By Mike Paradise
Racing resumes Saturday evening at Hawthorne after a severe thunderstorm rolled into the Chicago area last night, cancelling Friday’s card after only the first two races were completed.
While Saturday’s third race Open II Pace for fillies and mares is the headliner, another race later on the card for distaffers also grabbed my attention.
The seventh race is or fillies and mares without $5,000 earned in their last five starts and also eligible are 3-year-old ICF fillies enabling last season’s Illinois bred freshman champion Fox Valley Jazzy to get a needed start.
Fox Valley Jazzy was the $175,000 Incredible Tillie freshman stake series winner on the 2017 Night of Champions, one of eight victories in her first season for trainer Dale Kanitz and the Yankee Skyscraper earned over $130,000 for owner Cathy-Finn Kanitz of Olney, Illinois.
Health issues have limited Fox Valley Jazzy to only eight starts as a 3-year-old and she missed the third leg of the Plum Peachy Series. The filly was the runner-up in her first two Plum Peachy starts, good for 50 series points, and she currently sits in sixth place in the point standings with one more leg (September 15) still to go.
The ten highest Plum Peachy point earners advance to the $85,000 (est) Final on Hawthorne’s Saturday, September 22nd Night of Champions.
Dale explained why his prize 3-year-old filly has made only eight season starts.
“With horses moving in and out of the barn Fox Valley Jazzy picked up a virus infection earlier in the summer and that’s why she missed the third leg of the Plum Peachy,” said Dale. “I wasn’t going to race a sick horse.
“We skipped Du Quoin with her but we did make Springfield and I was very pleased with both of her races there. She was second both times and just missed in the final.
“She’s a filly that likes to race off the helmet and Ridge (Warren) has done a very good job of racing her.”
The daughter of Yankee Skyscaper, out of the Ft. Apache Hanover broodmare LR Dancing Dream, has been either first or second in 17 of her 21 career starts and has finished worse than third only once. Earlier tis season she captured her $25,700 Violet division in early June with Warren.
“Saturday is a prep race for her,” continued Dale. “I’m pointing her for the last leg of the Plum Peachy. With a good finish there she’ll make the championship and that’s been our goal for her.”
Fox Valley Jazzy (Ridge Warren) leaves from post three in Saturday night’s seven-horse field and is listed at 7-2 in the program along with Town Temptress (Kyle Wilfong), a Hawthorne Open winner two starts ago. Lady’s Party (Casey Leonard) is the 5-2 morning line favorite.
The other seventh race starters are Boogie On Down (Kyle Wilfong), My Kind Of Dance (Juan Franco), Look Kimbo (Jim Lackey) and Over Speeding (Robert Smolin).
The third race Open II has a compact field where five pacing mares will duke it out: From the pole position out you’ll find Fox Valley Aubry (Kyle Husted), I Dance U Prance (Kyle Wilfong), Char N Marg (Casey Leonard), Pretty Image (Rodney Freese) and Phyllis Jean (Juan Franco).
The Terry Leonard Stable’s Char N Marg, a winner the last two times she raced in an Open II Pace, is the a 7-5 morning line favorite.