The 2019 Illinois State Fair harness meet at Springfield comes to a close this afternoon, but not before eight ISFCS champions are crowned.
The Illinois State Fair Colt Stake finals for ICF two and three-year-olds of both sexes and gaits are the last eight events on a 12-race card. Each freshman championship has a $32,500 pot on the line, while the sophomore showdowns go for $31,500 apiece. First post is 12 noon.
Let’s take a look at the eight ISFCS contests, starting with the fifth race final for two-year-old filly trotters. Trainer Steve Searle, sends out his elimination winners: Bee See (pp 6, Kyle Husted) and Lous Abigail (pp7, Casey Leonard), currently riding a three-race winning streak.
Lous Abigail has lost only once in six career starts and that was to the Mike Brink stable’s Celone Hall in their July 14th Fox Valley Flan match-up. Since then Lous Abigial has turned the tables on Celone Hall (pp 5, Brandon Bates), the last two races they’ve met.
Bee See has breezed the last three times she’s raced on a mile track and was dominant in last weekend’s Springfield elimination, four-plus lengths the best in a 1:59 flat mile. Lauren Hall (pp 8, Mike Brink), another Brink trainee, hasn’t missed a purse check in her first five starts, four of them second place finishes.
Fox Valley Lush, Olympic Hopeful, Reign And Shine, Really Railee and Lous Cover Girl are the longshot hopefuls in the race.
The two-year-old filly pace follows and division leader Double Parked(Travis Seekman), will have to start in the second tier with the 10-post. She’s been hammered down in the wagering in every start and has rewarded her backers in five of those races for trainer and owner Leroy Hunt of Jackson, MS.
Double Parked starts behind Amazon Princess (pp 1, Casey Leonard), who did show gate speed with a third place finish in her debut. The consistent fillies Ashlee’s Fine Girl (pp 8, Luke Plano and Sleazy Gal pp 9, Kyle Wilfong), should also get good play.
Sign Her Up (pp 4, Juan Franco), was a surprise winner at 10-1 in her elimination. Tropical Fruit (pp 6, Brandon Bates), went off stride early in her first start and made make up five lengths on the field to finish second last weekend.
Locked On it, Jimmy’s Gal, Castielle and Guru Vee Girl complete the sixth race field.
The draw couldn’t have gone any poorer for the 2-year-old colt and gelding pace pre-stake favorite Fox Valley Ren (Kyle Wilfong), with the outside nine post.
The Nelson Willis trainee has shown she can sprint out in a hurry from the starting gate and likely will this afternoon, seeking her sixth consecutive triumph for the Megan Rogers Racing Stable of Chicago.
RG’s Tracer (pp 5, Travis Seekman), second best to Fox Valley Ren the last three times they’ve encountered each other, is also expected to show early speed and so could last week’s elimination winner Canadian Mountie (pp 2, Casey Leonard), and maybe others.
Chick Magnet, Ryans Ambassador, KB Two, Hello Rooster, Patton Plus, and Western Perch all are looking to pull off a surprise victory today.
The ninth race 3-year-old filly trot appears to be, at least on paper, a slugfest from last year’s freshman champion filly Louzotic (pp 3, Kyle Husted), trained by Steve Searle, and Heidi High (pp 2, Juan Franco). If you’re keeping score its 3 to 2 in favor of Louzotic in their last five meetings.
Heidi High’s shift from the seven slot to today’s two post is very significant. The New Balance filly is at her best on/or close to the front and wasn’t there last week. She will be this afternoon.
Puddin Cheeks, Joes Joe Violet, Skippymalou, Loussoltaire and Lous Paramour will also be going to the gate.
The three-year-old colt and gelding trot is pretty much up for grabs. You can make a case for a number of these ICF sophomores: Lousraptor (pp 5, Casey Leonard), who took last week’s prep from the 10-hole. Lourhianon won the most recent leg of the Erwin F. Dygert stake series, his fifth triumph of the year. Trixie’s Turbo (pp 1, Kyle Wilfong), who made a break last week, but was never headed against most of these same trotters in her early June Cardinal stake victory and Louscardamon who is a Dygert leg victor and plenty dangerous with a flat mile.
Trainer Mike Brink sends out the trio of For Trots Sake (pp 3), Prince Cassius (pp 4) and Super Betcha (pp 9). Fox Valley Cruise (pp 7), My Dreamweaver (pp 8), and Big Garcia Vega (pp 10), in the second tier are potential high payoff aspirants.
Veteran trainer Nelson Willis has a strong steady trio of Lilly Von Shtupp, Valar Morghulis and last year’s Springfield champion Fox Valley Halsey) in the three-year-old filly pace championship and they landed posts 2, 3 and 4, in that order.
The filly to beat is the Rodney Freese trainee Fox Valley Torrid (pp 1, Casey Leonard), almost two lengths the best in last week’s prep. The Yankee Skyscraper filly was the 2018 Incredible Tillie champion.
A likely brisk pace could set things up for the capable Jay Garrels late charger Perch (pp 8, Kyle Wilfong), who has 9 career wins in 21 tries and almost $80,000 on her card.
The race’s longshot candidates are: Brienne The Beauty, Winter Gram and Fox Valley Lil Kim.
The Springfield finale is the often called “glamour division” of horse racing, a 3-year-old colt and gelding championship. In this case it’s for ICF male pacers.
Thus far three horses have pretty much dominated this year’s division—Maximus, Meyer On Fire and Fox Valley Triton. The threesome will grab a large portion of the public’s wagering dollars today.
Maximus (pp 2, Kyle Wilfong), while under a hold, won for fun in 1:54.4 last weekend. Freshman champ Meyer On Fire (pp 5, Kyle Husted), uncorked a 26.2 last quarter in his 1:53 elimination victory, while Fox Valley Triton, was raced easy before, exploded with a 26.1 final panel against the above to be second.
You can expect inviting double-digit odds on the other 12th race contestants: Frontier Muffler, Fox Valley Oscar, Fox Valley Julius, The Bucket, Coming Up and Master Sage.
MIKE’S SPRINGFIELD SELECTIONS
For Thursday, First Post 12 Noon
1—Fox Valley Extacy, Lous Flashy Dancer, El Oh Governor
2—Sports McGrew, Super Park, Fox Valley Jude
3—Fox Valley Exploit, Fox ValleyNia, June Dale Gram
4—Fox Valley Kobe, Lou Pachal, Coach Cougar
5—Lous Abgail, Bee See, Celone Hall
6—Double Parked, Ashlees Fine Girl, Tropical Fruit
7—Fox Valley Quest, Desert Sheik, On Higher Ground
8—Fox Valley Ren, RG’s Tracer, Canadian Mountie
9—Louzotic, Heidi High, Puddin Cheeks
10—Lousraptor, Lourhianon, Trixie’s Turbo
11—Fox Valley Torrid, Perch, Fox Valley Halsey
12—Meyer On Fire, Fox Valley Triton, Maximus
Best Bet—Double Parked (6th race)