A Perfect Ending in the Fox Valley Flan Final

By Mike Paradise


It was a perfect ending for “chalk” players in Saturday night’s $50,000 Fox Valley Flan summer trotting championship for two-year-old state bred fillies when Marvelous Mystery (Kyle Wilfong) crossed the finish line first.


The prohibitive 1 to 9 favorite kept her record perfect with her seventh consecutive victory in as many career starts for trainer Curt Grummel, who shares ownership of the Lou’s Legacy filly with Craig and Leo Grummel, all of Carrollton, Illinois.



Marvelous Mystery (Kyle Wilfong) stayed perfect in her freshman campaign with a victory in the $50,000 Fox Valley Flan summer trotting championship. It was the Curt Grummel trained filly’s seventh straight win in as many career starts. (Four Footed Fotos)

Marvelous Mystery was given another patient driver by Kyle Wilfong who had the Lou’s Legacy filly in fourth in the first half of the mile.


Longshot Trotamileinmyshores (Richard S Finn) had the early lead, taking the field to a :29.4 first quarter but driver Caser Leonard knew it would be much better to be ahead of a 99-1 longshot then behind one and took Dawn Of Creation out of the two-hole and into command.


Wilfong had Marvelous Mystery out of fourth soon after the half mile marker, reached in 1:00.3, and steadily gained ground on the leader. The pair raced side-by-side through most of the stretch drive before Marvelous Mystery ($2.10) went right on by in the late going and won by one and one-half lengths in 2:00 flat.


The $25,000 winner’s share of the $50,000 pout boosted Marvelous Mystery’s first season earnings to $53,222 with Springfield, Du Quoin and Hawthorne’s Night of Champion stake championships still on the horizon.



The Mike Brink stable’s Rona Mae (Phil Knox) was the 12-1 winner of the $50,000 Fox Vallley Flan summer championship for juvenile state-bred pacing fillies. (Four Footed Fotos)

No “Chalk” This Time Two races later it was the $50,000 Incredible Tillie summer showdown for freshman pacing fillies and this time the “chalk players” bet down the wrong Mike Brick trained filly as Rona Mae (Phil Knox) at 12-1 knocked off her stable mate My Daddy’s Revenge (Todd Warren), hammered down to 1 to 5 odds.


Rona Mae, a daughter of Time To Roll out of the Sportsmaster dam Leah Mae, proved to be fastest in the lane, winning in 1:54 flat by almost three over Daddy’s Revenge.


Knox had Rona Mae in third through much of the early going as My Daddy’s Revenge came out of third and took the lead over One R Andis Star (Kyle Husted) before the 57.2 half.


Rona Mae started her bid racing first over soon after the half and simply worn down the previous undefeated My Daddys Revenge in the late going. The Magical Woman (Atlee Bender) came on to be third.


The victory was the third in a row for Rona Mae, owned by her breeders Hugh Lake and Susan Lacey of Joplin, Missouri. The winner paid an attractive $26.60 as her season earnings jumped from $11,233 to $36,233,


Fox Valley Kia, driven by her trainer Phil Knox, was the front-end winner of the Incredible Tillie Consolation. The 6-5 favorite trimmed more than two seconds off her previous fastest mile with a 1:56 flat clocking for owner Julie Collins of Bullhead City, Arizona.


Marvelous Mystery Aims to Stay Perfect

By Mike Paradise


Perfection is what we all strive for in most everything we do. While it’s not realistic for a racehorse to be perfect throughout his or her career, staying flawlessness for as long as possible is always the goal.


For Curt Grummel’s filly trotter Marvelous Mystery staying unbeaten one more night would do a lot of for youngster’s first season earnings. A $25,000 deposit into her purse account awaits the talented two-year-old if the youngster can win tonight’s $50,000 Fox Valley Flan summer championship.


The Curt Grummel trained filly already has $28,222 on her card and thus far her best time of 1:59 flat, recorded in her elimination, is at least one second faster than any other filly in the Fox Valley Flan championship.


Early in her racing career, Marvelous Mystery has put up the credentials to come out on top once again. The filly has gone to the starting gate six times and greeted a track photographer for the winner’s circle picture each stint after every race.


Last week the daughter of Lou’s Legacy, out of the Tom Ridge broodmare Caitrin Hall, pulled away by more than five lengths at the finish of her Fox Valley Flan elimination for Carrollton, Illinois owners Curt, Craig, and Leo Grummel.


The Curt Grummel trained two-year-old Marvelous Mystery (Kyle Wilfong) looks to stay unbeaten in tonight’s $50,000 Kadabra trotting championship. (Four Footed Fotos)

Marvelous Mystery will be guided tonight by her regular driver Kyle Wilfong when she scoots away from the five post. She’ll likely be pounded down at the betting windows just as she has been in all her pari-mutuel starts. The filly was sent off at 10 cents on the dollar a week ago and is listed at 4-5 in tonight’s morning line..


Among those trying to stop Marvelous Mystery from making it seven straight victories, is the Mike Brink stable’s Dawn Of Creation (pp 1, Casey Leonard), who won her elimination last week and was a strong second a start earlier in a Violet division.


