By Mike Paradise
The finalists for next Saturday’s three-year-old Night of Champion events were determined last night after a quartet of $15,000 final series legs were completed, each with a $15,000 pot on the line.
First up was the Robert F. Carey Memorial stake series for sophomore pacing colts and geldings where Ideal Big Guy (Casey Leonard) led from start to finish with a new lifetime mark of 1:54.4. The 14-1 longshot BC’s Tufftiger (Archie Buford) enjoyed a pocket trip and finished second, beaten two lengths.
Ideal Big Guy’s victory was his fourth of the year for Illinois owners Dandy Farms Racing (Glenview), Peter Kouchis (Palos Hills), Martin Buckley (Plainfield) and trainer Terry Leonard (Harvard).
Ideal Big Guy ($6.40) finished on top of the final Carey standings with 136 points earned. Unofficially, also qualifying for Saturday’s $85,000 championship were Ryans Loan Shark, Partyamosasplace, Bombay Bobby, BC’s Tufftiger, Diamond Diesel, Sportsnadness, Prince Of Style and Mekkas Big Guy.
Three other pacers, Frontier Charley, Sagebrush Skip, and Ashlee’s Fine Guy tied for the 10th and final spot with a single point each.
No Contest: Next up on Saturday evening was the Plum Peachy for second season ICF pacing fillies and it was strictly no contest as the overwhelming 1 to 5 favorite Hart’s Heart won for fun with regular driver Kyle Wilfong at her lines.
Princess Moose (Ridge Warren) was a non-threatening second, beaten five lengths, while Scorecard Dandy (Juan Franco) came on for third.
Owned and bred by Donna Crebs (Cantral, Illinois) and her sister Judy Conzo (Lincoln, Illinois), the front-stepping Hart’s Heart won for the sixth time this season.
The Mike Brink trained Hart’s Hart swept all four legs of the Plum Peachy series for a total of 200 points. By my math, also eligible for the Night of Champions final are Princess Moose, Scorecard Dandy, Kandi’s Fortune, Bootsy Bombay, Ryans Secret, Asad Da Pacea, Dandy’s Duchess, Clearly The Bomb and Pure Sin.
What a Finish: The $15,000 last leg of the Erwin F. Dygert Memorial stake series turned out to be a heck of a finish as Sumbodygetdisfool (Todd Warren) got up in the final stride to gain a head decision over a game Rndmudpredictable (Casey Leonard).
The 4-5 pacesetting favorite Coco D’ Lascito (J D Finn) was third best in the 2:00.2 mile.
The Steve Searle trained Rndmnunpredictable was seventh, almost 10 lengths behind at the 30 second first quarter, before he was sent after the leader, racing without cover from backside on, getting past Coco D’Lascito in the late going.
However, in the late going Todd, Warren pulled the pocket trotter Sumbodygetdisfool off the inside lane, swung the Roshun Trigg trained gelding to the outside where he won for the third time in his last four outings for Laquinton Shavers of Brandon, Mississippi.
By my calculations Coco D’ Lascito, Rndmnunpredictable and Sumbodygetthisfool can be joined in the three-year-old male trot championship by Emsroscopcoletrain, Loyn Say When, Salute The Hero, Sudden Approach, Imnotalocaldude and Shady Maple Valor. Tenth place was a tie between Fistfullofdollars and Shady Maple Spirit, both with 23 points.
A Pair of Dandy’s: It was strictly a two-horse race in the final leg of the Beulah Dygert Memorial stake series with Breeze At Sunset (Atlee Bender) holding off a late charge by Loulita (Casey Leonard).
Owed by Bowie Racing (Douglas Overhiser) LLC of Shorewood, Illinois, the Erv Miller trained Breeze At Sunset cut the leisurely fractions of 30 flat, 59.3 and 1:29.4 with Loulita racing fourth through the half-mile pole.
It was more than 11 lengths back in the 1:58 mile to the third-place horse Lous Voodoo Woman
Off the record Loulita (175) and Breeze At Sunset (153) were one-two in the filly trotting division standings followed by BC’s Rose, Lucky Valerie, Rock N Sandra Lou, Lous Voodoo Woman, Ting Ting, Lous Livia. Tied for tenth with four pint0s each are Lou Lou Lamour and My Only Sin.