For Immediate Release
Contact: Jim Miller (708) 780-3700
Best in Illinois Give
Night of Champions Preview
STICKNEY, IL – With races shifted from Springfield and DuQuoin to Hawthorne this summer, many of the top horses in
the state were on hand for what turned out to be a preview of next month’s
Night of Champions.
night kicked off impressively as two-year-old Hot Mess Express defeated Topline
company by 11 ½ lengths, winning in 1:52.1 for trainer Jamaica Patton and
driver Ridge Warren. That win by Hot
Mess Express began a string of ten straight winning favorites on the Friday
favorites Crankin’ It Up (1:54.1) won for Kyle Wilfong and Nicole Agosti won the
second race and Sudden Approach (2:03.4) took the third for Clifton Bell and
Jerry Mims, the Championship finals kicked off.
four saw a field of male juvenile pacers compete in the $32,000 final. Driver Marcus Miller gave Erv
Miller trained Well Basically a perfect stalking trip, rallying late to win by
three-quarters of a length. Covering the
mile in 1:56.4, Well Basically held off longshot Diamond Diesel. Pacesetter Frontier Charley held on to finish
male trotters were next in the $32,000 final.
Another favorite, and another impressive effort
was seen as Curt Grummel trained and driven Bobalou made the lead and never looked back. A winner by nine lengths in 2:01.0, Bobalou was well clear of 55-1 shot Loyz
Say When and 26-1 Fistfullofdollars, who finished
nine on Friday featured three-year-old male pacers for $30,000. Avenging a
defeat from last week, trainer Don Filomeno’s He’zzz A Wise Sky left no doubt in the final. Instead of rating, the 1-5 favorite moved to
the front early for driver Robert Smolin and was in
full control, winning by 5 ½ lengths in 1:52.1. Rg’s
Tracer rallied for second while Ryans Ambassador
went for $30,000 as three-year-old male trotters brought forth the first upset
of the championship races. Trainer Mike
Brink finished one-two in the race as 10-1 winner On Higher Ground (1:56.2) got
up in the shadow of the wire for Kyle Wilfong to
catch 9-5 Crooked Creek, winning by a neck. 3-5 favorite Fox
Valley Quest closed late to finish third.
evening continued the festivities as the card kicked off with juvenile filly
trotters competing for $32,000. Continuing the trend of favorites dominating, Loulita did just that as Casey Leonard guided the Steve
Searle trainee to a 6 ¼ length triumph in 2:02.1. Myonly
Sin finished second while Lucky Valerie was third.
races later, two-year-old filly pacers brought about a bit of an upset in the
$32,000 event. Carving out the fractions
and never looking back was the Mike Brink trained Hart’s Heart as Juan Franco
drove her to a 4 ¾ length score in 1:55.3.
Longshot Bootsy Bombay rallied for second while favored
Princess Moose chased the pace and held on for third.
Juan Franco right back in the winner’s circle for the following race as
three-year-old filly pacers competed for the $30,000 pot. Juan pulled another
upset, this time with 7-1 shot Sign Her Up, winning by 3 ¼ lengths. Heavy favorite Fox Valley exploit battled but
was only second best while Harper finished third. Sign Her Up covered the mile for trainer
Charles Arthur in 1:54.1.
final championship race of the weekend was for three-year-old filly trotters in
the tenth race, carrying a $30,000 purse.
This time the favorite was able to get the job done as Casey Leonard
drove Lous Abigail to the victory in 1:58.1. 33-1
shot was game in defeat, battling to the wire and coming up a head short. Fox
Valley Lush finished third. Both Lous Abigail and Bee See were trained by Steve Searle.
Hawthorne Race Course, Chicago’s Hometown Track, returned
for live harness racing on Saturday, February 15 and races through Sunday,
September 20. Post time nightly is 7:10
PM. Hawthorne races live during the
summer harness meet every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Fall thoroughbreds close out the year,
running from October 2 through December 26.
For more information, visit www.Hawthorneracecourse.com
or contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700.