By Mike Paradise
With the second legs of Hawthorne’s Night of Champions 3-year-old stake series on tap this weekend, a number of ICF sophomore pacers and trotters will be asked to perform double duty this week.
Round two of the Plum Peachy for state-bred filly and mare pacers and the Beulah Dygert for second season trotters, will be contested on Saturday night, while their 3-year-old ICF male counterparts will race on Sunday in the Robert Carey stake series for pacers and Erwin Dygert for trotters.
Numerous ICF pacers and trotters who competed Tuesday evening in the 3-year-old Downstate Classic stakes on the Green County Fair programmed at Carrollton, will be back with either 3 or 4 days off when they go to the gate in the second $12,500 legs two of Hawthorne’s Night of Champions series added money events.
Just about all of Carrollton’s Downstate Classic 3-year-old champions will race again this weekend at Hawthorne.
They include the 3-year-old filly trot winner, White Pants Fever (Steve Searle), in the first division and the one-two-three finishers Lous Silver Star (Ronnie Gillespie), Sunny Sasha (Jared Finn) and Trotting Grace (Kyle Husted), in the second division and the colt Downstate Classic trotting champion male trotters: Illiniimight (Mike Brink) and Majestic Caprice (Ronnie Gillespie).
Headed to Sunday’s second leg of the Carey stake is the Clark Fairley Stable’s Al’s Briefs (Travis Seekman), who sped to a 2:01 flat clocking in the first $8,927 Downstate Classic division 3-year-old colt pace, easily the fastest mile on Tuesday night’s huge 18 race Carrollton program.
The first 3-year-old filly pace division saw a dead-heat for first, between Alan Bowen’s Skeeter Machine and the Ryan’s Mistress (Ronnie Gillespie), from the barn of Roshun Trigg.
The Jamaica Patton Stable’s Fox Valley Zola, driven by Jamaica, came away with the second filly pave division honors, besting Plum Peachy bound The New Americana (Steve Searle).
Gillespie was the driving star on the Carrollton program. The Mississippi native finished with six winning drives and five were from the stable of fellow Mississippian horseman Roshun Trigg.
Besides the three Downstate Classic champions, they also teamed up to win with the 2-year-old filly trotter Lou Scion Lou and the 4-year-old mare Lous Credit Report in the IHHA’s aged mare trotting division. The horse and gelding division went to Trixie’s Jethro (Jared Finn), trained by Heather Stell.
Gillespie’s other winner at Carrollton, was the 2-year-old colt pacer Ryan Racketeer, trained by Ronnie. The Ryan N Hanover colt made his debut with a 2:03.1 mile, when he drew off by eight lengths. He’s in to go Sunday night at Hawthorne.