2021 Nominations for IHHA Board

Candidates File Nominating Petitions for IHHA Board of Directors Election

The 2021 IHHA Board of Directors election will take place at the Annual Meeting on Saturday, August 21, 2021, at 12:00 noon at the IHHA office located at 15 Spinning Wheel Road, Suite 432, Hinsdale, Illinois.

To be elected at the annual meeting will be five (5) directors to serve terms of three (3) years each.  The following (8) candidates filed petitions to be placed on the ballot for election to the Board: Al Beals, Dee Cozzi, Jeff Davis, Michelle Monier, Gary Rath, Kim Roth, Steve Searle, Ed Teefey.

Ballots will be mailed to all IHHA members (in good standing as of June 30, 2021) on July 23, 2021 through the offices of Legacy Certified Public Accountants, which have been retained as the official Election Supervisor in conjunction with Article III of the IHHA By-Laws.

New Paddock Schedule at Hawthorne

Per Illinois Racing Board mandate we will be returning to our traditional paddock beginning next week.

With the return to the traditional paddock, all horses in to race must report to their assigned stalls by their assigned time in the paddock for races. Barn D will be used as the paddock for races 1-12. If we have additional races, those horses will be assigned stalls in Barn 1.  Qualifiers will race out of Barn 1. On Saturdays we will look to avoid cards with more than 12 races as to avoid an overcrowded Barn 1 on qualifying days.

Horses receiving Lasix must be in their assigned stall no later than four hours prior to their race.  Non-Lasix horses must be in their stall no later than three hours prior to their race.

Horses will no longer be grouped together by trainer and horses stabled on the grounds at Hawthorne are no longer allowed to race out of their barn.  Any additional horses shipping in for weekend races will have to report to the ship-in barn. There will no longer be assigned ship-in stalls posted weekly.

Security will check horses in upon arrival and horses will race out of the aisle in which they are assigned.

Please direct any questions or concerns to the Illinois Racing Board

Trotting Out Those Fickle Youngsters

By Mike Paradise


Let’s admit it, trying to predict who will come out on top when two-year-old Illinois bred trotters compete for the first time in their racing careers is a very difficult task.


In fact, it’s a little more than a guessing game for some. That’s why the so called “experts” like me, are supposed to come to the rescue and give you the winning selections based on our “vast knowledge” of Illinois harness racing.


Guess what? At this time of the year there isn’t a whole lot to go on, so we’re making what I would call, at best, an “educated guess.”


In other words, we don’t know for sure either.


Nevertheless, remember, it’s not how a two-year-old trotter starts out in the Night of Champion stake series, it’s how he or she finishes it.


While a victory in one of the first leg series stakes on Sunday’s card would be a feather in the cap for any horseman and their owner, and half of a $17,500 purse being offered is nothing to sneeze at, there’s a whole lot more at stake in mid-September when the championship pots are in the six-figure range.


Also take tonight’s program morning line with a grain of salt. It’s the same USTA computer tout system that had the three-time Illinois Harness Horse of the Year Fox Valley Gemini at 12-1 in the morning line when he made his season debut. And, yes, he won that race.


Rndmnunpredictable (Casey Leonard) seeks a repeat win tonight in a second-round division of Erwin F. Dygert Memorial Series. (Four Footed Photo)

Here are some notes concerning tonight’s two-year-old Night of Championship series trotters you might find interesting, or not:


***In the initial Fox Valley Flan filly trot (race one), Lous Xanadu is a full sister to the Flacco Family Farm’s star trotting filly Louzoti, the winner of last week’s Open Trot and closing in on $300,000 in lifetime earnings.


***Mailboxmoney is now driven by Todd Warren and the Mike Rogers trained filly is the sister of Mike’s good trotter Captansblacksparrow (1:58).


***Ironclad Creation (Kyle Wilfong) is out of the same dam that produced Tour Hall, a former ICF champion a few years back for trainer Mike Brink.


  ***In race two, the first division of the Kadabra, Brink will handle Fox Valley Cairo, a $34,000 yearling buy that Mike shares ownership with fellow Illinoisans Charlie Briggs and Robert Lacey.


***Lous Barbossa (Kyle Husted) is the brother of Lousrolando, a Kadabra leg winner last season who was also second in the Cardinal.


