By Mike Paradise
With Sunday’s Super Bowl behind us Hawthorne’s winter meeting resumes with a rare Monday card tonight. The headliner is the $10,000 Open Trot however there’s another race for trotters on the 10-race program that grabbed my attention when I saw the list of competitors.
The ninth race $7,200 trot is for non-winners of $5,000 in their last five starts. It’s a very competitive nine-horse field and what makes it an out of the ordinary race is that it pits brother and brother. No not drivers. This time it’s horses.
Allaboutcowboys (pp 2, Jan Franco ) is a 5-year-old out of the broodmare Heather Doreen. Picky Picky Valor (pp 9, Mike Oosting) is a 4-year-old out of the same bred mare.
They do have different daddies.
The Gregory Kain trained All About Cowboys 1:55/2, $83,484) is by the Indiana sire Swan For All while his younger ICF sibling Picky Picky Valor (1:56.1, $187,200), from the barn of Gerald Hansen, is a son of Yankee Valor.
And they have more siblings on the way.
You can expect to see Picky Picky Valor’s full younger brother Talk About Valor compete at Hawthorne this summer. Both trotters are owned Shelley Stelle of Monee, Illinois.
Shelley bought Talk About Valor, a full brother to “Picky” in 2016. “Last fall I bought all the Yankee Valor’s except one. I kind of cornered the market on Yankee Valor’s,” said Shelley.
“I think Talk About Valor will be better than ‘Picky. He was a better 2-year-old than his older brother. If you stand the two side-by-sides they look identical except Picky’ as a wart on his chin and Talk About Valor doesn’t.
“Talk About Valor was leading in the Kadabra final on the Night of Champions when he decided to go on the pace instead of trotting. He finished third but got disqualified to sixth.
“I have no doubt that he’s the best colt in his division if he races to his ability. You never know with these 2-year-olds what they’re going to do on the racetrack,” continued Shelley.
“If Talk About Valor doesn’t make it as a race horse he’ll make a hell of a jumper because we can’t him in a fence. Picky is the same way. You have to stand and babysit him or he’ll get out of the fence and go running around with his tail in the air.
“I have a “Picky’ full-sister now (Star Sweeper) and I have his half-brother. I also have his half-sister. Plus I have a red colt that also is by Yankee Valor.”
Before the brothers square off in race nine Monday, a respectable seven-horse field of trotters will tangle in the sixth race Open, drawn by groups. After a convincing victory two weeks ago in the January 21 Open, Larry Lee Smith’s Skyway Jaylo was assigned the outside seven slot by the Hawthorne Race Office.
Trixie’s Jethro (Jared Finn), a two-time winner at the meet, and Ohio invader Double A Goldrush (Ross Leonard) drew for the inside posts with the former getting the rail.
Slots three to six also were drawn with the speedster Swan Handicap (Sam Widger) landing the three while the January 14 Open Trot victor Banker Volo (Kyle Wilfong) is to his right.
Post five will be manned by Lou’s Credit Report (Pat Curtin), victorious in last week’s Open III Trot, while Primed N Powerful (Ryan Anderson) obtained the six. The latter, from the barn of Jamaica Patton, has put together three consecutive big efforts in search of his 29th career victory.
Katie Rocks: The Terry Leonard Stable’s Rocking Katie ($7.00, Casey Leonard) worn down Rockin Praline (Brandon Bates) in the lane and won her second Open III filly and mare pace of the meet Saturday night.
The six-year-old winning mare, owned by Hoosier’s Trent Stohler Stable and Tim Graber, paced the mile in 1:55.1. Mystical Nectar rallied for third.
A snow storm hit the track later Saturday night when the 3 to 5 favorite Fox Valley Catwalk ($3.40, Tim Curtin) drew off in the Doc Walker Late Closer Prep in a much slower time of 1:59 flat.
Trained by owner Rodney Freese, Fox Valley Catwalk swept to the front at the half, put away a bid by runner-up Lilac Laurey at the three-quarters, and made it back-to-back Hawthorne triumphs. The 3-year-old Sportsmaster filly ended up three lengths the best in the swirling snow.
Sixth race longhot winner Hope Hotspur, driven by Juan Franco, was a Mike Paradise Price Shot selection and paid $19.60. . . Todd Warren had a driving triple on the 10-race card