By Mike Paradise
It’s a rare weekend at Hawthorne without any ICF stake races on the next couple of cards.
With Springfield opening six days from now much of the state-bred freshman crop are taking the week off while it’s just the opposite for some of the better three-year-old Illinois breds. They’ll be in action staying sharp for the upcoming Springfield stake eliminations and championship event.
For example: Recent Robert F. Carey Memorial summer champion Get E Up (Kyle Husted); last year’s two-year-old ICF colt champion Fox Valley Ozzie (Gary Rath) and June’s Cardinal winner Josie Rocksmyworld (Tidd Warren) will knock heads in tonight’s second race strictly for three-year-olds.
Non-state breds Corporalpunishment (Casey Leonard) and Sunny And Eighty (Jamaica Patton), both recent winners, will test the Illinois trio.
Friday’s feature is the third race $12,500 Open Pace where horses will try to end He’zzz A Wise Sky’s unbeaten 2022 winning streak at Hawthorne.
The Triple ZZZ Stable’s speedy hotshot took the last two weeks off for some R&R but you can be sure trainer John Filomeno will have the talented four-year-old ready to roll as he attempts to make it nine-for-nine on the local scene this year.
To the surprise of no one, Hawthorne’s Race Office assigned He’s A Wise Sky (Kyle Wilfong) the outside eight slot. His strongest threats tonight also have outside slots, last week’s Open winner Hidden Assassin (Travis Seekman) was allocated the seven-post while Hawthorne newcomer His Beats Hanover (Kyle Husted), a double Open winner at Oak Grove in Kentucky, was given the six post for his Husted stable debut.
The four-year-old His Beats Hanover is a son of Somestarsomewhere out of a Dragon Again mare and sold for a hefty $150,000 as a yearling at the Lexington Select Sale by Hanover Shoe Farms.
The horse raced out of the Ron Burke barn much of last year when he made over $80,000 and took his mark of 1:50.4 at The Meadowlands. He competed in some east coast stakes such as the Tattersall, John Simpson, and Liberty Bell.
His Beats Hanover spent the first four months of this year racing out east at Dover Downs, Harrington, and Philadelphia for trainer Jason Johnson. He was sold to his current California owner A Piece Of The Action in late April and went to Kentucky where he was handled by trainer Wayne Oke and had four first place finishes in nine trips to the starting gate.
Now four, Hidden Assassin made only one start as a two-year-old and it was a winning effort at Hawthorne. The Art Major gelding, out of the ICF mare The Assassinator, started two more times in early summer of 2021 at Hawthorne and won both of those as well.
Hidden Assassin was then sent off to upstate New York and campaigned at Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs and Yonkers through mid-September before shipping to Hoosier where he raced in a couple of Opens 3’s for trainer Michael Deters.
This year he’s been under the care of conditioner Rick Schrock, who had the talented pacer in his first three career winning starts at Hawthorne, Hidden Assassin rejoined Rick for the horse’s four-year-old campaign in mid-June and the horse has been a tiger ever since.
Hidden Assassin has been third or better in all seven starts, winning three of them. His biggest effort may have come in a third-place finish back on July 8th when the horse paced the last quarter of the mile in 26 seconds flat when he lost by a head.
What turned the horse around for his four-year-old season.?
“I think the horse just figured it out himself what it’s all about,” answered Rick.
Even though last week’s Open victory came on the front end, that’s not Hidden Assassin’s favorite way of racing.
“He likes to come from out of it and go past horses in the stretch,” said Schrock.
Warrawee Veloce (Todd Warren), second best to Hidden Assassin last week, has the four post while Primo Giovanni (Casey Leonard), the third place finisher to He’zzz A Wise Sky two weeks ago, leaves from the three
The first two posts will be manned by longshot hopefuls Hello Sweetie Boy (Cordadius Stewart)) and Rock Jagger (Atlee Bender).