  ***The second Kadabra split, race four, the Curt Grummel driven and trained filly Lou’s Di Nomite, is the first foal of the mare Surviver DI, winner of 32 races, including the Violet in 2016 in her three years of competition for owner Steve Renard of Hamilton, Illinois.


 ***The seventh race second Fox Valley Flan division sends out the John D Finn trainee Hot Trotn Trixie, a daughter of Tropical Trixie that gave us such ICF goodies as Captain Greedy (1:551), Trixie’s Jethro (1:54.3), Sunny Sasha (1:55) and Trixie’s Turbo (1:57).


***In that same seventh race is Lous Monamie, another Searle trained trotter driven by Kyle Husted. Her Flacco Family Farms broodmare Olives and Caviar delivered Searle’s Illinois bred champions as White Pants Fever, Louscardamon, and tonight’s eighth race Beulah Dygert series favorite Loulita, the 2020 ICF Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter of the Year.


***I should also point out in race seven that Casey Leonard chose to drive Herman Wheeler’s Creations Dream MV, a $14,000 yearling buy, over Lous Monamie in the seventh race.



Coco D’Lascito (J D Finn) looks to follow his recent Cardinal victory with another trip to the winner’s circle in the second Erwin Dygert split for 3-year-old ICF male trotters, (Four Footed Photo)

Crowded Field:  Loulita and driver Casey Leonard leave from post seven in the 11-horse Beulah Dygert second series leg for sophomore state bred fillies. To her inside are Lou Lou Lamour, BC’s Rose, Ting Ting, Lucky Valerie, Myonly Sin and BBR Lady. Posts 8, 9 and 10 belong to recent Violet victor Rock N Sandra Lou, Breeze At Sunset and Lous Livia. In that order Starting in the second tier (pp 11) is Lous Voodoo Woman.


Double Your Pleasure: The third race first split of the Erwin F. Dygert Memorial stake series has a seven-horse field comprised of Sudden Approach, Shady Maple Spirit, Salute The Hero, Shady Maple Valor, Cardinal champ Rndmnunipredictable, and Emsroscoletrain, a Dygert first leg victor earlier this season.


Coco D’Lascito (J D Finn) is the first flash favorite in the second Erwin Dygert grouping after breezing in his Cardinal division on June 6th. He’ll take on Loyz Say When, last season’s two-year-old male trotting division champ Fistfullofdollars, along with Sumbodygetdisfool, I’mnotalocaldude, Release Cassis and Big Approach.


It all gets under way at 6:30 tonight.


Saturday Highlights: The Tim Roach 12-1 longshot Rmissashlee ($27.00) captured the first Incredible Tillie division for freshman filly pacers, overtaking the betting favorite Swanky Diamond in the lane. Ridge Warren guided the Kyle Lamer of Michigan owned filly to her 1:56.4 victory on a sloppy track.


One race later the 3-5 favorite Dandy’s MNM (Kyle Wilfong) led at every pole in her 1:57.2 win for trainer Merv Chupp and California breeders and owners A Piece Of The Action LLC.


The Terry Leonard stable’s Ideal Big Guy ($4.20) followed his recent Cardinal triumph by drawing away by a two and one-half lengths in round two of the Robert F. Carey Memorial stake series in 1:56 on a track listed “good.” It was the first of two more driving wins for Casey Leonard, now six away from the No. 3,000 plateau.

Fledgling Gals Step Forward Tonight

By Mike Paradise


The young ladies take over the spotlight at Hawthorne tonight.


It’s the opening round of the Incredible Tillie Night of Champions stake series and with 14 ICF distaff pacers passing the entry box, we’ll have two early divisions on a 12-race card.


Five of the seven starters in the second race first “Tillie” split will make their pari-mutuel debuts. The exceptions are the Erv Miller trained Lady Bombay (Atlee Bender) and Herman Wheeler’s Swanky Diamond (Casey Leonard), the 2-1 first flash favorite.


Lady Bombay competed against mostly three-year-old horses last week and gave a good account of herself, finishing third while pacing in 1:57.3 with a fast 27 flat last panel.


Lady Bombay, a half-sister to Western Perch, starts from post six.


