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$1,000 Richer Doing What He Loves to Do
Maybe it was only fitting that the first Sunday Night Harness Open Tournament champion was a Hawthorne regular who has been a harness player for decades. It was Chicagoan Jim Bernard who went home $1,000 richer last Sunday after doing what he loves to do: “Bet harness races.
“I’m been playing the horses for 40 years and it’s been all 40 as a harness player,” said the 54-year-old Bernard. “My true love his harness racing. I go back to the old days of playing horses at Aurora Downs and
“I go to the OTB parlors on occasion but I much rather go to the track and watch live races than just watch horses compete on TV. And I used to love the old winter days at
“I had the lead after the first contest race but then I got knocked down to fourth place after the second,” continued the Southwest side Chicagoan. “Then I hit a 30-1 longshot (Parklane Starlet) who came in second and paid $16.80 to place. I had $400 across on that horse and that put me back into first place. I stayed there through the last two contest races. I did bet a little more conservative when I had about a $3,500 lead. The top 10 positions get money and I figured even if I got knocked down a few slots I still would be in good shape.”
Bernard is a big fan of the format of
Sunday Notes: Paul Bertucci’s Bobs Minute Maid has installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite to make it two straight in Sunday’s $15,500 “Winner’s Over” for fillies and mares. She’ll leave form post seven with regular driver Mike Oosting . . . Fourth race first time starter Dinneratartsplace may be saddled with an outside post (9) for his debut but he’s well regarded. He sold for $57,000 at last year’s Harrisburg Sale after his sister went for $90,000 a year earlier. Their older sister Armbro Amoretto (1:50.1) made $1.2 million racing just three years (2002 through 2004). Dinneratartsplace won his qualifier (1:59.2) by almost six lengths and could have gone faster . . . Other fourth race starters include Who Am I (No. 5), a $30,000 yearling buy and Fox Valley Bluff (No. 7) who could turn out to be a $10,000 sale bargain. She’s out of the same dam Don’t Be Bashful as ninth race feature starter Fox Valley Fussy . . . Fox Valley Nanners, the likely favorite in Sunday’s opener showed promise as a freshman. Now three, she won her Springfield State Fair elimination in 1:53 mile before finishing second best in the Final to Kiss Of Heaven. She was a starter in the She’s A Great Lady (Mohawk) and a Hayes (DuQuoin) Open stakes as well.