Early Fireworks at Hawthorne

By Mike Paradise

While most of the Chicago area fireworks shows won’t be seen and heard until the Fourth of July their will be plenty of noise being made on Hawthorne’s race track by ICF youngsters competing in the two prior evenings.

Coming up this weekend are a couple of very important nights of racing for the owners and trainers of both 2 and 3-year-old state breds, starting with Saturday’s elimination events for the freshmen Cardinal for pacing colts and geldings and the Violet for pacing fillies.

The Cardinal and Violet 2-year-old trot eliminations will be contested on this Sunday’s July 3rd card, along with the second legs of the ICF 3-year-olds Beulah Dygert (females) and the Erwin S. Dygert (males) stake series.

The Tom Simmons Stable's Beach Shootingstar (inside, Mike Oosting) returns Saturday for the Cardinal 2-year-old stake eliminations. (Four Footed Photo).

The Tom Simmons Stable’s Beach Shootingstar (inside, Mike Oosting) returns Saturday for the Cardinal 2-year-old stake eliminations. (Four Footed Photo).

Sharing the Saturday, July 1st spotlight with the Cardinal and Violet pace elims, is the second leg of the Robert F. Carey stake series for Illinois conceived and foaled sophomore male pacers. The Plum Peachy second round for 3-year-old pacing fillies will head-up Friday’s card.

All the ICF stake series finals will be held on Hawthorne’s Night of Champions. (Sept. 23rd) They will be comprised of the 10 highest point earnings through four series rounds. A high finish could be essential to those 3-year-olds who didn’t fare well in the first leg action or missed that leg.

Stake Series points are counted as: 50 for a win, 25 for second, 12 for third, 8 for fourth, 5 for fifth and 1 for starting.

First round winners Fancy Creek Jolene, trained by Kim Hamilton and Filly Forty now racing for trainer Donna Holt, are sitting pretty on top of the early Plum Peachy standings. Runner-ups, Boogie On Down and Rousey Ronda are in a favorable situation with 25 points each while Dandy’s Dududidudu and Lady’s Party are in the thick of it with 12 points each.

Currently sharing the top spot in the Incredible Finale series with 50 points, are the second season male pacers Royale Big Guy, owned by the Megan Rogers Stable of Chicago, and Fox Valley Nemitz from the barn of Nick Giberson. Then comes Captain Rhett and In Your Eye with 25 points each, followed by Gabe Henry and Fox Valley Herbie, both with a dozen points.

Royale Big Guy (No. 8) will be back from Pennsylvania for Saturday's Robert F. Carey ICF stake Series. (Four Footed Photo).

Royale Big Guy (No. 8) will be back from Pennsylvania for Saturday’s Robert F. Carey ICF Stake Series. (Four Footed Photo).

Royale Big Guy was shipped back to Pennsylvania (The Meadows), after his Carey victory by trainer Norm Parker but will return for Saturday’s second leg of the Incredible Finale and most likely will be joined by his regular driver Jim Pantaleano.

Just one division was needed in the first rounds of both the Beulah and Erwin Dygert trots and they went to Daisy Lou Duke and Trixie’s Jethro respectively. A first or second place finish Sunday by those trotters, would likely nail down a starting berth in their finals, since single round divisions are expected in all of those trotting series legs.

Next in line in the Beulah Dygert behind the Steve Searle Stable’s Daisy Lou Duke are Lous Credit Report (25), Fox Valley Elana (12), Beatrice (8) and Lous Game N Match (5).

After one round of the Erwin Dygert the John D Finn Stable’s Trixie’s Jethro (5) is followed by Totally Pazzazzed (25), Muscle Image (12), Picky Picky Valor (8) and Cassisandfifth (5).

A $200 entry fee is required for both Cardinals and Violets. The Plum Peachy and Carey also carry $200 starting fees. Both of those ICF stakes will offer a second round purse of $12,000.