By Mike Paradise
As it turns out last Friday’s last nine races weren’t cancelled because of the torrential rains that rolled thru the Chicago area . . . they were just postponed. They’ve been moved and will make-up this Thursday’s nine race program as the four-days a week live racing format returns to Hawthorne for September.
That means the $10,000 Open Handicap wasn’t washed out. Instead the nine-horse field drawn by groups will go as Thursday’s seventh race feature.
Perfectly Executed: Casey Leonard gave the 6-5 favorite Char N Marg an advantageous second over trip and the 5-year-old ICF pacer delivered the Terry Leonard Stable a victory in Saturday $8,800 Open Pace II for fillies and mares.
Casey had Char N Marg in fourth in the five horse field through the first half with Pretty Image cutting early fractions of 27.1 and 29.1. When Phyllis Jean came out of fifth to challenge the leader Casey followed her up with Char N Marg. In the lane the winning Sportsmaster mare proved fastest with a 27.1 last panel, one length over runner-up Fox Valley Aubrey (Kyle Husted) in the 1:53 mile.
Char N Marg’s victory was her sixth of the year for owners Illinois owners Dandy Farms Inc. (Glenview) and Peter Kouchis (Palos Hills).
Take-Your-Pick: Sunday’s headliner is the $8,000 seventh race high end-conditioned race trot with an evenly matched field of eight horses. It’s for non-winners of $7,000 (ICF $8,750) in their last five starts with trotters without $215,000 earned in 2018 drawing outside.
That’s where you’ll find the Kyle Husted Stable’s Big Expense with post nine coming off back-to-back victories at tonight’s class and one of the likely post-time favorites.
Another likely to get plenty of the public’s support is the 4-year-old Illinois bred trotter Dr. Spengler, (pp 6,) trained by Curl Grummel and driven for the second start in a row by Mike Oosting. The son of Powerful Emotion was nosed-out by Picky Picky Valor in last Tuesday’s Du Quoin championships for aged male trotters.
After a slow start at the winter meet Dr. Spengler had trotted one strong performance after another at the summer session and hasn’t missed a check in any of his 13 starts the current meet. As a 2 and 3-year-old Dr. Spengler was winless in 26 trips postward and also dropped his first three outings at the winter meet. However he popped in his first start of the summer meet back on May 31 and has been on a roll since, adding four more winner’s circle stops since.
The 7-2 Hawthorne program favorite is the Brett Wilfong Stable’s Bo I See Time (Kyle Wilfong), victorious in his last four starts, including a pair of Springfield and Du Quoin Topline events.
Other formidable foes in the race are Spirit O’Mar (Ridge Warren), Chips For All (Travis Seekman), Silverhill Volo (Jim Lackey), Mansive (Cliff Bell), Allabout Cowboys (Juan Franco) and Willy Mouse (Casey Leonard).
Du Quoin’s Best: Kyle Wilfong was the leading driver at the two-day Du Quoin State Fair meet. The 27-year-old Illinois native brought home six winners, one more than Mike Oosting.
The Du Quoin trainer’s race was a close one as well. Roshun Trigg finished on top with three horses from his barn winning races. Five trainers were right there with a pair of first place finishers: Mike Brink, Jamaica Patton, Mike Rogers, Steve Searle and Nelson Willis.
The fastest mile of the meet was paced by Real Peace (Mike Oosting) who rattled off a 1:50 flat clocking on Tuesday afternoon. The 3-year-old Real Desire gelding his owned by his trainer Mike Brink, Louis Leinberger and the horse’s breeder Ed Teefey, all of Illinois.
Tops at County Fairs: The Illinois County Fair circuit’s leading driver, trainer, owner and breeder for 2018 were honored at the Du Quoin meet. Ronnie Gillespie was the No. 1 driver, Roshun Trigg again won the trainers race while Flacco Family Farms finished on top in both the owner and breeder standings.
Congratulations to all.