By Mike Paradise
The fourth and final legs of the ICF stakes series for 2 and 3-year-olds of both gaits and sexes are this week at Hawthorne and for a number of youngsters and their owners it’s the last chance to be a the pretender or a contender in their respective divisions.
Securing a starting berth in each 10-horse division final of the September 10 Night of Champions card is determined on an accumulative point basis and most of the top horses in each division have locked-up berths in their championships by now.
For plenty of others, that’s not the case and a good showing in a stake series final leg is needed to make the Top Ten series purse earners and a shot at the winner’s share of a $100,000 purse or a Consolation event for less than half that amount.
Let’s examine Thursday’s two Dygert Series Stake races.
The Ervin S. Dygert Memorial for ICF 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings has Fear and Hail Caesar already “in” with 101 points earned. Wrightwood (52 points), Mr. Strata (60) and Primed N Powerful (45) appear to be in good shape. Bands Ariston (38) and Powerful Father (34) chances look favorable.
However, the current eight, ninth and tenth place vote earners—Psychic Survivor (17), PJ Boy (17) and Dr. Venkman (13)—are in shaky positions.
HS Karissa (6), Recovery Mode (5) and Praise Singer (2) all are in striking position to crack that Top Ten.
In the Kadabra for freshman trotting males, Matt Q (150), Trixie’s Jethro (125), Cassisandfifth (62), Louscipher (58), and Totally Piazzazed (55) all are good to go. Bands Houdini (38), Marching To Zion (29) and New Pay (25) chances for the final look favorable.
Swiss Bank (13) and Polar B (13), the current ninth and tenth place horses could be in trouble unless they come up with a high finish Thursday night.
The 2-year-old filly trot Fox Valley Flan has Lou’s Credit Report (105), She’s Savvy (100), Dandy’s ESP (70) and Sis’s Ellie Mae (7) wrapping up a final berth. You can “pencil-in” Beatrice (51), Fox Valley Elasa (42) and Lou’s Game N Match (37).
Ninth place now belongs to Lucy Quaider (27) and tenth to Daisy Lou Duke (25) and their owners have a right to be nervous going into Thursday’s last leg of the “Flan” stake series.
We’ll find out Thursday night just how this all plays out. Then it’s the final legs for the two and three-year-old ICF pacing fillies on Friday’s card and for freshmen and sophomore colt or gelding pacers on Saturday in their respective stake series finales.
One thing you can bet on is that it will be an interesting week for racing fans, and for some trainers and their owners, a nerve-racking one.
Good luck to all the participants.
Doubling Up: Congratulations are extended to Jamaica Patton who won Du Quoin State Fair meet’s driver title and to Roshun Trigg, the meet’s leading trainer.
Patton and Trigg, both Mississippi natives, were also honored last weekend at Du Quoin by the I.H.H.A. as this year’s leading driver and trainer on the Illinois County Fair Circuit.