Repeat Winners in Second Incredible Finale Legs

By Mike Paradise
There were no major surprises in Saturday night’s $12,500 trio of Incredible Finale stakes for ICF freshman pacing colts and geldings. In fact all three winners were also victorious in the opening legs of the stake series.

Sporty Redhot (Four Footed Photo)

Sporty Redhot (Four Footed Photo)

Driver Todd Warren used a backside move with the 4-5 favorite Sporty Redhot ($3.60) in the eighth race first split and had the Kim Roth trainee on the lead soon after the half-mile pole (57.3) where he went on to win in comfortable fashion for Berwyn, IL owner Al Beals.
Fox Valley Nemitz was second in the 1:55.1 mile and Fox Valley Sparty took third.
The Jim Eaton Stable’s Fox Valley Jeter ($8.40, Casey Leonard) powered past the early leaders soon after the quarter mile pole, took command before the 59 half, and went on to hold off the 6-5 public’s choice Tiny Laramie by one length in a 1:56.4 mile.
Fox Valley Scampi took third in the second Incredible Finale Split.
Owned by Phil Langley (Frankfort, IL), Christine Buttice (Leesburg, FL) and Eaton, Fox Valley Jeter is now 2-for-2 in his young career.
The 7-5 favorite Gabe Henry ($4.60) had to work hard to reward his backers in the third division. Todd Warren hustled him out from the 8-hole but a number of other horses also left the gate trying to make the top.
Spirited Encounter James Lackey) eventually took command and Warren was content to take the pocket behind the pacesetter for a while. Todd pulled Gabe Henry out of the pocket mid-way through the last turn and these two slugged it out all the way down the stretch.
The Tom Graham Jr. trained winner, a home-bred owned by Carol Graham of Salem, IL, wore down Spirited Encounter and won by a half-length in 1:56.1. Fox Valley Inferno rallied strong to grab the third place share of the $12,500 pot.
Gabe Henry was the fourth of five winners for Warren on the card.
Earlier Todd steered Holdonwe’rolling ($3.00) to his winning1:54.2 mile in the first Cardinal pace elimination for ICF 3-year-old males. The second elim went to BS Tyrrific ($12.60), driven by Kyle Wilfong., in a lifetime best time of 1:52 flat.
A Baker’s Dozen: Hawthorne will host a 13-race card Sunday with a pair of $10,000 Open Paces, one for the gals and one for guys, as the headliners.
The distaff pace goes as race eight with the past two Open winners, Feetonthedashboard (Dale Hiteman) and Seeyouatthefinish (Kyle Husted) handicapped with the outside 8 and 8 slots, respectively.
They’ll be challenged by Fox Valley Charm (Todd Warren), Ryleigh’s Lilly (James Lackey), Rocknroll Hoochcoo (Kyle Wilfong), Timmylynn (San Widger), Triple Lane Melody (Travis Seekman), Nat A Virgin (Casey Leonard) and OK Heavenly (Pat Curtin).
The tenth race $10,000 Open for colts and geldings night be the most wide-open event on the program.
Take your pick from (in post-position order) Extravagant (Casey Leonard), That Man Of Mine (Matt Krieger), Smoke Rings (James Lackey), Dinky Dune (Pat Curtin), Best Man Hanover (Todd Warren), Fiveknuckleshuffle (Travis Seekman), Lyons Jimmydean (Kyle Husted), Yankee Bounty (Dale Hiteman), Sunset Dreamer (Kyle Dreamer) and last week’s victor Mr. Coolie (Sam Widger) who popped at 19-1 odds.

