For Immediate Release
Contact: Jim Miller (708) 780-3700
Nearly $1 Million on
the Line for Night of Champions at Hawthorne
PointsBet Sponsorship Adds $60,000 to 3 Stakes
Finals for Older Horses
Stickney, IL – The best in the state of Illinois will be on
the track Saturday as 11 stakes races will be contested for Night of Champions
at Hawthorne. Although temps are expected to be cool, conditions look to be dry
on Saturday as many divisional honors are on the line.
Last week sports wagering kicked
off with the partnership between PointsBet and
Hawthorne Race Course. While online
sports wagering has begun, the on-site sportsbook is expected to open very soon. To celebrate, PointsBet
has sponsored an extra $20,000 in purse money for each of the three finals for
racing and sports betting really go hand-in-hand,” stated Johnny Aitken, CEO of
PointsBet USA. “Our sponsorship will add purse money
that not only supports Illinois horsemen but showcases our partnership with
Hawthorne and engages new fans who already enjoyed wagering on live sports,
whether that’s a race or a football game.”
Harness Horsemen’s Association Executive Director Tony Somone
added, “I think Hawthorne’s choice to partner with PointsBet
for sports betting in Illinois demonstrates the track’s continued commitment to
racing and the hard-working horsemen of Illinois. Horse racing is the original sports betting after
all, and this sponsorship adds even more excitement to the competition on the
Race 2 – $68,000 PointsBet & Club Hawthorne Robert S. Molaro Memorial Championship
the great partnership between PointsBet and Hawthorne,
an additional $20,000 in purse money has been added to the Robert S. Molaro Memorial. The
Molaro Memorial is for three-year-old and up pacers
and drew a full field, led by past Illinois Champion Fox Valley Gemini.
post eight, Fox Valley Gemini has won 38 of 54 lifetime starts for over $450k
in earnings for owner Jim Ballinger and trainer Terry Leonard. Driven by the meet’s leading driver Casey
Leonard, Gemini has won eight times on the year, hitting the board in all 12 of
his starts. Fox Valley Gemini is the 6-5
morning line favorite.
choice in the Molaro Memorial at 9-2 is Salvatore
from the barn of Perry Smith. Claimed
just two starts back, Salvatore has been very good on the year as well, winning
five times from 15 starts and finishing in the top three in 11 of those
races. Travis Seekman
drives Salvatore who drew post three.
week’s Molaro elimination winner drew the rail as Al’s
Hammered starts for owner/trainer/driver Robert Smolin. Lightly
raced with only seven starts on the year, Al’s Hammered posted a year’s best
mark for himself, winning in 1:52.2 last week.
Race 3 - $88,000 Fox
Valley Flan Championship
filly trotters follow in the Fox Valley Flan as trainer Steve Searle looks to
dominate the race. Searle has four
horses in the final, drawing post positions two through five. Leading the way at 4-5 for Searle is Loulita for owners Flacco Family
Farms LLC and Dr. Patrick Graham. After
getting off to a bit of a slow start on the year, Loulita
has rattled off five straight wins, taking the final leg of this series last
weekend in a new lifetime mark of 2:01.
Casey Leonard gets the call as Loulita drew
next to Loulita, drawing post five, is the Searle
entrant poised to upset in Lous Voodoo Woman. Owned by Steven Renard,
Lous Voodoo Woman has made more starts by a large
margin than any other in the field, starting 19 times on the year. A winner of seven of those starts, Lous Voodoo Woman has speed has driver Kyle Wilfong will look to try to steal the race on the front end
Race 4 - $80,000
Incredible Tillie Championship
filly pacers contest the Incredible Tillie in one of the night’s more wide-open
finals. The 8-5 morning line favorite is
Scorecard Dandy for owners Green Acres LLC and Mike Klimas
for trainer Gregory Kain. Driven by Juan Franco and drawing post four,
Scorecard Dandy has won three of seven starts on the year. Her most recent race was her best, as she
took the final leg of this series last week, rallying to win in 1:55.3.
next to Scorecard Dandy in post three is 3-1 second-choice Princess Mooss. Although only
posting one win on the year for owner Alan Beals and
trainer Gary Rath, Princess Mooss
has finished in the top three in eight of nine starts, including each of her
last four races. Kyle Wilfong gets the drive for Princess Mooss.
overlooked in the Trackmaster morning line at 8-1,
Connie On the Go draws the rail for owners Ronald
Phillips and John Carver and trainer Jamaica Patton. Connie On the Go
opened the season strong, winning five of her first six starts. A pair of tiring trips leading into the final
may be the reason for the inflated line, but a recent qualifier where she
finished strongly could put her into the mix for this final.
