Day At The Track


04:36 AM 13 Jun 2005 NZST
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It was a strange coincidence…or was it.

The Chicago Cubs have been on a recent roll but on the first two nights of the Cubs Series at Hawthorne, the bats were eerily quiet.

You might be able to attribute that to masterful knuckleball pitching by Boston’s Tim Wakefield or maybe Dan Poprawski, Assistant GM of Harness racing, and an avid White Sox fan, used some of his “influence” to calm the lumber of the Cubbies.

But Four Star Mike was anything but calm in this Series race.

He secured the lead immediately, then was helped immensely when Upitagain broke stride soon after the start and took out most of the field.

Four Star Mike paced the first quarter in 27 seconds, got the half in 56.3s, three quarters in 1.24.1 and the mile in 1.50.4, coming home in a very nice 26.3.

This 4-Year-Old pacer, owned by Robert Cordes & Sean Leonardi, driven by Michael Oosting and trained by Willie Mason, had gone off as the 1-2 favourite in the first leg of the Cubs Series but faded to third in that race after setting swift early fractions.

He more than avenged that loss on Sunday (June 12), drawing off by about five lengths and setting a new lifetime best mark, beating his old mark by four fifths of a second.

Arthur and Sharon Barsella’s AC Excellent Buy, the winner of the first leg of the Cubs Series last Sunday, was unable to make a dent in the lead of Four Star Mike and could finish no better than third.

But, they will meet again next Sunday, June 19, in this Pacing Series Final, racing for an estimated $25,000 purse.


Jade Trader, in Sunday’s fifth race, turned out to be a precious commodity.

This 7-Year-Old, who hadn’t come close to winning since earlier in the year, lit up the toteboard with a $151.80 payoff on a $2 win bet.

He also keyed a $622.12 dime Superfecta. That could be the best 10-cent investments one could ever make.

The 50-cent Pick 4 is another wager that offers plenty of punch for a paltry sum.

That tiny wager returned $1035.45 on Sunday night. Not a bad return for the price of a daily newspaper.


he Erwin F Dygert Open Trot Final, with an estimated purse of $100,000 will take place this Friday. See Fox Valley Flan and Mr McNally, each of who set track records in their respective Dygert Elimination races, duke it out in this storied event.


Nobody won the Pick 5 Challenge in its initial presentation last Friday so the pot for a single winner this Friday is a cool $7500. It’s free to enter.

For complete rules and details go to

Courtesy Of Jim Miller, Publicity Director, Hawthorne Racecourse

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