place fillies Roan By Design (Travis Seekman) and Rags To Riches (Atlee Bender)
“Flan” Finalists Secured: Only two divisions of the Fox Valley Flan for two-year-old state bred trotting fillies were needed with the first five finishers going on that championship.
In the first “Flan” division, Dawn Of Creation ($5.00) found room on the inside in the lane with driver Atlee Bender and won for the Mike Brink Stable by one length in 2:01.4.
Also making the final was the 50-1 longshot runner-up Lou Sangreal. Along with Fox Valley Adira (Gary Rath), Fox Valley Lisbon (Kyle Husted) and Lou Lexi Lou the third through fifth place trotters.
The overwhelming one to nine favorite Marvelous Mystery ($2.20) was dominant in the second Fox Valley Flan division winning by more than five lengths for driver Kyle Wilfong and trainer Curt Grummel in 1:59 flat.
The daughter of Lou’s Legacy is now unbeaten in six career starts for Carrolton, Illinois owners Curt and Craig Grummel. She’ll be joined in the championship by the second through fifth place finishers El Brea Brea (Jamaica Patton), Fox Valley Shania (Atlee Bender), Trotamileinmyshoes (Richard S. Finn) and Olympic Champion (Casey Leonard
Twice As Much: A double dose of Open paces highlights Sunday’s bigger-then-normal 13-race program. They’ll be contested as races three and four.
Two-time Illinois Harness Horse of the Year He’zzz A Wise Sky is back at Hawthorne for a third consecutive week and this time, unlike the last pair, he doesn’t have an easy assignment.
Assigned the outside six-slot, the star of the John Filomeno stable faces a much stronger group of pacers in the $12,300 fourth race open and horses and geldings.
Awaiting He’zzz A Wise Sky is Gardy’s Legacy A (Atlee Bender), winner of the July 15 local Open for the Erv Miller stable. The six-year-old Australian needed it all to eke out a nose victory over Primo Giovanni (pp 2, Todd Warren) and neck decision over Hidden Assassin (pp 3, Travis Seekman) in last week’s local Open. Gardy’s Legacy was allotted the five slot by the Hawthorne Race Office.
The four post went to Fox Valley Gemini (Casey Leonard), second best to He’zzz A Wise Sky in the Molaro events. Unlike those starts, tonight he’ll have help pushing the speedy He’zzz A Wise Sky.
Hello Sweetie Boy (pp 1, Kyle Husted), owned and trained by Kimberly Roth, completes the field.
A race earlier is the filly and mare open and it’s a wide-open affair according to the morning line and I’ll agree with that assumption. The Erv Miller stable’s Late Night Date A (pp 3, Atlee Bender), makes his Hawthorne debut as the 5-2 first flash favorite. Another Aussie bred, Late Night Date A won 3 of his last 4 starts at Hoosier.
Fox Valley Exploit (pp 4, Kyle Husted), Rock It Out (pp 5, Kyle Wilfong) and Live Is Hill (pp 6, Casey Leonard), all will open at 3-1 odds.
“Exploit” captured Hawthorne’s July 2nd Open. Rock It Out was a double Open winner recently in Kentucky, while Love I Hill was second in a Hoosier Park Open last week after winning her previous two starts at Hawthorne.
Ashlee’s Joy (pp 1, Todd Warren) and Tiamogonedancen (pp 2, Travis Seekman) are the longshot hopefuls in the race.
By Mike Paradise
It’s another jammed packed ICF stakes program on tap tonight with two $50,000 three-year-old championships and five elimination divisions to determine the starting field for next week’s two-year-old finals.
It’s only the latter part of July but already tonight’s $50,000 Plum Peachy summer showdown can separate the “contenders” in the sophomore filly division from the “pretenders.”
Going into tonight final four fillies—Apple Valley (Jordon Ross), Kizzzmelikeumissme (Kyle Wilfong), Pattycake Mooss (Casey Leonard) and Rollnroz (Archie Buford) have shown they’re for real and are championship caliber fillies.
Bombay Parkway (Wyatt Avenatti), Lady Bombay (Atlee Bender), Iwannarocknroll (Todd Warren), Stardust Gram (Cordarius Stewart) and Fox Valley Captiva (Travis Seekman) needs to show tonight they can move to the “contender” column.
When the James Molitor stable’s Apple Valley romped by more than six lengths in the Cardinal with a 1:51.4 clocking she moved to the head of the class in the division. However, last week’s Plum Peachy prep show that the Michal Perrin owned filly is not invincible.