Race 5 - $67,000 PointsBet & Club Hawthorne Plesac
Three-year-old and up
trotters follow in the Plesac Championship, another
stakes final receiving a $20,000 purse boost from PointsBet. The girls will look to crash the boy’s party
as talented six-year-old mare Annas Lucky Star is the
7-5 favorite for owner Danny Graham and trainer Nelson Willis. The track record holder for aged mare
trotter, Annas Lucky Star has won five of 11 starts
on the year. She set the track record in
a win against open trotters on August 8, winning in 1:53.3 and then equaled
that mark two weeks later. Driven by
Kyle Wilfong, Annas Lucky
Star is looking for her 40th career victory in start number 73.
competition for Annas Lucky Star could come from a
pair of Steve Searle trained trotters in Lousraptor
Both owned by Flacco Family Farms LLC, Lousraptor draws post two while Louzotic
drew outside post nine in the field. Lousraptor has had a fine year, winning five of 18 races
while finishing in the top three 13 times.
He upset Annas Lucky Star two weeks ago as
Juan Franco gets the call on the 4-1 second choice.
mare Louztoic will be driven by Kyle Husted as she
has finished first or second in nine of 15 races this year. An 11-time winner in 2019, Louzotic rallied in last week’s Plesac
prep, nabbing Annas Lucky Star on the wire for the
upset win. Louzotic
is 10-1 in the morning line.
Race 6 - $98,000
Beulah Dygert Memorial Championship
filly trotters follow in the Beulah Dygert Memorial
as trainer Steve Searle will look to strike once again. This race Searle sends out a pair in Lous Abigail and Bee See.
Lous Abigail is the 6-5 morning line choice
for owner Flacco Family Farms LLC as she has rattled
off five consecutive victories coming into this final. She posted a season best mark of 1:57.3 while
winning two starts back and cruised to a nearly ten-length score in her
division of the final leg of this series last weekend. Casey Leonard returns in the bike with Lous Abigail.
partnership by Baldes, Searle, Paloma, and Paloma,
Bee See draws post two and is 10-1 in the morning line. Driven by Kyle Husted, Bee See was a five
time winner from ten starts last season and has found the board in half of her
ten races in 2020. She was beaten only a
head in a game effort behind Lous Abigail
three starts back.
choice at 5-2 and drawing the inside is Fox Valley Extacy. Owned in partnership by Miller, Hochsprung, Hochsprung, and Falzone, Fox Valley Extacy has
won half of her ten starts this year, including a game front-end score last
out. Travis Seekman
gets the drive once again.
Race 7 - $109,000
Erwin F. Dygert Memorial Championship
second richest final on the card goes for three-year-old male trotters as a
talented bunch lines up. Drawing post
six is the 3-2 favorite Fox Valley Quest for owners Carl Lacy and Benita
Simmons. Trained by Tom Simmons Fox
Valley Quest has been very good this year, finishing in the top three in all 11
starts, including six victories. He
looked strong in his most recent start, taking the final let of the Dygert by four lengths while leading from start to finish.
having a fantastic year is 5-2 second choice Crooked Creek for owner Ed Teefey and trainer Mike Brink. Drawing the rail and to be driven by Todd Warren,
Crooked Creek has won eight of 11 starts on the year, including a six-length
win in his division of the Dygert last week. Crooked Creek also got the best of Fox Valley
Quest at the end of August, holding him off for a length-and-a-quarter score.
Creek isn’t Brink’s only shot as he also sends out On Higher Ground whom he
owns in partnership with All-Wright Racing LLC.
On Higher Ground has hit the board in 10 of 11 this year, including a
win over both Fox Valley Quest and Crooked Creek on August 21. Kyle Wilfong gets
the drive once again with On Higher Ground.