Other serious threats appear to be the Roshun Trigg trained El Brae Brea (pp 6, Jamaica Patton), winner of five season starts and runner-up to Marvelous Mystery last week, and Fox Valley Lisbon from the barn of trainer Amy Husted. The latter raced without cover last week and could be a smoother journey away from pulling off an upset win.


Lous Lexi Lou (Cordarius Stewart), Trotamileinmyshoes (Richard S Finn), Olympic Champion (Todd Warren), Fox Valley Adira (Gary Rath), Fox Valley Shania (Atlee Bender) and Lou Sangreal (Travis Seekman) are the other Fox Valley Flan finalists.


“Tillie” a Competitive Final: The second $50,000 champion on the Saturday card is the seventh race Incredible Tillie final for ICF freshman pacing fillies.


Favoritism will probably be divided between the streaking My Daddys Revenge (pp 2, Todd Warren), the always-bet-down The Magical Woman (pp 7, Atlee Bender), and last week’s game elimination victress Rona Mae (Phil Knox).


One R Andis Star (pp 1, Kyle Husted), elimination winner South Gate Sally (pp 5. Juan Franco), Dandy’s Showtime (Casey Leonard) and the late-rushing Roan By Design (pp 8, Travis Seekman) could also get good play at the betting windows.


U R My Shiningstar (Kyle Wilfong), Rags To Riches (pp 9, Wyatt Avenatti) and Lots Of Sass (pp 10, Archie Buford) are the longshot aspirants.


My Daddys Revenge is undefeated in four career starts for trainer Mike Brink and dominated her “Tillie” elimination field and her Violet division a start earlier.


The Magical Woman, with 2 wins and 3 seconds in 5 starts, has been a heavy betting favorite in every Hawthorne start, while Rona Mae, a stable mate of My Daddys Revenge, was passed in the lane last week and fought back for a 1:56 flat victory.


It took a pair of thrilling late finishs to determine last night’s two $50,000 freshman summer championships.


When the dust settled Fox Valley Jasper (Atlee Bender) stayed unbeaten thanks to a strong stretch rally in the Incredible Finale showdown for juvenile male pacers and Goomster (Kyle Wilfong) was the surprise winner of the Kadabra trotting final.


The 7-5 co-favorite Fox Valley Jasper was in eighth through the first half (57.4) as the other 7-5 betting choice Fox Valley Langley (Kyle Wilfong) made a bold move on the backstretch and took command before the field was halfway home.


Bender had Fox Valley Jasper rolling however the Erv Miller trainee had about seven lengths to make up. Fox Valley Langley looked like he was going to hold on in deep stretch but in the final stride it was Fox Valley Jasper ($4.80) who persevered for Illinois owners Bowie Racing (Shorewood) and Engle Racing of Illinois (Northbrook) and his now four-for-four in his young career.


Kage Daniel (Todd Warren) finished third best and Illini Jetset (Marcus Miller), another Erv Miller trained gelding, settled for fourth.


Groomster (Kyle Wilfong) overtook the heavy favorite Nico Man (Kyle Husted) to win last night’s $50,000 Kadabra summer trotting final for trainer and owner Dennis Gardner.

Patience Pays Off: Patiently driven by Kyle Wilfong the 7-1 longshot Goomster ($16.60) wore down the 3-5 favorite Nico Man (Kyle Husted) to capture the $50,000 Kadabra summer championship for two-year-old male trotters by three-quarters of a length.


Wilfong (pp 3) dropped the Dennis Gardner owned and trainer youngster into fifth on the early going. When Nino Man came out of second to take over command on the backside, Wilfong had Goomster on the move as well.


Goomster raced without cover from before the half mile marker, reached in 58.3, and still was about two lengths behind the favorite at the sixteenth pole but put on a late surge to win it in 1:58.1 by three parts of a length for his West Salem, Illinois conditioner and proprietor.


Ain’t No Mojo (Atlee Bender) edged Tankmetodennyland (Juan Franco), another Garner owned and trained trotter, for third.


Easy Does It: Hidden Assassin ($2.40), nicely rated by Travis Seekman, was an easy front-stepping conqueror of Friday’s $12,300 Open Pace in 1:514. The pocket horse Warrawee Veloce (Todd Warren), at 14-1, was second, beaten three lengths by the Rick Schrock trained winner.


Heath Bar (Jamaica Patton) was seventh at the three-quarter pole and still got up in time to capture the $12,300 Open Trot by one and one-half lengths in 1:55 flat at 12-1,


The Amy Husted trained 9-5 favorite Fox Valley Landen (Kyle Husted) came flying down the lane to take the $12,000 Incredible Finale Consolation with a 1:55 flat clocking.



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Incredible Finale Final has Fox Valley Flavor

You can expect this kind of exciting finish in tonight’s $50,000 Summer Incredible Finale stake championship. Shown here in last week’s second elimination for ICF two-year-old pacing colts and geldings is Fox Valley Langley (Kyle Wilfong) gaining a head decision over Fox Valley Cayman (hidden inside, Casey Leonard) and a neck over Illini Jetset (Atlee Bender). (Four Footed Fotos


By Mike Paradise


“Doc” and Pat Walker, owners of Fox Valley Standardbreds in Sherman, Illinois, will be doing a lot of rooting during Friday’s $50,000 Summer Incredible Finale stake championship.


