By Mike Paradise
A couple of out-of-state gals are back in town with sights set on padding their bank account Saturday night at Hawthorne.
Those “gals” would be the Hoosier Park pacing invaders Rock It Out and U’ll Learn, both past winners at the local meet competing in the top Open.
This time around they’ll take on six other fillies in mares in a $10,000 Open II.
The seventh race feature is for filly and mare pacers written so it basically excludes seven-time Hawthorn Open winner Maggie Rhee who was scratched sick a week ago and missed her first opportunity to compete at Hawthorne in over a month.
Without “Maggie” tonight’s headliner looks like most of the play at the betting widows will go to the three outside horses in the field of eight, drawn by groups (1-6) (7-8) and that would be U’ll Learn (pp 6, Travis Seekman), Rock It Out (pp 7, Kyle Wilfong) and last week’s Open I winner Rollonbeauty (pp 8, Atlee Bender).
Looking to pop at likely double-digit odds are (from the pole position out) are Look Kimbo (Juan Franco), Allbeastnobeauty (Todd Warren), Dune Dame (Casey Leonard), the New Zealand bred mare Eliza Dushku N (Cordarius Stewart), and My Uptowne Girl (Ridge Warren).
You might remember Rock It Out from earlier in the Hawthorne meeting. The four-year-old Donna Holt trained mare posted back-to-back Open I wins in the latter part of May, defeating Maggie Rae both times, with Kyle Wilfong at her lines.
Wilfong is back tonight to guide Rock It Out after steering Rollonbeauty to her Hawthorne triumph last weekend. Rock It Out does her best racing up close and probably will be hurrying out from the get-go tonight.
U’ll Learn, like Rock It Out, has spent most of the summer racing at Hoosier, nevertheless she did well in Hawthorne Opens in June and again in July, winning a mid-June headliner and earning purse checks in her other four local starts.
In her June 12th Open win the six-year-old Hector Herrera trained mare beat both Maggie Rhee and Rock It Out with a 1:51.3 clocking, pacing the last quarter in a quick time of 26.3, a nifty mile for a mare that was racing a year earlier in Ohio $6,000 claimers.
The three Illinois bred aged mares in the Saturday feature—Allbeastnobeauty, Dune Dame and My Uptowne Girl—are all likely candidates to return next weekend for the Night of Champion eliminations (or a prep) of the Tony Maurello Memorial stake, an event won in 2020 by the Todd Warren trained Allbeastnobeauty.
Staying Sharp: Speaking of the September 25th Night of Champions, quite a lot of state-bred pacers and trotters are participating on the Saturday card to stay sharp for Hawthorne’s showcase event on the final weekend of the 2021 meeting.
The most intriguing of those preps comes in the first race, a ICF two-year-old trot open to both fillies as well as colts and geldings with the females drawing inside.
The Charles Arthur trained filly Armbro Lark, currently the top point earner in the Fox Valley Flan Series, has the two slot with Arthur in the bike, while the top three point earners in the Kadabra trot for males—Lousdobb (112, Casey Leonard), Fox Valley Cairo (109, Ridge Warren) and First and Goal (100, Kyle Husted) landed the eight, seven and four posts, respectively.
Awesome Aussie: The Australian bred Braeview Bondi A (Atlee Bender) made it two-for-two at Hawthorne by winning last night’s $12,000 Open Pace with a quick 1:49.3 mile.
A fast early pace was anticipated but not expected was seeing Fox Valley Gemini (pp 5, Casey Leonard) getting command and the speedball He’zzz A Wise Sky (p 7, He’zzz A Wise Sky) having to drop into fourth in the early going.
Also sprinting out was Yankee Bounty (pp 2, Travis Seekman) and Braeview Bondi (pp 6,), landing the two and three holes, respectively.
Fox Valley Gemini took the seven-horse field to a 27 flat first quarter and a 55.1 first half before Bender took Braeview Bondi out of third. Racing first over with He’zzz A Wise Sky right behind him, the six-year-old Erv Miller trained gelding grinded his way to be along side “Gemini” turning for home.
In the lane the Braeview Bondi ($6.00) found another gear, pacing the last panel in a snappy 26. 2 and pulling away by almost two lengths from Fox Valley Gemini at the finish wire
Primo Giovanni (Todd Warren) was third as the 6-5 favorite He’zz A Wise Sky came up empty in the stretch and faded to sixth.
Braeview Bondi A is owned by Bowie Racing LLC of Shorewood, Illinois.