Race 8 - $118,000 Kadabra Championship
evening’s richest race goes for two-year-old male trotters in a completely
wide-open Kadabra final. With no horse in the full field of ten with
over three lifetime victories, any could win this event.
morning line favorite drew post four as Lousrolando
starts for owners David Brigham and Kyle Husted as Husted trains and drives. Lousrolando is the “now” horse though as he enters this
final off a pair of solid victories.
Last week he controlled things on the front end, winning the final leg
of the Kadabra by six-and-a-quarter lengths.
lightly raced Fistfullofdollars poses a threat for
owners Brink, Toumer, Clauson, and Brown and trainer
Mike Brink. Making only four lifetime starts, he has found the board in each
race, winning his most recent division of the Kadabra
in a game victory. Kyle Wilfong drives as Fistfullofdollars will likely have to look to rate and
rally from post eight.
Race 9 - $71,000
Incredible Finale Championship
Two-year-old male pacers
line up in the Incredible Finale as the 8-5 favorite Frontier Charley will have
to work hard to win from the far outside.
Drawing post nine, Frontier Charley is driven by Todd Warren for trainer
Jim Eaton. A winner of four of seven
starts on the year, he rides a two race streak into this final, including a
late closing score last out.
Well Basically races for owner Engel Stable Of IL LLC and trainer
Erv Miller. He
put together a string of three straight wins early in August before being
caught on the wire by Frontier Charley in his last. Marcus Miller was behind him for the last of
his streak of three wins and drives again on Saturday.
Big Guy gets the rail for owners Dandy Farms Racing, trainer Terry Leonard, Ob
Stables and Peter Kouchis as the 7-2 third
choice. Although entering this final
with only one win lifetime, he has found the board in four of his last five
starts. His early speed will benefit him in this final from the inside.
Race 10 - $86,000
Robert F. Carey, Jr. Memorial Championship
Three-year-old male pacers
are featured in the Carey Memorial as He’zzz A Wise Sky is the 3-2 morning line choice. Owned by Triple Zzz
Stable and trained by Don Filomeno, He’zzz A Wise Sky won on Night of
Champions last year and has continued his winning ways. Finishing first or second in ten of 11 races
this year, he has rattled off three straight wins, including a dominating
effort in last week’s prep. Regular
driver Robert Smolin returns in the bike.
Perch was the last horse to get the best of He’zzz A Wise Sky, pulling off the upset against him on August 14. Owned in partnership by Bowen, Bowen, and Markert, the Nicole Agosti
trainee drew post five. A three-time
winner on the year, Western Perch is driven in the final by Kyle Wilfong.
Race 11 - $108,000
Plum Peachy Championship
field of three-year-old filly pacers line up with multiple horses in with a
chance. Although listed as the 3-1
second choice in the Trackmaster morning line, Fox
Valley Exploit will go off the favorite for owners David Brigham and Kyle
Husted. Husted trains and drives the winner
of seven of eight on the year, including a speedy win in 1:53 in the second leg
of this series. She will have to
overcome her post nine draw but her tactical speed allows her to show speed or
rate and rally.
at 2-1 but the likely second choice at off time is Sign Her Up. Getting a favorable inside draw for owners Rb Roper and Fabian Johnson, Sign Her Up has won four times
from 14 starts on the year and hit the board in nine of those 14 races. She is the only horse in the field to defeat
Fox Valley Exploit this summer, doing so on August 22. Juan Franco drives for trainer Charles
has also been very good in 2020 as she starts for owner Peter Karras and trainer Rick Schrock. An eight-time winner from 14 starts, Harper
went unraced as a two-year-old but has only missed the board twice this
year. Kyle Wilfong
drives as Harper comes off a second-place performance behind Fox Valley Exploit
last time out.
Race 12 - $68,000 PointsBet & Club Hawthorne Tony Maurello
as last season, aged female pacers round out the championship evening. Last year’s reigning
champ Skeeter Machine returns to try to defend her
title for owners Francis and James Greer and trainer Nicole Agosti. After winning five times last year, Skeeter Machine has posted five wins once again in
2020. She’s the 9-2 third choice in the
morning line as Kyle Wilfong drives.
deserving favorite at 9-5 is Allbeastnobeauty for
driver and trainer Todd Warren. A winner
of nine of 21 starts on the year for owners Brookside Stables and Keith Ravis, she enters this final on a four race win
streak. She won gamely in last week’s
elimination as she looks for her 33rd lifetime win.
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.