The question is what two-year-old ICF colt or gelding pacer will they be rooting for? The answer: About a half-dozen different youngsters.


The largest horse farm in Illinois has no less than six finalists in the sixth race going to the gate that they bred, all by their newest sire Somestarsomewhere (1:49.2, $478,435).


The Walker’s acquired Somestarsomewhere in January of 2019 with hopes the well-bred horse would be an eventual replacement for their illustrious sire Sportsmaster who nearing at the end of his brilliant stud career.


It’s only Somestarsomewhere’s first crop of juveniles but the Walker’s just might have hit the jackpot in the Illinois breeding industry with the son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the Art Major dam Lovely Assistant.


Two of Fox Valley’s six starters in the Incredible Finale won their elimination—Fox Valley Langley (Kyle Wilfong), unbeaten in four starts, and Fox Valley Jasper (Atlee Bender), undefeated in three outings.


Fox Valley Jasper (Atleee Bender) was much the best in last week’s third Incredible Finale freshman elimination. (Four Footed Fotos)

Fox Valley Jasper was an easy three and three-quarter winner in 1:53 flat in his elimination for trainer Erv Miller who also has Somestarsomewhere offspring’s Fox Valley Patriot (Archie Buford) and Fox Valley Auburn (Cordarius Stewart) in the championship, along with Illini Jetset (Marcus Miller), a Cardinal division champion earlier this month for his sire Travel Playlist, bred by the University of Illinois.


The Walker’s also have a pair of Tom Simmons trained youngsters–Fox Valley Cayman (Casey Leonard), winner of a division of the Cardinal, and Fox Valley Steeler (Kyle Husted), going to the gate. “Cayman” was only a head behind “Langley” in last Friday’s second Incredible Finale elimination.


The “Fox Valley Brigade” could have their hands full with three other non-Walker bred youngsters in the final–Tom Graham’s Kage Daniel (Tom Warren), a 1:54 elim victor last week, and Tim Roach’s Ghost Shark (Travis Seekman) and Mister Sleaze (Juan Franco).another Erv Miller trainee.


Another $50,000 Pot: The Incredible Finale showdown shares the Friday spotlight with the $50,000 Kadabra summer championship for state-bred freshman male trotters. It’s headed-up by last week’s elimination champions, Tankmetodennyland (Juan Franco) and Niko Man (Kyle Husted) and will precede the Incredible Finale.


Niko Man (Kyle Husted) looks to follow his five-length victory in his Kadabra elimination with a victory in tonight’s $50,000 two-year-old summer trotting championship. (Four Footed Fotos)

Nino Man (Kyle Husted) captured his elimination by five-plus lengths in 1:59 flat for trainer Amy Husted and her owners Bowie Racing (Shorewood, IL) and Anthony Lombardi (Morris, IL).


Tankmetodennyland prevailed in his elimination a second slower (2:00 flat) however two weeks ago the University of Illinois bred trotter finished only a neck behind Niko Man in their Cardinal division confrontation for her owner and trainer Dennis Gardner of West Salem, Illinois.


Both fillies drew well. Tankmetodennyland landed the two-post and Niko Man got the four. Aint No Mojo, who comes off two game efforts for driver Atlee Bender, is in a good spot with the five.


The pole position belongs to the longshot Tequilalittletime. Groomster (Kyle Wilfong) is in a favorable spot with the three. From the six slots out, you’ll find Rosita’s Dream (Marcus Miller), Judge Me Not (Todd Warren), Whatta Year (Charles Arthur), Lous Andiamo (Casey Leonard) and Youain’tnofool (Cordarius Stewart).


Two Opens Too Boot: The solid Friday eight-race program is supported by a pair of Opens. The five-horse pace goes as race three with Rick Schrock’s Hidden Assassin (Travis Seekman) the likely post time betting choice. The 10-horse Open trot is a wide-open affair with the streaking Talk About Valor getting a well-deserved week off.


Drawn by groups, posts one through seven will be manned by Perlucky (Marcus Miller), Swan Of Dreams (Archie Buford), Latin Lover (Kyle Wilfong), Cash Hit (Travis Seekman), Rockyroad Aldo (Wyatt Avenatti), Heath Bar (Jamaica Patton) and Louscardamon (Kyle Husted).


Slots 8, 9 and 10 were also drawn and they went to Annas Lucky Star (Casey Leonard), Jack Vernon (Todd Warren) and Simply Swan (Atlee Bender), in that order.


The Incredible Finale Consolation for state-bred freshman pacing colts and geldings will be race five on the program.


Did I mention that Fox Valley Standardbreds have five youngsters that they bred in that $12,000 event?


Like Old Times: Former Chicago circuit driver Marcus Miller is in town tonight to drive several of his father Erv’s horses, including Illini Jetset in the Incredible Finale Final. Marcus has seven catch-drives on the eight-race program.