Swanky Diamond (post three) had a noticeably strong effort against other juvenile pacers. The $10,000 yearling buy was saddled with the 10-hole and was parked out to a 57.4 first half before finally making the front as the betting favorite. The World Of Rocknroll filly ended up second.


Iwannarocknroll (Rick Schrock), Sweet Sweet Connie (Kyle Husted), Eris (Juan Franco), Rmissaslee (Ridge Warren) and Trendy R (Kyle Wildonf) are the other first Incredible Tillie hopefuls.


The third race second division could see another Erv Miller trainee get plenty of play. She’s Fox Valley Captiva (Atlee Bender), a $21,000 yearling buy and another World Of Rocknroll offspring. The filly qualified at Hoosier Park in 1:56.4 and landed the pole position tonight.


Peaceful Yankee, from the Mike Brink Stable, is an Ed Teefey home-bred who qualified in 2:02.4 on an “off” Springfield track. The Yankee Skyscraper filly should also receive a good share of the public’s wagering money.


Ideal Big Guy (Casey Leonard) was all by himself at the finish of the recent Cardinal stake at Hawthorne. Tonight, he’ll open as the even-money favorite in round two of the Robert F. Carey Memorial stake series. (Four Footed Fotos)

The Merv Chupp stable’s Dandy’s MNM (Kyle Wilfong) is listed as the 3-2 program choice based on back-to-back wins in her first two outings in the Kentucky Proud Series on a pair of the Bluegrass state’s fair tracks.


They will be opposed by Stardust Gram (Kyle Husted), Rollnroz (Jamal Denson), Aniemaybombay (Cornelius Cavett) and Pattycake Mooss (Todd Warren).


  Ideal Situation: A few races later the Robert F. Carey Memorial stake, another Night of Champion series contest, will see seven three-year-old Illinois bred male pacers square off in leg two of the added money event.


Recent Cardinal champion Ideal Big Guy (Casey Leonard) will open at even-money after his five and one-half length romp earlier this month, the Terry Leonard trainee’s first start on Lasix.


Listed at 4-1 is the Dossie Minor stable’s Bombay Bobby (pp 2, Kyle Wilfong) winner of the first leg of Carey series and the Cardinal runner-up.


Diamond Diesel (Juan Franco), Ryans Loan Shark (Travis Seekman), Partyatmosasplace (Todd Warren), Sportsmadness (Jordan Patton), BC’S Tufftiger (Jamaal Denson) and Prince Of Style (Cliff Bell) will be looking to pull off an upset in the $12,500 ICF stake.


Impressive Debuts: Sent off as the heavy 2-5 favorite, Major Grin (Casey Leonard) didn’t fail his many supporters in the first leg of the Incredible Finale stake series for ICF freshman male pacers.


Major Grin gained command on the backside and won rather comfortably with a 1:58.3 clocking on a track listed “good” after taking on a lot of rain earlier in the afternoon.


Owned by his breeder Ed Teefey of Mount Sterling, Illinois, the good-looking son of Major Bombay finished more than two lengths ahead of Frontier Bombay, who came from far out of it, coming home in 27 seconds flat.


Casey was back in the winner’s following the second Incredible Finale division, this time with the Gary Rath trained Fox Valley Ozzy ($3.60), two plus lengths the best.


Owned by Steven Mc Mackin and David Samuelson of Marengo, Illinois, Fox Valley Ozzy put away a strong stretch bid by runner-up Fox Valley Crete before pulling away in the 1:56.2 mile as the 4-5 public’s choice.


Casey had four winning drives Friday, and goes into Saturday’s program just eight shy of 3,000 in his career.


Plenty of Heart: Heart’s Hart (Kyle Wilfong) and Scorecard Dandy (Juan Franco) put on another torrid stretch duel, just as they did in the Violet pace, but this time Hart’s Heart got revenge with a half-length victory in Friday’s $12,500 second leg of the Plum Peachy.


Trained by Mike Brink for Illinois owners Donna Crebs and Judy Gonzo, Heart’s Heart paced the winning mile in 1:55.1.


Easy Does It: Triple ZZ Stable’s He’zzz A Wise Sky (Kyle Wilfong) cruised to a front-stepping 1:50.2 triumph.in the $12,000 Open Pace at 3-5 odds.



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