Apple Valley was second best to the John Filomeno trained Kizzzmelikeumissme, with the help of a nifty drive by Kyle Wilfong, while the Gary Rath stable’s Pattycake Mooss had more pace than any other filly in the race in the last sixteenth of the mile.
“Wilfong gave my filly a terrific drive,” said Filomeno. “Kizzzmelikeumissme hasn’t been in her last few races. I’ve been treating her and she’s getting close to 100 per cent.”
Kizzzmelikeumissme’s only disappointing races came at Springfield in June and Filomeno blames himself for the showings. “I gave her a few months off after the winter meet and should have given her a qualifier or two but instead went for the money and raced her and she finished off the board for the only times this year.
“But she has bounced back and was more like her old self in last week’s prep.”
Kizzzmelikeumissme landed the seven slot tonight with Apple Valley and Pattycake Moose inside of her with the five and six slots respectively. The draw wasn’t kind to Rollnrozz. She received the nine-hole.
Favorites Inside: The other $50,000 championships tonight is the ninth race Beulah Dygert Memorial for second season state-bred trotting fillies.
Has luck would have it, the three favorites—Ironclad Creation (Atlee Bender), Lous Xanadu (Casey Leonard) and Funky Wiggle (Kyle Wilfong)—drew the 1, 2 and 3 posts, in that order.
From the four-slot out you’ll find Tis The Loft (Juan Franco), Jazelyn (Cordarius Stewart), Creations Dream V (Jamaica Patton), Fiftini (Kyle Husted), Lous Monamie (Travis Seekman) and Hot Trotn Trixie (Jordon Ross).
Bevy of Elims: Eliminations for the Incredible Tillie will go in three divisions for ICF freshman pacing fillies, races three, seven, and ten. The first three finishers in each split advance to next weekend’s championships. They’ll be joined by a fourth-place finisher determined by a drawing.
The Fox Valley eliminations were split into two divisions—events four and eight on the card—with the first five finishers in each moving along to the two-year-old trotting final. Mike Brink’s Dawn Of Creations and Steve Searle’s Daisys Duchess are the early favorites in the first division while Curt Grummel’s Marvelous Mystery, undefeated in five outings, is the second group’s early betting choice.
Two Champions Crowned: The three-year-old ICF $50,000 Summer championships were decided last night, and it was Fox Valley Cairo (Kyle Wilfong) and front-stepping winner of the Erwin F. Dygert Memorial trot and Get E Up (Kyle Husted) capturing the $50,000 Robert F. Carey Memorial pace.
Lousdobb (Casey Leonard) the 4 to 5 post time favorite in the Dygert was eliminated right from the get-go when he went off stride soon after the start. That opened the door to victory lane for Fox Valley Cairo ($4.20) and the Mike Brink trainee took advantage of it, going right to the top and posting 1:56.2 front-end victory by two plus lengths over Mr Mizzou (Juan Franco). Good Boy (Atlee Bender) was third best.
Get E Up ($4.80), sent off at 7-5 odds, used a second over journey to wear down the pacesetting Fox Valley Ozzy (Casey Leonard) in deep stretch after the latter was pushed to a quick 55.2 first half.
The 1:51.2 mile was a new lifetime mark for the winning Amy Husted trained gelding owned by David Brigham of Concord, Michigan, John Schwartz of Wood Dale, Illinois and Kyle Husted, Altamont, Illinois.
Josie Rocksmyworld (Travis Seekman) edged a locked-in Fox Valley Crete (Juan Franco) for third place.
Moving Along Were: Three elimination divisions of the $12,000 Incredible Finale for two-year-old state breds male pacers were contested Friday evening.
Kage Daniel ($7.80), given a two-hole trip by driver Todd Warren won the first split by about a length in 1:54 flat for trainer Tom Graham Jr. and owner Shelly Graham of Salem, Illinois. Also advancing to next weekend’s final were the second and third place finishers, the 3-5 favorite Fox Valley Patriot (Atlee Bender) and Ghost Shark (Travis Seekman).
The 4-5 favorite Fox Valley Langley, also driven by Kyle Wilfong, got his nose in front of Fox Valley Cayman (Casey Leonard) in the final stride to take the second Incredible Finale division in 1:53.4. The third-place finisher Illini Jetset (Atlee Bender) also made the final.
