Surprises Galore in Springfield Finals
By Mike Paradise
It’s the closing day of the 2016 harness racing meeting with four more Illinois State Colt Fair Stake Championships to be decided, all for aged trotters or pacers. Yesterday afternoon the eight ISFCS finals for 2 and 3-year-olds were rattled off with plenty of surprises.
However, there wasn’t one in the first Illinois State Fair Colt Stake Championship for 2-year-old filly trotters as Anna’s Lucky Star had no trouble staying unbeaten in four career starts with regular driver Kyle Wilfong.
The home-bred trotter was more than five lengths the best for trainer Nelson Willis and owner Danny Graham of Salem, Illinois who also breeder the daughter if Cassius. Anna’s Lucky Star ($5.50) settled into fourth early-on and then came out and had her head in front at the 59 flat at the half.
A quick 28.1 third quarter put the field away and the winner’s 1:56.4 clocking was almost three seconds fastest than her previous three winning miles.
There was a shocker in the next $35,000 2-year-old colt and gelding trot final when Polar B (Todd Warren) popped at 20-1 odds for Brownsville, Illinois owner Wayne Temple of Mokena, Illinois. The Hosea Williams trainee came into the race 1 for 6 with a little over $6,500 on her card and left Springfield with another $17,500 in purse earnings.
The favorites Trixie’s Jethro, Matt Q and Louscipher all battled in the early going setting things up nicely for the son of Polar Winner to rally past in the lane in a time of 1:57.2 and paying $42.60.
The $35,000 freshman filly pace final didn’t go as expected either and again it was Todd Warren in the bike, this time behind trainer Nick Prather’s Artemesia at 5-1 odds for owner Megan Rogers Stable of Chicago, Illinois.
A daughter of Sagebrush, Artemesia ($13.60) previously hadn’t won a pari-mutuel race. Her earlier first place finish came at the Lincoln Fair in 2:02.1 nevertheless Wednesday she got up in time for a 1:53.2 clocking, overtaking Razzleme Dazzleme by three-quarters of a length.
The 6-5 favorite San Antonio, a stable-mate of Artemesia, led at every pole except the one that counted, the finish pole, and faded to fourth.
The stunner of the afternoon came in the $35,000 2-year-old colt championship when the division leading Gabe Henry saw his five racing winning streak go by the wayside when Casey Leonard gave Fox Valley Inferno a great trip and the Nelson Willis trainee responded by wearing down the heavy 3-5 favorite at 9-1 odds.
An early battle among some of the longshots saw the first quarter to in a quick 26.4 first quarter. Gabe Henry (Todd Warren) got the lead at the half with Fox Valley Inferno right behind him.
Gabe Henry had to fight off Sork through the third quarter and didn’t have enough at the end to hold of Fox Valley Inferno, owned by Quaid Racing of Chicago, Illinois. The son of Sportsmaster’s third straight win, a season best 1:52.2 mile, came at a $21.60 mutuel.
The Mike Brink Stable’s Praise Singer ($8.40) showed that his surprise win at 23-1 in last week’s 3-year-old filly trot elimination was for real when he took the $30,000 Final in comfortable fashion with Ridge Warren again at this lines.
It was the 20- longshot Roma Falls who was second, beaten 2 and 1/2 lengths while third place went to Ryleigh’s Marie. The 1:56.3 mile was a career fastest for the Pizzazzed filly Praise Singer owned by Illinoisans H. W. Wright (Morton) and South of the Track Racing (Brimfield).
The favorites continued to fall in the last three stakes as well.
Ridge Warren gave PJ Boy a perfect trip and the Mike Rogers trained gelding pulled off an upset at 9-1 odds in the $30,000 3-year-old colt and gelding trotting final with a head decision over the 3-5 public’s choice Primed N Powerful.
Owned by Donald and Sharri Huddleston PJ Boy was making his 44th career start and his earlier four victories all came on fair tracks with the best previous winning mile of 2:06.3. Wednesday he knocked off more than 10 off that time 1:56 mile.
Char N Marg went postward in the $30,000 3-year-old filly pace perfect in six season starts in her division but she had to settle for a late-closing third this time around as Bucklegirl Bobette ($5.00) was given a winning pocket trip by Kyle Wilfong behind the pacesetting second place finisher Lexington Lady/
Trained by Bob Walker who shares ownership of the Duneside Perch filly with Hart Walker, Charles Walker and Robyn Klinger, all of Illinois, her time was 1:53.3.
In the finale it was Wilfong again getting the job done with another up-close journey, this time with BS Tyrrific in the $36,000 freshman 3-year-old male pace at 7-1 odds.
Caffibe Kid was only a head short of the Robert Sanders trainee, with Royale Rose flying late to be third, beaten only a neck.
BS Tyriffic ($16.40), a three-time season winner, is owned by his breeders Robert Buttice and Frank Santelli, along with Jeremy Buttice, along with Louis Buttice.
Mike’s Springfield Selections
1—Fox Valley Charm, Feel Like Dancing, Incredible Filly
2—Kabam, Lou’s Game N Match, Mystical Darling
3—Madd Hoss Jackson, Gambling Babe, Duneside Charlie\
4—Princess Sage, Piraeus, Lady’s Party,
5—Fiveknuckleshuffle, Dinky Dune, Dixie’s Boy
6—Show Stoppin Money, Winnie Hall, Coming Up Tough
7—Big Time So N So, Bass Player, Mississippi Rabbit
8—Infatuated Love, Exclusive Design, Dune On Time
9—Shez So Sassy, Macie Rae, Ants Iner Pants
10—Somestarsomewhere, Madoff, Sporty Gypsy
Best Bet: Somestartsomewhere (10th race)