By Mike Paradise
Leg three of the Night of Champions series for ICF sophomores will have the public’s attention this weekend and it begins with Friday evening’s Robert F. Carey Jr. Memorial stake event.
Looking at the Carey’s current standings, Bombay Bobby is leading with 75 points after winning the first leg for ICF colt and geldings pacers, worth 50 points and his second-place finish in round two, netting the Major Bombay three-year-old another 25 points.
The Terry Leonard stable’s Ideal Big Guy rebounded from a third-place finish (12 points) in leg one with a strong winning performance (50 points) in leg two after the pacer was put on the bleeder medication Lasix prior to his Cardinal win in earlier in June.
A victory in tonight’s sixth race $15,000 headliner, up $2,500 in purse money from the first two rounds, would vault Ideal Big Guy, a $19,000 yearling purchase, into the top spot for his Illinois owners Dandy Racing Stable (Glenview), Peter Kouchis (Palos Park), Martin Budkey and trainer Terry Leonard (Harvard).
Ideal Big Guy landed the outside post in tonight’s third round of the Carey but with only seven horses that’s not a big deal. Casey has a few options with the son of Ashlee’s Big Guy including leaving with the pacer.
Bombay Bobby is in good shape with the three slot for trainer Dossie Minor. The Major Bombay gelding has shown when asked, he can scoot well from the gate as well. Bombay Bobby has put over $25,000 on his season card for Springfield, Illinois owner Karla Santos and likely will go over the $50,000 plateau in career earnings tonight.
The Terry Leonard stable also sends out Partyatmosasplace in the Carey and he’ll be catch-driven by Todd Warren when he gets away from the pole position. Look for him to push the early pace and then maybe settle in for a favorable inside trip.
While winless in his freshman campaign Partyatmosasplace did bank over $21,000 last season for Illinois owners Watson Stable of Fairfield, Peter Kouchis of Plainfield, and trainer Terry Leonard of Harvard. The homebred picked up his second victory of 2021 in his last Hawthorne outing,
Looking to pull off an upset are Diamond Diesel (Juan Franco), Prince Of Style (Ridge Warren), Ryans Loan Shark (Travis Seekman) and Sportsmadness (Jordan Patton).
A No-Go: Only four horses, Bobcat Bay, Fox Valley Gemini, He’zzz A Wise Sky and Yankee Bounty, were entered for Friday’s $12,000 Open, so we’ll have to wait another week to see the crème of Hawthorne’s pacers in action.
Driver’s Update: Casey Leonard’s 20.2 per cent winning clip has him on the top of the current driver standings with 69 winners. Kyle Wilfong is in striking range with 56.
Then there are four drivers close to each other: Kyle Husted with 38, Atlee Bender and Ridge Warren each with 35, and Todd Warren at 34.
More in Store: The third leg of the Plum Peachy stake series for state-bred sophomore pacing fillies will head up Saturday’s card while both Night of Champion “Dygert’s” for ICF trotters of both sexes will be the features on Sunday evening.