By Mike Paradise
Let’s admit it, trying to predict who will come out on top when two-year-old Illinois bred trotters compete for the first time in their racing careers is a very difficult task.
In fact, it’s a little more than a guessing game for some. That’s why the so called “experts” like me, are supposed to come to the rescue and give you the winning selections based on our “vast knowledge” of Illinois harness racing.
Guess what? At this time of the year there isn’t a whole lot to go on, so we’re making what I would call, at best, an “educated guess.”
In other words, we don’t know for sure either.
Nevertheless, remember, it’s not how a two-year-old trotter starts out in the Night of Champion stake series, it’s how he or she finishes it.
While a victory in one of the first leg series stakes on Sunday’s card would be a feather in the cap for any horseman and their owner, and half of a $17,500 purse being offered is nothing to sneeze at, there’s a whole lot more at stake in mid-September when the championship pots are in the six-figure range.
Also take tonight’s program morning line with a grain of salt. It’s the same USTA computer tout system that had the three-time Illinois Harness Horse of the Year Fox Valley Gemini at 12-1 in the morning line when he made his season debut. And, yes, he won that race.
Here are some notes concerning tonight’s two-year-old Night of Championship series trotters you might find interesting, or not:
***In the initial Fox Valley Flan filly trot (race one), Lous Xanadu is a full sister to the Flacco Family Farm’s star trotting filly Louzoti, the winner of last week’s Open Trot and closing in on $300,000 in lifetime earnings.
***Mailboxmoney is now driven by Todd Warren and the Mike Rogers trained filly is the sister of Mike’s good trotter Captansblacksparrow (1:58).
***Ironclad Creation (Kyle Wilfong) is out of the same dam that produced Tour Hall, a former ICF champion a few years back for trainer Mike Brink.
***In race two, the first division of the Kadabra, Brink will handle Fox Valley Cairo, a $34,000 yearling buy that Mike shares ownership with fellow Illinoisans Charlie Briggs and Robert Lacey.
***Lous Barbossa (Kyle Husted) is the brother of Lousrolando, a Kadabra leg winner last season who was also second in the Cardinal.
***The second Kadabra split, race four, the Curt Grummel driven and trained filly Lou’s Di Nomite, is the first foal of the mare Surviver DI, winner of 32 races, including the Violet in 2016 in her three years of competition for owner Steve Renard of Hamilton, Illinois.
***The seventh race second Fox Valley Flan division sends out the John D Finn trainee Hot Trotn Trixie, a daughter of Tropical Trixie that gave us such ICF goodies as Captain Greedy (1:551), Trixie’s Jethro (1:54.3), Sunny Sasha (1:55) and Trixie’s Turbo (1:57).
***In that same seventh race is Lous Monamie, another Searle trained trotter driven by Kyle Husted. Her Flacco Family Farms broodmare Olives and Caviar delivered Searle’s Illinois bred champions as White Pants Fever, Louscardamon, and tonight’s eighth race Beulah Dygert series favorite Loulita, the 2020 ICF Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter of the Year.
***I should also point out in race seven that Casey Leonard chose to drive Herman Wheeler’s Creations Dream MV, a $14,000 yearling buy, over Lous Monamie in the seventh race.
Crowded Field: Loulita and driver Casey Leonard leave from post seven in the 11-horse Beulah Dygert second series leg for sophomore state bred fillies. To her inside are Lou Lou Lamour, BC’s Rose, Ting Ting, Lucky Valerie, Myonly Sin and BBR Lady. Posts 8, 9 and 10 belong to recent Violet victor Rock N Sandra Lou, Breeze At Sunset and Lous Livia. In that order Starting in the second tier (pp 11) is Lous Voodoo Woman.
Double Your Pleasure: The third race first split of the Erwin F. Dygert Memorial stake series has a seven-horse field comprised of Sudden Approach, Shady Maple Spirit, Salute The Hero, Shady Maple Valor, Cardinal champ Rndmnunipredictable, and Emsroscoletrain, a Dygert first leg victor earlier this season.
Coco D’Lascito (J D Finn) is the first flash favorite in the second Erwin Dygert grouping after breezing in his Cardinal division on June 6th. He’ll take on Loyz Say When, last season’s two-year-old male trotting division champ Fistfullofdollars, along with Sumbodygetdisfool, I’mnotalocaldude, Release Cassis and Big Approach.
It all gets under way at 6:30 tonight.
Saturday Highlights: The Tim Roach 12-1 longshot Rmissashlee ($27.00) captured the first Incredible Tillie division for freshman filly pacers, overtaking the betting favorite Swanky Diamond in the lane. Ridge Warren guided the Kyle Lamer of Michigan owned filly to her 1:56.4 victory on a sloppy track.
One race later the 3-5 favorite Dandy’s MNM (Kyle Wilfong) led at every pole in her 1:57.2 win for trainer Merv Chupp and California breeders and owners A Piece Of The Action LLC.
The Terry Leonard stable’s Ideal Big Guy ($4.20) followed his recent Cardinal triumph by drawing away by a two and one-half lengths in round two of the Robert F. Carey Memorial stake series in 1:56 on a track listed “good.” It was the first of two more driving wins for Casey Leonard, now six away from the No. 3,000 plateau.