By Mike Paradise
There’s an old idiom that “One Makes a Difference and it sometimes does. It might be one person who made that difference, or maybe one vote that changed an outcome.
This weekend at Hawthorne the one- difference, was the one- more entry in Sunday’s first leg of the Erwin F. Dygert colt and gelding trot, changing things in a big way for those owners and trainers with horses in the race.
Both Friday’s opening round of the Carey series for ICF male pacers and last night’s Plum Peachy filly pace saw 11 horses entered and both fields went to the gate in single divisions with a $12,500 purse on each.
However, with an even dozen passing the entry box for Sunday’s Erwin Dygert, the added money event had to be split into a pair of six-horse fields with $12,500 divisions on each, as mandated by the stake series rules. So instead of six starters not getting a check like in the Carey and Plum Peachy, only one Dygert split horse in each won’t, while the winning owners of the two trotters will haul-in the $6,250 first place share of the purses.
They’ll go as races three and four on Sunday’s 11 race card.
The first division is headed up by the 7-5 morning line favorite, Trixie’s Turbo (pp 3, Tim Curtin), last season’s Illinois 2-Year-Old Colt Trotter of the Year. The Jill White trained Trixie’s Turbo made a break in last week’s prep after a dominating win, the first time on Lasix, against a similar field.
Trixie’s Turbo boasts a career bankroll of over $100,000 and an impressive record of eight first place finishes in 14 lifetime starts.
Lousraptor (pp 1, Casey Leonard), a seven time freshman winner, and Frontier Manard (Freddie Patton Jr.), a strong second a week ago, appear to be the biggest threats. The longshot hopes are Prince Cassius (Ridge Warren), Swaneelou (Curt Grummel) and Captainblacksparrow (Kyle Wlfong).
The fourth race second split has last year’s Springfield champion Louscardamon (pp 6, Kyle Husted), at opening odds of even-money. The Steve Searle trained gelding went 5-fo-9 in his first season while earning $43,333.
Going to the gate against Louscardamon are: For Trots Sake (Casey Leonard), Super Betcha (Ridge Warren), Lous Endeavor (Juan Franco), Fox Valley Cruise (Travis Seekman) and Big Garcia Vega (Ronnie Gillespie).
A field of nine will tangle in the sixth race Beulah Dygert for second season filly trotters, with last year’s champ Louzotic (pp 2, Kyle Husted), certain to get the lion’s share of the public’s wagering.
Starting inside is the star of the Steve Searle stable is E L Game On, Kyle Wilfong). Posts three through nine will be manned by Fox Valley Elicit (Tim Curtin), Count On It (Tyler Shehan), Puddin Cheeks (Jared Finn), Skippymalou ( Ryan Anderson), Joe Jo’s Violet (Casey Leonard), Ivanka (Travis Seekman) and Heidi High (Juan Franco).
Late Closer Finales : Three more Late Closer series championships will also be decided tonight, the Mike Paradise (race two), the Tony Salvaro (race four), and the Phil Georgeff (race eight), where Roshun Trigg’s Captain Mulzac, trained and driven by Ronnie Gillespie, has been much the best in that series’ first two legs.
The Terry Leonard stable’s Fox Valley Triton (pp 3, Casey Leonard), is a prohibitive 4-5 programmed favorite in the Paradise, while Image Cruisingaway (pp 1, Tim Curtin) is a low-end 7-5 early choice in the Salvaro.
Long Time Coming: The 5-year-old ICF mare Anna’s Lucky Star ($7.40), went from last to first, with driver Kyle Wilfong and overtook the 6-5 favorite Pine Dream in deep stretch, to take last night’s $12,000 Open Trot in 1:54.1, equaling the track record for an aged trotting mare, set some 17 years ago.
It was career victory No. 25 for Anna’s Lucky Star, trained by Nelson Willis for Salem, Illinois owner Danny Graham. Picky Picky Valor came on well to finish third.
She’s on Top: Perch (Kyle Wilfong), overcame a start from post 11 in the second tier rallid past Fox Valley Torrid (Casey Leonard), to gain a head decision in Saturday’s $12,500 first leg of the Plum Peachy stake series for ICF pacing fillies.
The Dunseide Perch filly, trained by Jay Garrels, covered the mile in 1:53.3 for her seventh career triumph in 13 starts.
Now That’s Close: Earlier in the night the Bob Larry series final figured to be a very competitive showdown and it was just that, when less than one length separated the first place finisher Hart To Heart (Ridge Warren), from the fourth place horse Salvatore (Casey Leonard).
Rock Steady Ron (Jamaica Patton), was a game second, beaten a head in the 1:52 flat mile, while Heza Real Diamond was third, only a neck behind the Mike Brick trained winner owned by Illinoisans Donna Crebs (Cantrall) and Judy Conzo (Lincoln).