For Immediate Release
Contact: Jim Miller (708) 780-3700
Night of Champions
Preps Kick Off at Hawthorne
STICKNEY, IL – With horsemen eager to get back onto the
track, spectator-free racing moved into its second week at Hawthorne after a
nearly three month break. With a lot of
action to pack into a short time, stakes prep action kicked off with the first
legs of many of the Night of Champions races.
the 12 race Friday card featured a continuation of series races, it was the
open-company feature that stole the show.
Marking his return to the track was past Illinois-bred champ Fox Valley
Gemini. The Jim Ballinger owned Gemini was impressive in victory, rallying from
off the pace for driver Casey Leonard to win in 1:51.2. The Terry Leonard trainee was one of a pair
of winners on the Friday card as Trashytonguetalker
(1:55.0) was an easy winner in one of the Club Hawthorne mini-series
events. That win was Casey’s second of
card saw a trio of additional driving doubles as Ridge Warren won the fourth
race with Major Hart (1:58.1) and the night’s finale behind Rock Steady Ron
(1:54.1). Both of the Kyle’s won a pair
as well as Kyle Husted posted the driver/trainer double, winning race eight
with Craftship (1:56.0) and the tenth behind Fox
Valley Hijinx (1:55.0). Kyle Wilfong scored
in the ninth with Major Legacy (1:54.2) and eleventh with Pacific Stride
only three-bagger on the Friday card was produced by Mike Oosting. Mike took both ends of the early double,
winning the opener with Waymore (1:54.1) followed by
Fox Valley Hustler (1:54.1) in race two.
Mike was back in the winner’s circle in race six as Rockinsweetvictory
(1:54.3) won going away.
evening brought about the first of the Night of Champions preps. Illinois-bred
three-year-old filly pacers kicked off the festivities in leg one of the Plum
Peachy as the Kyle Husted trained and driven Fox Valley Exploit (1:55.0) was a
game winner, catching Sign Her Up in the shadow of the wire.
of the Robert F. Carey, Jr. Memorial for Illinois-bred three-year-old colt and
gelding pacers went as the fifth race on the Saturday card. The outside post was too much for last year’s
Night of Champions winner to overcome as He’zzz a
Wise Sky was a game second behind Fox Valley Ren. Fox Valley Ren (1:53.3) was
driven by Kyle Wilfong for trainer Nelson Willis.
took to the track in the eighth race Saturday as a Terry Leonard trained exacta
took the co-feature. Call For Justice (1:55.4) was just able to hold on for driver
Casey Leonard over Ridge Warren and Lindy’s Big Bang.
only driving triple on the Saturday card was registered by Ridge Warren. He guided home talented Lousraptor
(1:56.4) to an easy win in the night’s opener for trainer Steve Searle. Warren was right back at it in race two,
winning with Amazon Princess (1:57.4) for Clark Fairley. Warren capped off the evening lighting up the
toteboard as Hello Art (1:54.1) came flying in the
lane to win at 52-1 for trainer Mike Brink.
evening started early at Hawthorne as a pair of non-wagering evenings saw two
divisions of the Erwin F. Dygert Memorial take to the
track. The Dygert
is for Illinois-bred three-year-old colt and gelding trotters. The first division was won gamely by Desert
Sheik (1:59.0) as he battled and held off Fox Valley Kobe for driver Brandon
Bates and trainer Mike Brink. The second
division of the Dygert went easily to Fox Valley
Quest (1:57.4), a winner for Casey Leonard and Tom Simmons.
race pari-mutuel card followed the two non-wagering events as Illinois-bred
three-year-old fillies and mares were the focus in leg one of the Beulah Dygert Memorial. A
clever drive by Brandon Bates was enough to weave Fox Valley Extacy through traffic in the lane, winning in 1:59.2 over
longshot Fox Valley Lush and favored Lous
Abigail. Fox Valley Extacy
is trained by Hector Herrera.
and mare open pacers were the Sunday co-feature as longshots finished
one-two. Winning at 14-1 was Black Jack
Pat (1:53.3) for driver Tyler Shehan, just catching
18-1 shot This Peach Rocks.
addition to his wins with Desert Sheik and Fox Valley Extacy,
driver Brandon Bates made it three on the Sunday card, guiding home Lucky Jewel
(1:54.3) in the night’s finale, also for trainer Hector Herrera.
Mike Oosting capped a strong weekend as he garnered another
triple Sunday. He won race three with Frontier Rollo (1:53.), the fourth with
Dirt E Rock (1:55.2), and eighth behind Gm Patty Lin (1:59.0). Gm Patty Lin
capped the training triple for Mike Brink Sunday.
Sunday handle of over $1.2 produced another positive weekend of wagering at
Hawthorne as the regular Friday through Sunday schedule continues.
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.