By Mike Paradise
The wait is over.
Harness racing returns to Hawthorne tonight after a 12 week hiatus, with a 10-race card highlighted by the first legs of four Late Closer series races.
We won’t have to wait long for the first of the Late Closer events. The $8,500 Bea Farber for trotters without $30,000 in lifetime earnings ($45,000 for ICF horses or fillies or mares), goes as race two and its eight-horse field consists of seven state-bred trotters.
The lone non-Illinois bred in the Farber is the Wilfong family’s Bazaar Bazaar (Kyle Wilfong). The 5-2 morning line favorite has picked up almost $20,000 this season campaigning in Late Closer events at Miami Valley Raceway in Ohio and Indiana’s Hoosier Park.
True Detective (3-1, Casey Leonard), from the Curt Grummel Stable heads up the Illinois contingent. The now 3-year-old gelding won 5 of his first 7 starts as a freshman, including the Cardinal Final and a trio of Kadabra stake series races. The gelding banked over $37,000 in his first season for his owner Dr. Patrick Graham of Pittsfield, Illinois.
Lous Silver Star (Tyler Shehan), Dr Spengler (Curt Grummel), Southern Appeal (Juan Franco), White Pants Fever (Kyle Husted) and Totally Pazzazzed (Tim Curtin), are the other state-bred Bea Farber hopefuls.
The fourth race $8,000 Daryl Busse Trot, landed a boatload of first leg starters, 12 to be exact, so that means they’ll be 10 across with Mighty Oaks Mandy (Ryan Anderson) and Big Lou (Casey Leonard), the 5-2 first flash choice, in the second tier.
Posts one through ten belong to Lous Misty Blue (Tim Curtin), Krisky K (Ridge Warren), Sunny Sasha (John D. Finn), Undeniable Emotion (Mike Rogers), Dancing Devil (Joel Smith), Casino Cash (Kyle Wilfong), BroadwayMojo (Issac Love), Cuckdance (Juan Franco), Whata Cantaulous (Kyle Husted) and Never Say That Brett Wilfong).
The Joel Smith Stable’s Dancing Devil, is making his career debut as a 3-year-old. The $55,000 yearling buy was unraced as a freshman. The Indiana bred is a brother to Swan Leader, a 20-time career winner with a mark of 1:54 and Fearless Man with gaudy numbers of 36 lifetime wins, earnings of $586,049 and a lifetime best mile of 1:52.1.
The $8,500 Walter Paisley and the $8,000 Dave Magee opening leg series paces go back-to-back as Friday’s seventh and eighth on the card. The Paisley is for fillies and mares with under $30,000 lifetime ($45,000 for ICF distaffers), heading into April 1st.
A trio of mares who had success competing in Late Closer at Hawthorne’s winter meet are among the nine Paisley starters—Fox Valley Catwalk (Tim Curtin), November Rain (Casey Leonard) and C Far (Gary Rath).
They’ll be challenged by Island Campaign (Travis Seekman), Real Sheila (Tyler Shehan), Wimple’s Dimple (Kyle Wilfong), Princess Oshie (Richard S. Finn), Angel Dance (Tim Curtin) and Beamer N Bud (Ryan Anderson).
Rodney Freese’s Fox Valley Catwalk, has rattled off five consecutive season victories and that includes a sweep of the Doc Walker Series and its $25,000 final. November Rain, trained by Terry Leonard, captured the $25,000 Late Closer for ICF fillies and mares while C Far, runner-up to November Rain in the finale, earlier took a pair of series legs for owners Gary and Kathryn Rath.
The Magee is for strictly ICF 3-year-old fillies without $10,000 banked in their careers and it has a full field. From the pole position out, you’ll find Tempest Heart (Kyle Wilfong), Ruby Doobie (Gary Rath), Frontier Red (Tim Shehan), Fox Valley Eurofic (Jerome Daniels), Piana (Casey Leonard), Ashlee’s Joy (Kyle Husted), Ryan’s Mistress (Juan Franco), Jazzy Bern (Cliff Bell), Day of Decision (Tim Curtin) and Little Adaline (Ryan Anderson).
Little Adaline and Frontier Red are first-time Lasix users.
A Reminder: Tomorrow is Kentucky Derby Saturday and Hawthorne will have a special early 6:30 first post to take advantage of the larger crowds at its facility and the OTB’s watching the 144th edition of “The Run for the Roses” slated to go off at 5:50 pm.