Hawthorne Chose Ill-Advised Path for Freshman Colt Stakes

By Mike Paradise
Saturday night’s second leg of the Incredible Finale Stake Series for ICF 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings was split into a trio of very crowded 11-horse divisions. All three events should be quite a cavalry charge going into the first turn.
With 33 entries I expected a trio of eight-horse divisions and a nine-horse field for these “green” first season youngsters but Hawthorne took the shortsighted route.
They instead made them 11 horse fields of freshman pacers and moved them back in the program raced 8, 9 and 10, in an effort boost its Pick Five pool and for its west coast players.
While more money will likely be bet on an 11-horse field rather than an 8 or 9 horse one they didn’t give much thought about the owners of these very inexperience youngsters with just two starts on their card and both coming in the daylight.
Didn’t they think that an owner who puts up a $1,250 nomination fee to compete in this stake series and then writes a $200 starting fee check for each leg his youngster competes in would expect at least have his or her horse on the starting gate.
The owners who have horses with the 9 or 10 slots could be in for an unhappy journey as well in these $12,500 events. If their horses don’t leave they’ll drop in 10 or 11th and be a dozen or more lengths off the pacesetter going in the first turn.
If their horses do go out will they find a hole or will they be hung out? They could end-up being be parked-out much of the way and trapping some of the public’s betting choices stuck inside.
A Saturday race wouldn’t have had to be added to the card if four divisions were contested instead of three. One of the cheap races and could have been moved to Sunday.
Would a 10-horse cheap field handle more than an eight-horse field if?
A case could be made for either outcome. However whatever small gain is accomplished on the Saturday handle with 11 horse fields of inexperienced 2-year-olds, many with only 1 or 2 stars under their belt, it will be more than off-set with the track’s decision to assist in continue the eroding of the long suffering Illinois breeding program that has seen its numbers drop dramatically in the last decade.
Why would an owner spend want to pony-up $2,000 in nominations and starting fees for an ICF stake Series with “trailers” who have almost no shot of winning and only a slim possibility of picking up a purse check
In other Midwest venues their state-breds freshman will race for 2 or 3 times the money and without “trailers.”
While Illinois Racing Board rules do allow for a racetrack to have an 11-horse field in a stake race, having inexperience 2-year-olds this early in their season doing so, is just a lousy idea.
Besides, the Illinois Racing Act of 1975 stipulates in it the State will:
(b) Ensure that Illinois’ horse racing industry remains competitive with neighboring states;
(e) Encourage the breeding of thoroughbred and Standardbred horses in this State;

So how does a slap in the face to some of owners of Saturday’s 2-year-olds stake hopefuls accomplish any of those two stipulations?
It doesn’t.
Trio of 1st Time Winners: Four divisions of the Incredible Tillie stake series for ICF freshman filly pacers were contested Friday night and the first three saw the winners all record their maiden victory.

A Real Doozie  (Four Footed Photo)

A Real Doozie
(Four Footed Photo)

A Real Doozie ($5.40, Tim Curtin) edged out the 4-5 favorite Jump Right Up in the first split. The Mike Brink trainee was a neck the best in 1:57 flat for Arlington Heights, IL owner Ira Steinberg.
The Ron Phillips trained filly Just Doit Queeny ($10.80, James Lackey) had easy time in the second division, drawing off by five-plus lengths with a 1:58 clocking for New Jersey owner Howard Jacobs.
The betting public had it right in the third split when Fox Valley Charliz ($5.00, Dale Hiteman) battled the first starter Rousey Ronda down the length of the stretch before taking a head decision in 1:58.2. Trainer Clark Fairley of Lena, IL, shares ownership of the Sportsmaster filly with Marsha Combs-Skinner and Larry Skinner of Newton, IL.
My Kind Of Dance ($6.60, Casey Leonard) put on a strong stretch rush and nailed Princess Sage at the wire in the fourth division. It took a 1:56 mile for the Alex Adam filly to get her repeat victory for owner and breeder Adrian Adam of Beecher, IL.

