By Mike Paradise
Hawthorne is trotting out a pair of Night of Champions stake series contests and its Open Trot Sunday night.
The first co-feature on the card is the third leg of the $15,000 Beulah Dygert Memorial series and what’s very noticeable about the ICF stake event for 3-year-old trotting fillies is the short field. Only six sophomores are going postward.
Last year’s division champion Louzotic (Kyle Husted) and second round Dygert champ Heidi High (Juan Franco) are sure to get the vast majority of the public’s wagering money. They’ve traded victories with each other the last two times they met. The Steve Searle stable’s Louzotic will be at low end 4-5first flash odds while Charles Arthur’s speedster Heidi High is programmed at 3-1.
Louzotic is a double-stakes winner this year and has six season victories, all at Hawthorne. Her five foes combined have six pari-mutuel wins in 2019 combined.
Skippymalou (Casey Leonard), Lou’s Paramour (Steve Searle) Joe Joe’s Violet (Kyle Wilfong) and Puddin’ Cheeks (Ridge Warren) are tonight’s Beulah Dygert longshot hopes.
Time to Square Off: The third round of the Erwin F. Dygert Memorial for second season trotting state bred colts and geldings has a full field of 10 horses its two division leaders—Lousraptor (Casey Leonard) and Louscadamon (Kyle Husted)—will it out in an ICF stake for the first time this year.
Lousraptor, from the barn of trainer Roshun Trigg got the better of the draw when he landed the three-slot while the Steve Searle trained Louscardamon will start from the seven. Flacco Family Farms of Alexis, Illinois owns Lousraptor and it shares proprietorship of Louscardamon with Dr. Patrick Graham of Pittsfield, Illinois.
Both trotters have 100 series points after they each captured their respective first two legs of the Erwin Dygert and very likely will be co-favorites when the starting gate springs open for race six tonight.
Charles Doehring’s Trixie’s Turbo (pp 4, Kyle Wilfong) from the barn of trainer Jill White bested Louscardamon when they met in a Cardinal stake division on June 2nd and is listed as Hawthorne’s 2-1 pre-race favorite by the USTA’S computer generated, sometimes embarrassing, morning line.
Lourhianon (Luke Plano), winless in his last seven starts, is the 7-2 programmed second choice. Division series leaders Lousraptor and Louscardamon are listed next at unforeseen odds of 4-1 and 5-1, respectively.
Also looking to knock off the series division leaders are Super Betcha (Brandon Bates), My Dreamweaver (Ridge Warren), For Trot Sakes (Jim Lackey), Swaneelou (Juan Franco), Prince Cassis (Ryan Anderson) and Fox Valley Cruise (Travis Seekman).
Newcomer in Open: The weekly $12,000 Open Trot has been decided by a couple of noses the last two times with Illinois champ Anna’s Lucky Star (pp 5, Kyle Wilfong) and 30-time career winner Pine Dream (Casey Leonard) trading narrow victories.
This time around they’ll be tested by the former Ron Burke trained veteran trotter Call For Justice (pp 2, Kyle Husted), purchased recently by the Illinois trio of Dandy Farms Racing (Glenview), FT Racing Stable (Glenview) and OB Stables (Shorewood).
Now under the care of trainer Rob Rittof, Call For Justice has lifetime earnings of over $590,000. A good portion of his 43 career wins came in the last few years in Preferred events at The Meadows, where the horse equaled his mark of 1:52.4 on July 5.
Scramble Camp (Luke Plano), Kristy’sgingergal (Ryan Anderson) and Mandeville (Robert Smolin) complete the 6-horse Open trot field.
Sunday’s appearance isn’t Call For Justice’s Hawthorne debut. The classy trotter was the runner-up trotter in a $25,000 Invitational on the 2018 Night of Champions program. The 7-year-old is a well- bred stud. He’s sired by Justice Hall out of a S J’s Caviar broodmare, so maybe we’re looking at a future Illinois trotting stallion.
Time will tell.
Surprise, Surprise: Both of the 1-5 prohibitive Plum Peachy division favorites went down to defeat last night when first Lilly Von Stupp and then Valar Morghulis. a pair of Nelson Willis trained and Megan Rogers Stable owned 3-year-old fillies, pulled off surprise victories.
Travis Seekman drove both winning filly pacers.
In the first $15,000 division the heavy favorite Fox Valley Halsey (Casey Leonard) had to go to a 55.4 first half to keep the 25-l longshot Fox Valley Lil Kim (Kyle Husted) from clearing, enabling the inside third place pacer Lilly Von Shtupp ($13.2) to zip past in the lane with a new lifetime mark of 1:53.3.
A few races later stable-mate Valah Morghulis was in her familiar front-end spot turning for home when the heavy favorite Fox Valley Torrid (Casey Leonard) was pulled out of third and went off stride coming out of the last turn. Valar Morghulis ($13.20) went on to coast to a 5 and 1/2 length victory in 1:53.2, also a career best mile for the Sportsmaster filly.
Sweet: The seventh race filly and mare Open Pace winner Sweetshadyshark (Ryan Anderson) was this author’s “Price Shot” winner of the night at a $15.20 mutuel. The Ronnie Roberts trained mare went wire-to-wire and bested Skeeter Machine by one length in 1:52 flat.