By Mike Paradise
Once we get back racing at Hawthorne, last season’s Illinois Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year Fox Valley Exploit is ready to make her sophomore debut.
As far as the filly’s trainer, driver and co-owner Kyle Husted is concerned, the 28-year-old Illinois native is closing in on his return to driving horses.
Kyle hasn’t taken a horse postward yet this year.
“I tore up my knee pretty good skiing,” explained Kyle. “I tore the ACL, the LCL, the MCL, just about everything. I’ve been spending a lot of time doing physical therapy. With Hawthorne down, the time off has given me a chance to catch up to the other guys (driving).
The unfortunate accident came during the winter after Kyle, with the help of Night of Champions winner Fox Valley Exploit, put up his best numbers of his career in dash winners (I09), money won driving ($1,082,038), training victories (28) and money won as a trainer ($324,921) in 2019.
Fox Valley Exploit did her part to give the 5-5, 150-pound slender Husted a very fruitful 2019 season. The Sportsmaster filly, out of The Big Dog mare She Likes It All, hauled in $93,291 for Husted and co- proprietor David Brigham of Concord, Michigan.
Fox Valley Exploit only raced nine times as a freshman and came up a winner in five of those outings. The filly also had a pair of seconds and one third place finish.
“Fox Valley Exploit is a big filly and I didn’t want to over race her as a 2-year-old,”explained the Altamont, Illinois resident. “I brought her along easy and pointed her for Hawthorne (2-year-old series) and she ended up having a great year for us.
“Her only bad race came at Springfield when the filly made an early break in her elimination. Fox Valley Exploit didn’t handle the shipping down to Springfield very well and she tied up on me. She did come back a week later and won the stake’s consolation and then she won again at Du Quoin. (Director’s Award stake)
“Fox Valley Exploit was an exceptionally big filly for a 2-year-old and has continued to grow. In her last few starts I had to race her in a custom bike that I have for really big horses.
“The filly has filled out over the winter and she’s even bigger now. She’s been in training and she’s good to go once we get the green light to start racing again.”
A full sister to the 2019 ICF Aged Pacing Mare of the Year Allbeastnobeauty (1:50.4), Fox Valley Exploit only missed one check in her first season, her seventh place finish on August 9th at Springfield. The filly then took her season mark of 1:55.3 at the State Fair six days after her mishap.
Fox Valley Exploit’s 1:55.4 win in the NOC’s Incredible Tillie Final was one of three championship drives last year by Husted. Kyle also connected with Louzotic in the three-year-old filly trot’s Beulah Dygert Memorial and later with the pacing mare Skeeter Machine in the Tony Maurello Memorial.
Down to Zero: When the Sacramento, California Health Department this past week suspended racing at Cal-Expo it meant that all harness racing meets in the United States are now halted. . . On Tuesday the Ohio State Racing Commission announced that horse racing at all Ohio racetracks is officially cancelled through April 30.
Starting Wednesday, April 8 Mike Paradise’s stories will be posted every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday while racing at Hawthorne is closed down.