The Erv Miller stable’s Fox Valley Jasper (Atlee Bender) breezed in the third grouping, almost four lengths the best in a 1:53 flat mile for Illinois owners Bowie Racing (Streamwood) and Engle Stable of Illinois (Northbrook).
Also advancing were the second and third place finishers Fox Valley Steeler (Casey Leonard) and Fox Valley Auburn (Todd Warren).
The two Kadabra freshman trotting colt eliminations went to Dennis Garner’s Tankmetodennyland (Kyle Wilfong) and Niko Man (Kyle Husted).
Also moving along to next week’s Kadabra championship are Ain’t N Mojo (Atlee Bender), Youain’tnofool (Cordarius Stewart). Rosita’s Dream (Anthony MacDonald) and Tequilalittletime (Travis Seekman) from the first division that went in 2:00 flat. From the second group, the other finalists are Judge Me Not (Todd Warren), Lous Andiamo (Casey Leonard), Goomster (Kyle Wilfong) and Whatta Year (Charles Arthur)
By Mike Paradise
Last week Erwin F. Dygert Memorial prep did little to clear up the ICF three-year-old trotting colt and gelding division. Instead, the outlook for the state-bred group of trotters got even fuzzier.
That’s because Mr Mizzou came out of nowhere and popped at 12-1 odds, disposing of the division favorites in 1:58.3 with Juan Franco at his reigns.
The Jim Molitor trained gelding came into the race with one win in 10 tries this season after going winless in seven outings has a freshman. However, Franco carved out a winning journey with the three-year-old Cassius homebred at a tidy winning mutuel of $27.20.
Of course, the complexity of the race changed dramatically when the pre-race favorite Lousdobb, unbeaten in three second season starts, was a late “judges” scratch.
Mr Mizzou came into the race with modest first season earnings of $8,314 and almost $11,000 added in 10 tries this year. Nevertheless, the young trotter last week was given a notable trip by Juan and took advantage of it.
Fox Valley Cairo, with almost $113,000 on his card in 15 lifetime trips to the gate had to settle for second best, beaten a half-length in 1:58.3
Mr Mizzou drew back inside for tonight’s championship. He has the pole position. Fox Valley Cairo (Kyle Wilfong) starts in the middle of the pack with the five.
Back this week is Lousdobb (Casey Leonard). The streaking Steve Searle trained gelding is in a good spot with the three-post His 1:56.2 victory in the Cardinal was a new lifetime mark for the son of Lou’s Legacy, and it’s the fastest time among the starters by a full second.
Looking for pull off an upset are Hot To Trot Sparky (Jamaica Patton), Good Boy (Atlee Bender), Romantic Warrior (Gary Rath) Lou’s Di Nomite (Curt Grummel) and Lous Lancelot (Travis Seekman).
Second $50,000 Final: The other $50,000 championship on the line tonight is the Robert F. Carey Memorial and second season state-bred pacing colts and geldings and it looks like a doozie.
It’s another match-up between last year’s freshman champion Fox Valley Ozzy (Casey Leonard) and Get E Up Kyle Husted), who beat the Gary Rath trainee at Springfield as a freshman and got the job done against his rival in last Friday’s Carey prep and did it racing without cover. His 1:52 mile came on a “good track.”
Note that Get E Up’s win last came with the youngster on Lasix for the first time.
The Carey final is my no means a two-horse race.
Josie Rockmyworld (Travis Seekman), fourth last week, beat “Ozzy” and Get E Up a start earlier in the Cardinal and is back on the rail tonight for trainer Michele Weinmann.
Then there’s Kingofmyheart (pp 7, Atlee Bender) who got stuck behind a tiring horse last week and did well to get third place money.
Don’t overlook Fox Valley Crete who had to work hard to make the front and paced a 56.2 half before weakening in the lane. He has the five slot for driver Juan Franco. This will be the Nelson Willis trainee’s second start on Lasix.
Looking to pull off a huge upset are Frontier Bombay (Anthony MacDonald), Major Grin (Cordarius Stewart), Spoken For (Kyle Wilfong) and Likely Blue Bayou (Richard S Finn), a first time Lasix user..
Important Freshmen Elims: Also, on an excellent Friday night card are three elimination divisions of the Incredible Finale for two-year-old ICF male pacers. It’ll take a third-place finish of higher to be assured of making next week’s Championship.
A drawing among the trio of fourth place finishers will determine the final starting berth.
The Kadabra eliminations will go in two $12,000 divisions with the top five finishers in each advancing to next weekend’s finals.