Day At The Track

Final night of Champions tune up

04:07 PM 04 Sep 2016 NZST
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Hawthorne Race Course
Hawthorne Race Course

STICKNEY, IL - Male pacers were the focus on a fast track Saturday evening at Hawthorne as six races took place for the final legs and preps for the harness racing 'Night of Champions'.

Three divisions of the Incredible Finale Stakes for Illinois-bred two-year-old colt and gelding pacers took place, with the first going as race five on the Saturday card.

Sent away as the favorite in the first division of the Incredible Finale was Fox Valley Inferno, with driver Casey Leonard in the bike. Getting away for the lead was Tiny Jim from the rail but Sork quickly moved to take over through the opening quarter in :30. On the backstretch, Fox Valley Jeter was first to move, taking over through the half in :59.1. On the turn, Fox Valley Inferno began his move as Fox Valley Jeter retained the lead through three quarters in 1:27.3. Into the lane, Fox Valley Jeter maintained his advantage, but Mike Oosting and Fox Valley Herbie closed strongly while four wide to get up in the shadow of the wire. Fox Valley Jeter was second while Tiny Jim finished third. Fox Valley Herbie is owned by Benita Simmons and trained by Tom Simmons.

Race six was the first of two divisions of leg four of the Robert F. Carey Memorial Stakes. The Carey is for Illinois-bred three-year-old colt and gelding pacers. Scratched was Chlo's Richess. Dan D Dune was sent away as the favorite with driver Casey Leonard. Making the lead was He Gone Jack through the quarter in :28.1. On the backstretch, Jim Pantaleano and Dr Drake Ramoray assumed command through the half in :56.1. After three quarters in 1:24.3, Dr Drake Ramoray led the field into the stretch. Late in the lane, Dan D Dune was closing late but came up short behind Dr Drake Ramoray. Final time was 1:53. Finishing third was J B's Hero. Dr Drake Ramoray was the 7-5 second choice and is owned by Megan Rogers Racing Stables Inc. and trained by Norm Parker.

Race seven was the second division of leg four of the Carey Memorial as a field of seven lined up. The slight favorite at post time was IYQ YQR with driver Mike Oosting in the bike. At the start, Caffeine Kid got away quickly from the outside to make the lead through a quarter in :28.3. After a half in :58.1, Caffeine Kid maintained the lead as IYQ YQR moved to contend. On the turn, Caffeine Kid held the lead by a length through three quarters in 1:26. In the lane, Caffeine Kid held sway, drawing clear from IYQ YQR to win in 1:53.2. Royale Rose got up for third. Caffeine Kid was driven by Todd Warren and is owned by Peter Karras and trained by Rodney Freese.

Race eight was the second division of leg four of the Incredible Finale Stakes with a full field lining up behind the gate. Favored at post time was Fox Valley Nemitz with Pat Curtin driving. At the start, Fox Valley Sparty got away quickly but Spirited Encounter moved to take the lead through the quarter in :29. On the backstretch, Fox Valley Sparty and Mike Oosting came back for the lead, through a half in :58. After three quarters in 1:26.3, Fox Valley Reggie moved to challenge Fox Valley Sparty. In the lane, Fox Valley Sparty dug in, but couldn't hold off the late moves of Fox Valley Nemitz and Spirited Encounter. Fox Valley Nemitz won by a head over Spirited Encounter, while Fox Valley Sparty finished third. Final time for the mile was 1:54.4. Fox Valley Nemitz is owned by Fox Valley Standardbreds and trained by Joel Smith.

The third division of leg four of the Incredible Finale Stakes went as race nine Saturday with another full field. Favored was Sporty Redhot with Matt Krueger driving. At the start, it was the favorite getting away quickly and easily clearing the lead through the quarter in :29. On the backside, Sporty Redhot maintained his advantage through the half in :59.4. On the turn, Sullivan ranged up to challenge but Sporty Redhot dug in through three quarters in 1:29.1. In the lane, Krueger kept after Sporty Redhot and he responded, winning in 1:56.3. Uptown Sleaze was second while Fox Valley Hoss finished third. Sporty Redhot is owned by Al Beals and trained by Kim Roth.

Race ten was the prep for the Robert S. Molaro Stakes as a field of ten Illinois-bred aged pacers took to the track. Favored at post time was Unlocked with Jim Pantaleano driving. Grabbing the early lead was Cole Heat but Unlocked took over before the quarter in :27.3. Early on the backstretch, A Cool Card and Todd Warren led briefly but a second move by Unlocked again for the front came as he covered the half in :55.1. After three quarters in 1:24, Unlocked led the field into the lane. At the wire, Unlocked held firm, holding off Fiveknuckleshuffle and A Cool Card. Final time was 1:51.2. Unlocked is owned by Megan Rogers Racing Stables Inc. and trained by Norm Parker.

Jim Miller

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