Saturday's (September 3) racing at the Du Quoin (Ill.) State Fair was not only "Hammer Time," in the World Trotting Derby, it was also "Championship Time" for Illinois conceived and foaled colts and fillies.
Chevie Cash returned to top form on Saturday.
Chevie Cash had only two wins in 10 starts prior to the Dudley Hanover, and the bettors sent him off as the third choice in the field of eight pacers as the gate folded.
Driver Tony Morgan hustled "Cash" to the quarter in 27.3 seconds, with Arts Mouse (Eric Ledford) covered in second, and Demack's Quick (Tim Tetrick) third along the rail. Tetrick then brushed his mount towards the front end, and although parked at the 56.1s half, he had Demack's Quick racing first, with Chevie Cash in second on the rail.
Morgan then remained content to let Tetrick race on the point with a two length lead through three-quarters, reached in 1:23.
That margin narrowed to one length as the 3-year-old pacers turned for home. Demack's Quick then began to fade and Chevie Cash surged ahead to earn a 1.51.1, ¾ length victory. Brian And Kellie (Brent Holland) came on and finshed second, and Perdition (John Campbell) finished third.
Owner Clyde Stevens commented on Chevie Cash's win by saying "Chevie Cash has had a tough year. Ronnie Guhy (trainer) has done a great job keeping the horse together. He was solid today, and Tony Morgan did a real good job driving. This is his fastest win of this year. He went 1.50.4 as a 2-Year-Old on this track. We were expecting to do good today."
The 2-Year-Old filly trotter Vickie (Andy Miller) was seven lengths from the lead when that field turned for home in the Shawnee Stakes Final. Themiss, trained by Ervin Miller, left a vapor trail in the stretch and won in a new stakes record of 1.56.3.
Fox Valley Shimmy (Pat Berry) led Kendal Has Panache (Tony Morgan), and Fox Valley Regency (John Campbell) through fractions of 28.1 seconds, 57.4s, and 1.27, before giving way to Vickie and Andy Miller in deep stretch.
Trainer Ervin Miller said:
“She’s a real good trotter. She’s just a little immature, still. She needs those kind of trips. She needs to come from behind like just what happened. She was good enough to overcome the bad trip. She was so far back that I never thought she’d get there. They got home in 29.3, which was not a huge quarter. You can make up some ground when they do that. I’m not sure if she’s eligible to the American-National or not. If she is, I’ll probably race her in that (next).”
The 2-Year-Old filly pacer, Join The Party, did just that in the First Lady Final, following Vivid Photo’s straight-heat World Trotting Derby victory.
Sam Widger got the Cape Crusader freshman rolling in the outer flow, racing sixth up the backstretch with stablemate You Make Me Smile (Dave Magee) on the lead. to the 56.4s half-mile. Rachel’s Rich (Eric Ledford) was covered second on the rail, with Sherri On Ice (Ron Marsh) first-up, parked third.
You Make Me Smile continued on the point through three-quarters, reached in 1.24, while Join The Party, still sixth, was 4 ½ lengths behind. Those lengths were then whittled to 1 ¾ at the top of the stretch. Widger then kept the filly alive down the lane to snare You Make Me Smile by on length and won in 1:522.
Join The Party’s new lifetime mark came in her third win in eight starts. The Cape Crusader freshman is trained and co-owned by Brett Wilfong with Lynn Wilfong, Joe Speziale, and Bernard Radermacher.
Fox Valley Cayenne backed up his Illinois State Fair Final victory with a repeat performance in the Darn Safe Final for 2-year-old colt trotters.
Fox Valley Liberator (Tim Tetrick) led Traditional Vic (J.D. Finn) and Fox Valley Cayenne single-file to the quarter pole, passed in :304. It was all Fox Valley Cayenne after that, and Miller raced thecolt on the lead to the 1:011 half, 1:303 three-quarters, and then held off Litigator (Tony Morgan) by three-quarter lengths at the wire.
Fox Valley Cayenne has now won four consecutive starts, with earnings exceeding $73,000 for trainer Ervin Miller and owner Tanah Merah Farms LLC of Springfield, Ill.
The Governors Cup Final for 2-Year-Old colt pacers saw Hot N Sporty’s nine-race winning streak interrupted by My Boy David, driven by Ron Marsh.
Tony Morgan sped Hot N Sporty away from post three as the gate folded, but was parked for most of the first turn by Fox Valley Tribal (Tim Tetrick) and Incredible Mouse (Tom Simmons), before being able to clear to the lead just before the quarter pole, which was reached in 27.2s. Marsh then brushed My Boy David towards the front end at the three-eighths mark, and led to the half-mile pole in 55.1s.
The far turn found Hot N Sporty challenging my Boy David for the lead, but unable to overcome the latter’s one-half length cushion.
Hot N Sporty had not felt the turn of Morgan’s whip until the field hit the stretch, but it was not enough and My Boy David and Marsh used a 27.3s final quarter-mile and tripped the timer in 1.50.4. Thisbigdogwillfight (Pat Berry) finished one-half length back, in second, and Hot N Sporty finished 1 ¼ lengths behind, in third.
The 1.50.4 mile equalled My Boy David’s elimination win time.
Trainer Homer Hochstetler said, in pre-race instructions to driver Ron Marsh, “ ‘Don’t be scared of him (Hot N Sporty), make him do some work.’ It (the trip) went just like I was hoping it would. I wanted him (Hot N Sporty) on the outside and me on the inside.”
Ron Marsh said: “Today, I knew there would be some inside speed. I just kind of bided my time until all the dust cleared and I sent him (My Boy David), and he held on. He’s a green horse with a little speed. Now we’re racing for the big money, you gotta go. Sometime it works, and sometimes it don’t. My colt held on today.”
ourtesy Of Timothy M. Jones, United States Trotting Association Web Newsroom Correspondent