NEWS AND NOTES FROM ILLINOIS

07:13 PM 15 Jul 2005 NZST
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Pujols Sets New Track Record In First Start For Harmer.

Pujols, a two-year-old pacing son of Cole Muffler-Summer Hanover, set a new track record at Hawthorne Racecourse Wednesday night with a 1:53.3 mile.

New driver/trainer Tom Harmer took the colt to the front before the half-mile mark and never looked back, scoring a three and a half-length victory over Nik The Nuke for his second win in three career starts.

Pujols was making his first start for new owner Michael Polansky of New York .

The mark equaled the incredible Loyal Opposition for the fastest mile in Hawthorne history by a two-year-old.

Tips And Trends Illinois-bred three year old divisional leader Team Hutch finished a tag-a-long third in his Meadowlands Pace elimination last week, just one length behind the winner and national leader Rocknroll Hanover , whose win streak was snapped.

He qualified for this weekend's $1,000,000 final for trainer Homer Hochstetler.

Not sure if he can go the kind of trip needed to get the big money but another ground saving trip may seem him share a piece of the big prize.

It's county fair season and handicapper's must be able to equate county fair races with pari-mutuel classes. For those who can, overlays are out there.

Case in point was Thursday's fourth race at Maywood Park . TJ's Ginmaster posted a game win in FFA action at Rushville in a fast time for the slower half mile fair track. It was also his first for trainer Kyle Jones.

Trainers will often “tune up” and/or “braven up” horses at the fairs at a seemingly lower class before coming back under the lights.

However, county fair opens often bring out tough and/or veteran campaigners and final times can be important in gauging how the horse raced.

Moreover, “Ginmaster” had previously been taking on straight conditioned and higher priced claimers. Jones dropped the horse in a NW2 claimer and stole the race at $12.80.

Trainer Joe Seekman may have the most talented barn of young horses in North America . They just keep winning.

Joe To Go (1:54.1 in the 2yo Hanover Stake) looks like the next Superstar.

Earlier reports that up and comoing two year old star Pujols was sold to easy coast connections were incorrect.

Trainer Tom Harmer purchased the colt for owner Michael Polansky.

Illinois OTB

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