By Mike Paradise
It’s unusual to have three different horses on the same card with extended winning streaks of five or more races nevertheless that’s the circumstances Sunday night at Hawthorne.
Horses winning streaks can begin for a variety of reasons. They could come about with a barn switch, an equipment change, different racing tactics, the right classification, or in the case “green” 2-year-olds, gaining racing experience and maturing.
Whatever the reason or reasons, the common denominator with all horses rattling off victory after victory is “Confidence”. In some cases it comes to a point where these winning horses expect to finish ahead of their foes and they often do.
Sunday night the five-year-old mare Susan Sage carries a five race unbeaten streak into the first race, the six-year-old pacing mare Backwoods Barbie is also looking for her sixth straight visit to the winner’s circle in the fourth race, while the freshman trotter Lou Paschal is gunning for his seventh consecutive victory in race three.
Among the red-hot trio, the Roshun Trigg trained Lou Pascal faces the most difficult task of lengthening his winning streak. The Flacco Family Farms homebred takes on the likely Kadabra final favorite Fox Valley Quest (Casey Leonard), listed at 4-5 tonight, and the Mike Brink stable’s fast improving Swan Of Dreams (2-1), an Indiana bred with his own three race victory streak.
Lou Pascal started his first season of racing making breaks in the first leg of the Kadabra and the Cardinal and a non-threating fifth in round two of the Kadabra. Roshun took him to the Illinois County Fair Circuit against softer foes and he youngster picked-up a pair of wins and two seasons in his next four starts. Lou Pascal’s season best 1:58.1 victory at Springfield in a stake consolation kicked off the son of Lou’s Legacy six consecutive successes in a row.
Backwoods Barbie (Kyle Wilfong) is the 3-2 program favorite in the fourth race for $4,000 and $5,000 claimers. She has always been a good purse earner in her first three years of racing and even started her 2018 campaign competing in Hawthorne Opens. However last summer after winning a low-end conditioned pace at Lexington, the Lis Mara mare proceeded to lose her next 28 races.
A little more than a month ago she was claimed by her current trainer Dean Eckley on the night breezed on the front end in a $4,000 claimer. She hasn’t loss since and each triumph was accomplished while on the lead. Interestingly most of mare’s past conquests came about in come-from-behind fashion.
The five-year-old mare Susan Sage (Ridge Warren) is the 9-5 first flash choice to keep returning to the winner’s circle in Sunday’s opener. She won one of her first four starts and it came in a non-winner of two races with a $9,000 price tag. After that June 16 victory the current Dale Kanitz trainee changed barns when the mare was acquired by Cathy Finn-Kanitz of Onley, Illinois.
Susan Sage has been on a roll since for the Kanitz stable, victorious in 7 of 10 races including the last five, lowering her mark to 1:53.1, and banking over $29,000 this summer at Hawthorne, almost three times more money than she earned in her previous three seasons.
Chalk Up Another: Rockin N Running (Casey Leonard) uncorked rapid 25.4 last quarter and stayed perfect at Hawthorne in the $12,000 filly and mare Open Pace last night. The 1:52.4 winning mile was the five-year-old mare’s fourth consecutive win since joining the Terry Leonard stable in late July.
Rockin N Running ($2.80) finished one length ahead of the ICF mare Skeeter Machine (Ridge Warren) with It’s Time For Fun (Kyle Wilfong) another half-length bend to b third.