Day At The Track

69th State Fair Colt Stakes Championships

02:28 AM 26 Aug 2020 NZST
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Harness racing at the Illinois State Fairgrounds
Harness racing at the Illinois State Fairgrounds
Mount Sterling, Illinois (Aug. 25, 2020) -- Harness racing Graduates of the Illinois Classic Yearling Sale figured prominently in the 69th Annual Illini State Fair Colt Stakes Championships last weekend at Hawthorne Race Course, posting three wins and six (6) runner-up finishes in the eight (8) divisional finals.

Well Basically (Sagebrush - Basic Brown - Broadway Express), purchased for $31,000 at the 2019 sale by Anthony Lombardi from the consignment of Fair Meadow Farm, led the way by capturing the title for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings in 1:56.4. Dispatched as the 4-5 favorite, the gelded son of Sagebrush scored his third consecutive victory for Lombardi and Engel Stable of IL LLC. Trained by Ervin Miller and driven by his son, Marcus Miller, Well Basically was bred by Chicago High School For Agricultural Sciences and William Hook.

Frontier Charley (Sagebrush - Cuzurinittowinit - Ft Apache Hanover), another altered son of Sagebrush, finished 3rd in the same race for co-owner and trainer Jim Eaton. John R. Schwarz Jr., Robert Silberberg, and the F. Phillip Langley Estate also share ownership in the gelding, who sold at the Illini Classic from the consignment of Frontier Farms and Sunrise Farm.

Sign Her Up (Sagebrush - Lives To Dance - Life Sign), a 2018 Illini Classic graduate from the Fair Meadow consignment, proved to be a bargain purchase at $3,000 by winning the $30,000 championship for three-year-old pacing fillies. Owned by RB Roper and Fabian Johnson, and trained by Charles Arthur, the Sagebrush lass scored in 1:54.1 for driver Juan Franco.

Fox Valley Exploit (Sportsmaster - She Likes It All - The Big Dog) took runner-up honors in the same event for owner-trainer-driver Kyle Husted and co-owner David Brigham, having been purchased from the consignment of Fox Valley Standardbreds.

Also reaching the winner's circle was On Higher Ground (Cassis - Lady Madonna - Angus Hall), who sold for $16,000 in 2018 from the consignment of K.E.M. Standardbreds to H.W. (Bill) Wright. The gelded son of Cassis triumphed in 1:56.2 in the final for sophomore trotting colts and geldings for All-Wright Racing LLC and co-owner and trainer Mike Brink, as Kyle Wilfong had the winning drive.

Fox Valley Quest (Pizzazzed - Fox Valley Strata - Vaporize), bred and sold by Fox Valley Standardbreds, finished 3rd for owners Carl Lacy and Benita Simmons.

Other Illini Classic grads to post podium finishes included the following--

Loyz Say When (Dangerous Thing - Malia Ann - Armbro Tropicana), offered at the 2019 sale from the consignment of Ray Yoder and later purchased privately by Jackson Loy, was runner-up in the $32,000 two-year-old colt and gelding trot championship.

My Only Sin (Lou`s Legacy - Earli Valley - Valley Victor), sold by Flacco Family Farms LLC in 2019 and purchased by Ervin Miller, Agent, was runner-up in the freshman filly trot for owners Lombardi and Engel. Lucky Valerie (Yankee Valor - Homestead Slipper - Lucky Twenty-five), purchased by Gerald Hansen from the consignment of Kenny Chupp, finished 3rd for owners Shelley Steele, Arthur F. Zacharski, and Bernie and Deb Paul.

Bootsy Bombay (Major Bombay - Artemis Tss - Artiscape), sold last year for $6,000 by Hoosier Standardbred Farm, Agent for Fair Meadow Farm, to Alan Bowen, was runner-up in the two-year-old filly pace for owner James Greer and trainer Nick Prather. Gary Rath trained Princess Mooss (Ashlee`s Big Guy - Sharon Spur - Sharky Spur) to a 3rd-place finish in the same event for owner Alan Beals, who bought the filly from the consignment of Hamm Family Trust.

In the final for sophomore colt and gelding pacers, RG's Tracer (Psychic Spirit - Chicky Dee - Sportsmaster) finished 2nd for owners Robert J. Grismore and Charles A. Knipp. Grismore signed the ticket at the 2018 Illini Classic for the gelding, who was offered from the Hamm Family consignment.

Bee See (Cassis - Lovin You Forever - Credit Winner), bought by trainer Steve Searle in 2018 from consignor Glenn R. Jess, took runner-up honors in the three-year-old filly trot championship for a partnership which includes Searle, Molly M. Baldes, and Michael and Chris Paloma.

Fox Valley Lush (Pizzazzed - Love You More - Conway Hall), bred and sold by Fox Valley Standardbreds, finished 3rd for F. Phillip Langley Estate, Robert Silberberg, John R. Schwarz Jr., and co-owner and trainer Jim Eaton.

The 2020 Illini Classic will take place on Monday, September 7, at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois.

Submitted by Kurt Becker for The Horseman's Voice

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