By Mike Paradise
Todd Warren had the hot hand in last week’s races at Hawthorne with 11 winning drives, highlighted by a four-bagger on Saturday night.
The meet’s leading driver Casey Leonard wasn’t far behind with nine first place finishers. The 38-year-old Harvard, Illinois native is closing in on 2,000 career wining drives. He’ll go into Thursday program with 1,982.
Warren (pictured) isn’t far off a major achievement himself. Horses Todd has driven have banked only $117,988 short of $20 million in earnings. The next winning drive for 51-year-old who resides in Manhattan, Illinois will be No. 4,400.
It was also a good week for Kyle Husted who made four stops at Hawthorne’s winner’s circle. Matt Kruger, Kyle Wilfong and Tim Curtin all had three each. The 58-year-old Curtin bagged his trio of winners in just 12 opportunities.
Freshmen to Debut: The initial races for the season for 2-year-old pacers are on this week’s conditioned sheets with freshman colts and geldings slated for Thursday and fillies for Friday.
The first legs of the 2-year-old ICF stake series is only two weeks away for both pacers and trotters.
The Fox Valley Flan for 2-year-old ICF filly trotters acquired 33 nominations while the Kadabra for freshman colts has 30 youngsters available for its stake series. The Incredible Finale for state-bred juvenile colt pacers came up strong with 61 noms however the Incredible Tillie for first season filly pacers did even better, landing 72 young distaffers to its eligible list.
A one-time $1,250 nomination fee was needed to make a 2-year-old IOF trotter or pacer eligible to all four legs of their respective stake series, along with its final or consolation event.