For Immediate Release
Contact: Jim Miller (708) 780-3700
Top Illinois-Breds Rattle off Big
Performances at Illinois State Fair
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Beautiful weather, big crowds, and great
racing led to record handle figures at the recently completed state fair in Springfield. The four day Springfield fair saw handle
numbers easily surpass prior years to the tune of a nearly $200,000 increase in
handle off last year’s races. DuQuoin unfortunately was a washout, but all 25 DuQuoin events were being brought to Hawthorne on August
Illinois State Fair at Springfield saw the first two days of eliminations as
Illinois-bred two-year-old and three-year-old trotters and pacers positioned
themselves for the week two finals.
While the youngsters raced through eliminations, it was an older
state-bred pacer who stole the show on day two.
The Brett Wilfong trained You’remyhearthrob
paced a huge mile to a career best mark of 1:49/4 for driver Kyle Wilfong, posting the only sub-1:50 of the racing week.
While You’remyhearthrob’s time was fast, career marks were set
for the winner of each of the 12 races on Championship day. The first of the eight finals was for
two-year-old trotting fillies as a pair of Steve Searle trainees would finish
1-2 in the $32,500 event. Leading the way was Bee See for driver Kyle Husted, winning in
1:56.2 over Lous Abigail. Lauren Hall went on to finish third. Bee See
is owned by Molly Baldes, Michael Paloma, Chris
Paloma, and trainer Steve Searle.
filly pacers followed next for $32,500 as another upset took place. This time it was Kyle Wilfong
guiding home the Erv Miller trained Sleazy Gal in
1:54.1. She was a length ahead of Ashlees Fine Girl while Amazon Princess finished
third. Sleazy Gal was the first of two
winners on the day for Engel Stable of IL, LLC.
were two-year-old colt and gelding trotters in the $32,500 final. Another upset was in store as Ridge Warren
drove On Higher Ground to a length and a quarter score over favored Fox Valley
Quest. Desert Sheik would finish third
as Mike Brink trained the winner and third-place finisher. On Higher Ground won in 1:55.1 for owner Bill
Wright and trainer Mike Brink.
colt and gelding pacers faced off in the next $32,500 final as a favorite was
able to get the job done. The win came
for Fox Valley Ren as Kyle Wilfong grabbed his second
finals win, this time for trainer Nelson Willis. Fox Valley Ren won in 1:52.3, a neck ahead of
Rg’s Tracer as Western Perch was third. Fox Valley Ren is owned by Megan Rogers
Racing Stables Inc.
filly trotters followed as trainer Steve Searle and driver Kyle Husted grabbed
their second finals win. The win came
with another favorite as 1-5 shot Louzotic didn’t
disappoint. A two-length winner, Louzotic was followed by Heidi High and Joe Joes Violet,
winning in 1:54.3. Louzotic
is owned by Flacco Family Farms LLC.
strung together three wins in a row in the $31,500 final for three-year-old
colt and gelding trotters. The win came
from Lousraptor as he won impressively by
four-lengths for driver Casey Leonard and trainer Roshun
Trigg. The win in 1:54.4 came over Lourhianon, who was followed by Prince Cassis. Lousraptor was the
second finals score for owners Flacco Family Farms
filly pacers competed for $31,500 and led back to an upset and also the third
finals win on the day for the fair’s leading driver Kyle Wilfong. Wilfong was able to
work out a trip from the outside with Jay Garrels
trained Perch, rallying to win by a length and a quarter. The speedy 1:51.1 time was good enough to
best Fox Valley Torrid and Fox Valley Halsey.
Perch is owned by Jay Garrels, Susan Garrels, and Del Insko Training
championship card concluded with three-year-old colt and gelding pacers in the
$31,500 final as Kyle Husted grabbed his third finals win on the card. This win came impressively as Husted drove
home Meyer on Fire to a two and a half-length score over Fox Valley Triton and
Maximus. The win was in 1:51.2 and was
the second finals win on the card for owner Engel Stable of IL LLC.
less than a month before Night of Champions at Hawthorne Race Course, many of
these winners will be looking to position themselves for their best effort of
the year in the state’s biggest night of harness racing
Hawthorne Race Course, Chicago’s Hometown Track, returned
for live harness racing on Friday, May 3. The summer harness meet opened on
Friday, May 3 and races through September 22.
Fall thoroughbreds close out the year, running from October 10 through
December 28. For more information, visit
contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700.