Our Distaff Merry-Go-Round Continues


Fox Valley Exploit (Kyle Husted) got up in deep stretch to capture last week’s $13,700 Open for fillies and mares. The ICF mare leaves from post eight in tonight’s distaff feature. (Four Footed Fotos).

By Mike Paradise


The beginning lyrics of the nursery rhyme “round and round we go” seems to fit what is going on in the Chicago circuit’s filly and mare Open division.


Unlike last season, this year you can get dizzy trying to figure out what mare currently holds the top spot since every weekend a different pacing mare steps up and comes away with the top prize and half of the $13,700 pot being offered.


Last weekend it was Kyle Husted’s ICF mare Fox Valley Exploit, with the help of a great trip provided by her driver and co-owner. It was the five-year-old Sportsmaster mare’s first venture into the distaff Open this year and certainly not her last.


“Spreading the Wealth” around is a good thing for Illinois horsemen, especially when it comes at a disheartening time with inflation soaring, the price for a gallon of gas at the $4.00 level, and a trip to the grocery store likely to empty your wallet.


And that takes us to tonight’s filly and mare competitive confrontation:  Will we have our first double winner of the distaff Open since DC Batgirl won on January 8th and January 22nd?


Or is there another dark horse conqueror on the horizon. We’ll know the answer to that question after the seventh race feature is over (around 9:30 pm Central time.)


The race isn’t short on quantity tonight. It’s a full field of 10 going postward with the recent Open winners landing the four outside slots: Rollin Coal (Juan Franco), Fox Valley Exploit (Kyle Husted) It’s Time For Fun (Kyle Wilfong) and Maggie Rhee (Todd Warren), in that order.


The longshots of the co-feature will come from the first six posts. From the pole position out you’ll find Dreaming Image (Brandon Bates), Admit (Mike Oosting), My Uptowne Girl (Travis Seekman), Scorecard Dandy (Wyatt Avenatti), Rojo Caliente (Casey Leonard) and Suddenly Royal (Gary Rath).


A wide-open event?


You bet.


A Rerun in the Trot? The co-featured $13,700 Open for trotters has the exact same field as a week ago with its latest winner Talk About Valor again handicapped with the same outside six-post.


The star of the Gerald Hansen Stable went from last to first last week to win the Open trot for the third time in his last four starts and we may see the Shelly Steele owned ICF seven-year-old give us another sterling rally tonight.


Looking to keep the 2021 Illinois Aged Male Trotting champion from a repeat triumph are Muscular Babe (Kyle Wilfong), Magic Knight (Todd Warren), Rockyroad Aldo (Mike Oosting), Louscardamon (Kyle Husted) and Lousraptor (Kyle Husted). They’ll leave from posts one through five, in that order.