ICF Trotters Get Their Opportunity
Three-year-old state-bred trotters get their chance to be in the limelight Thursday night when Hawthorne hosts the opening round series of both the Fox Valley Evita for fillies and the Gumcorner Lad for colts and geldings.
Two $12,000 divisions are on the card with the nine distaffers tangling in races one and 11 males battling in race three. The trotters with the highest money earners in Thursday’s opening legs, along with round two next Thursday, will be back for the Fox Valley Evita and Gumcorner Lad two $50,000 Finals, two of the eight ICF championships to be decided on our Saturday, August 4 Night of Champions, highlighted by the $100,000 added Robert F. Carey Memorial Open Pace.
The wide-open Fox Valley Evita opener looks to be wide open. The field in post position order: Star Swagger (8-1), Filly Hotpsur (6-1), Vapor Rises (5-1), Mogo On The Gogogo (5-2), Victor’s Phantom (4-1), Dream Of Victoria (12-1), Fox Valley Deja (15-1), J C Josie (9-2) and Harmony Oaks Kitty (20-1).
As a freshman Mogo On the Gogogo (Dave Magee) won $94,676 for Chicago owner Blackfoot Farms and among her five victories was Balmoral’s $36,000 Sarah Myers Final. In her last two-year-old season start she took the show spot in an American National against open company fillies. Earlier this year the bay filly won the $15,000 Trotting Tilly stake at Balmoral.
Victor’s Phantom (Ryan Anderson) hasn’t raced back to her big two-year-old season yet. The home bred captured Balmoral’s $123,000 Lady Lincoln Land and Violet Champion ships enroute to banking almost $105,000. She’s 1-for-9 with $16,874 on her ’07 card.
J C Josie (Homer Hochstetler) beat Mogo On The Gogo and Victor’s Phantom the last two times the trio of fillies met, winning the $43,000 Violet Final and a $12,000 division of the Fox Valley Diva last month at Balmoral.
“When J C Josie started out she showed some promise,” said Hochstetler, who is the trainer and a co-owner of the winning chestnut filly for Rose Between Two Thorns (Karen Arrenholz, Richard Keys and Hochstetler) of Trivoli, IL. “At Springfield she was second her elimination and a good third in the (two-year-old) State Fair Final. But when she came to Balmoral for the Lady Lincoln Land she hurt her hind foot and just raced okay, so we stopped with her and gave her the winter off. She has come back well for her three-year-old season.”
The third race Gumcorner Lad will have an extra-large field off 11 colts tangling, including Vapor Maker (4-1) who started off his second season campaign like he ended his first with an ISOBA stake win in May at Balmoral. However he has since dropped his next eight straight. As a freshman Vapor Maker captured the $25,000 Dare Safe at DuQuoin and both the $50,000 Cardinal and $34,000 Sarah Myers Finals at Balmoral for the Hochstetler Stable. Thursday night he’ll race as an entry with Orphan Victor.
Spunky Vic (3-1, Ryan Anderson), who is coupled with Fox Valley Isbi, has been second or third in nine consecutive but he’s still looking for season win No. 1 for the Roger Welch Stable.
Kenny Collier’s Sweet Willie (8-1, Dean Magee) was last year’s $120,000 Lincoln Land champion at Balmoral and he won two races on the Crete, IL track in June including the $15,000 Kadabra stake. No Jokin (9-2, Dave Magee) was the runner-up in both the Dare Safe and Cardinal stakes as a freshman. He does come off a 1:58.1 Hawthorne win on July 10.
THURSDAY NOTES: Fifth race first time pari-mutuel starter Liberty Square
was bought for $45,000 at the 2005 Lexington Select Sale by trainer and part-owner Erv Miller. The there-year-old colt is a Garland Lobell offspring. In the same race is Thundercrack, who sold for $25,000 under the name Easy Victor at the 2005 Illini
Sale . . . Races six, seven and eight all are first round legs of the Stickney Series for colts and geldings without two wins or $12,500 (ICF $15,000) in career earnings as of July 1 who are in with $8,000 claiming tags . . . The $12,000 opening round of the Determination Plus Series for ICF second season fillies will be raced on Friday’s card, while the initial legs of the $12,000 Master Shawn Series for sophomore state-bred males goes on Saturday, along with the $82,500 Erwin F Dygert Memorial Trot Championship.