Three Dozen ICF Fillies Enter Incredible Tillie Stakes

By Mike Paradise
Hawthorne’s entry box was jammed with the names of 36 of ICF freshman filly pacers for the Incredible Tillie stakes series again necessitating four divisions to be on the 12-race card.
A pair of elimination divisions were also needed for next week’s Violet Pace Final when 15 state-bred 3-year-old fillies were entering, bringing the total to 6 races on the program ICF filly stake events of the kind or another.
The four $12,500 Incredible Tillie stakes will go as races 2, 3, 4 and 6 while the Violet elims are back-to-back events with races 7 and 8 with the latter headed up by last year’s division champ Char N Mar, well on her way to taking this year’s honors as well.
Char N Mar has nailed own victories in 4 of her last 6 outings and that includes both of her Plum Peachy Stake Series divisions and a career fastest 1:52.3 mile in a June 10 Open Pace against older horses for Quaid Racing of Chicago.
The first five finishers in their respective Violet eliminations will advance to next week’s championship with its estimated $23,000 purse.

Jump Right Up

Jump Right Up

Incredible Tillie first leg winner Jump Right Up (Todd Warren), shown in a Four Footed Photo, will be a low-end favorite in the initial division of tonight’s second leg of the “Tillie”. The Ideal Towne filly brings a two-race winning streak into the race and landed the one-slot for owners, Quaid Racing and trainer Nelson Willis’ wife Cynthia Kay.
The Roshun Trigg trained Filly Forty (Jamaica Patton) and Willis’ Sheadelaer (Casey Leonard) are expected to vie for the favoritism in the second “Tillie” nine-horse division.
The most wide open division is the fourth race third where My Mona Me (pp 1, Travis Seekman), Fox Valley Charliz (pp 5, Dale Hiteman), first starter Rousey Ronda (Todd Warren) and Giftfromtheheart (pp 8, Jamaica Patton) all could get a good portion of the wagering.
The strongest of the four Incredible Tillie divisions appears to be the fourth (Race six) where you have first leg winner Princess Sage, trained and driven by Freddie Patton Jr. taking on Fox Valley Dandy (Dale Hiteman), another first round winner, along with Dandy’s Dududidudu (Todd Warren) a pair of fillies who came up with big efforts in their respective openings legs of the stake.
“Fox Valley Dandy kind of surprised us when the way he raced in the first leg of the stake,” said his trainer Ray Hanna. “We didn’t know he would race as well as he did in his very first start.”
Surprise, Surprise: It didn’t take long Thursday night for a shocker in one of the four ICF 2-year-old stakes. It came in the first division of the $10,000 Kadabra, the third race on the card.
Trixie’s Jethro was hammered down to 1 to 9 odds and after going five wide in the first turn to get command from the 8-slot he looked to be in good shape, hitting the half in 1:00.2 and getting away with a soft 31.2 third quarter,

Totally Pazzazed

Totally Pazzazed

However Casey Leonard behind the Nick Giberson trained first-time starter Totally Pazzazzed (pictured in Four Foot Photo) had other plans. Casey had the winner in eighth in the early going at 25-1 odds and the colt looked to be too far back.
Nevertheless in the lane when Casey asked him for another gear Totally Pazzazzed ($54.80) obliged, powering past Trixie’s Jethro AT the 16th pole and drawing away by almost three lengths in 2:01.1 for his owners and breeders James and Tracy Walker of Sherman, IL.
Trixie’s Jethro, a Kadabra first leg winner settled for second while Marching Zion took third place honors.
Chalk players had their way in the second Kadabra division when the 2-5 heavy favorite Matt Q (Casey Leonard) made his third consecutive victory an easy 4 and 1/2 length decision in 2:02.3. Cassisandfifth was second.
The first $10,000 Fox Valley Flan saw Lyle Scurlock’s She’s Savvy ($5.40, Matt Krueger) lead from start to finish for her initial pair-mutuel win. It came with a 2:01.1 clocking, a half-length better than Lucy Quaider. Fox Valley Elana was third.
The second “Flan” saw another 25-1 longshot pull off an upset as Todd Warren steered Dandy’s ESP ($55.20) to her initial triumph in 2L00.4. The Bob Rittof trained gelding came from out of it and stormed down the stretch to win by six widening lengths.
Runner-up honors went to Betsey B Breeze and Sis’s Ellie Mae was third best.