Some Interesting Facts from NOC

By Mike Paradise

They say figures don’t lie so here are some facts and figures from last weekend’s Night of Champions that may surprise you.

***The total handle on the Night of Champions was $1,163,938 with 13 races. In 2017 the handle was $1,210,346 with only 12 races. That’s a net decline this year of $48,408 despite having one more race.

***This year’s added two $25,000 Invitational races saw the trot event handle $59,318 while the pace brought in $57,846. That’s counting win-place-slow, exacta, trifecta and superfecta on each. Other than a $50 starting fee, totally only $1,000, the $50,000 in purse money for the invites came from the Illinois Harness Horsemen’s Purse Account.

 The Beulah Dygert sophomore filly trot final, along with the three other ICF trotting championships for either two or three state-bred 3-year-olds, out-handled the open Invitational Trot on the Night of Champions. (Four Footed Fotos)

The Beulah Dygert sophomore filly trot final, along with the three other ICF trotting championships for either two or three state-bred 3-year-olds, out-handled the open Invitational Trot on the Night of Champions. (Four Footed Fotos)

***The Beulah Dygert final for ICF 3-year-old filly trotters that preceded the Invitational Trot handled 70,335 or $11,017 more.

***The Incredible Tillie 2-year-old filly trot that went a couple of races earlier brought in $95,123 or $35,809 more than the Invite trot.

***The Erwin Dygert 3-year-old male trot, the last race on the card, had $75,657 bet on win-place-show and its gimmicks, about $20,000 higher.

***The Robert Molaro Pace that went before the Invitational Pace raked-in $90,779, almost $33,000 more than the Invite. The Robert Carey 3-year-old colt pace that followed the two Invites had $92,667 bet on it, nearly $35,000 larger.

***In 2017 a $10,000 six horse field Open Pace was the initial event on the NOC and it had $42,694 wagered on it. This time round the $136,142 Incredible Finale championship for 2-year-old male pacers went first and it handled $58,992. Last Saturday’s Daily Double pool was only about $2,000 more than last year.

The Robert Molaro for older ICF pacers colts and geldings that preceded the Invitational Pace on the NOC and the pictured Robert Carey for state-bred 3-year-old male pacers that followed each had more than $33,000 bet on them than the open company Invite. (Four Footed Fotos)

The Robert Molaro for older ICF pacers colts and geldings that preceded the Invitational Pace on the NOC and the pictured Robert Carey for state-bred 3-year-old male pacers that followed each had more than $33,000 bet on them than the open company Invite. (Four Footed Fotos)

***On the other hand, the first NOC Pick Five in 2017 saw $11,053 bet into the pool while the first Pick Five pool this year was almost 2 and 1/2 times greater with $28,639 wagered on it.

***While there were some nice horses in the NOC’S $25,000 Invites the previous night Hoosier Park lured the country’s cream of the crop of older horses with its $200,000 Caesars Trot and the $177,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby when it hosted Grand Circuit Night, the Indiana facility’s annual blockbuster evening of racing held at this same time every year.

Fall Classic Today: Harness racing in Illinois for 2018 isn’t quite over for many ICF paces and trotters. Saturday is the Fall Classic at the Springfield Fairgrounds.

A total of 18 non-wagering races will be contested with the first event going off at 11:00 in the morning. The first 14 Springfield races, all with $3,751 purses, are for state-bred two or three-year-olds horses. Four IHHA sponsored affairs for older Illinois breds will then follow.