Trainer Roger Welch has had success in past series for young trotters at Hawthorne and the 43-year-old conditioner certainly had his freshmen filly trotters ready for this summer’s events as well.
Both So Sexy and Judy Lums were victorious for Welch in their very first career starts last Tuesday, winning their respective opening legs of the Star Slinger Series for state-bred two-year-old trotting fillies.
“Both of these fillies have trained together their whole life,” said Welch. “They’ve been pasture mates. They go to my farm and I turn them out together all the time. I brought them along conservatively and qualified three different times at Balmoral. I’ve aimed both fillies to start their racing careers in this Hawthorne series.”
Despite a break at the start So Sexy went on to draw off by one-length in 2:01 flat with Ryan Anderson in the first Star Slinger division. The youngster was almost 12 lengths behind at the 1:00.2 half-miler marker but trotted a :28.3 last quarter for owner and breeder Phil Rietveld.
“So Sexy is a nice filly and she’s been that way since we broke her,” continued Roger. “Cunning is her full brother and I loved that trotter. Cunning swept the colt two-year-old colt series at Hawthorne the first year they had it. He was just a kick-butt horse but unfortunately his heart went bad and he only raced that one year (2005).”
So Sexy will open as the 9-5 favorite in Tuesday night’s first race first series split from post six, while stablemate Judy Luns is the 5-2 morning line choice in the second Star Slinger division (second race).
Judy Luns also came from far out of it when she won the second opening round Star Slinger split by one and one-quarter lengths in 2:02.3 with Brent Holland at her lines. Holland dropped the youngster into fifth in the going. She was almost nine lengths behind the leader at both the :31 flat first quarter and the 1:00.4 half-mile pole. Holland patiently maneuvered her into position for the stretch drive and when Judy Luns had a clear path she out-trotted the field to the wire.
Judy Luns was bought for $41,000 as a yearling at the Trotters Exchange sale by Sawgrass Farms of Lockport, IL. She’s a full sister to the talented three-year-old filly Mogo On The Gogogo, winner of last Thursday night’s first leg of the Fox Valley Evita Series.
“So Sexy is a laid-back relaxed filly and she reminds me a lot of Go Go Gabby who won everything last year at Hawthorne as a three-year-old,” replied Welch, whose Go Go Gabby went five-for-five at Hawthorne in 2006, sweeping the Silhouette Series and also capturing the $38,000 World Series open stake.
“The other filly was named after Judy Lunsford. She and her husband Henry bred the filly and Judy Luns is more like her namesake, always full of herself and never seems to get tired,” added Roger.
“Both fillies are staked to everything in Illinois, including the Hanover and American National at Balmoral, plus I nominated them for a stake race in Indiana,” said Roger.
Also on tap is the second leg of the Fox Valley Dynamic Series for first season ICF pacing males. Too Much Pepper (3-1, Dave Magee) looks for a repeat of his first round win in race seven, while first leg beaten favorite King Of Kings (Brent Holland) is the 2-1 first flash ninth race favorite.