Day At The Track

Newspaper's Illinois Harness Horse Awards

07:58 PM 18 Jan 2013 NZDT
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Trot Fudge Sundae Fox Valley Action Party Hangover Maevey Gravy Mystical Victress Riccolo and Marcus Miller Al’s Hammered Iam Bonasera Powerful Poe Thank You Doc
Trot Fudge Sundae
Fox Valley Action - A son of Sportsmaster-Anything You Ask
Party Hangover - A daughter of Party At Artsplace-Maura Hanover
Maevey Gravy - A daughter of Northern Kid-Grace Elizabeth
Mystical Victress
Riccolo and Marcus Miller - stride boldly to the line to win in 1:54.3.
Al’s Hammered - A son of Droppin’thehammer-Alberts Magic
Iam Bonasera - And driver Dave Magee teamed up to win an elimination
Powerful Poe - A son of Powerful Emotion-Fox Valley Poetry
Thank You Doc - A daughter of Lexington Legend-Fox Valley Joyful
1 - 3 of 10

Earlier this month the Kankakee, IL based newspaper The Daily Journal named the harness racing winners of its second annual Illinois Harness Horse Awards of ICF pacers and trotters in their respective 2012 divisions.

2-Year-Old Colt Pacer


Record: 5-6-1 in 14 starts

Money Won: $171,603

Trainer: Roger Welch

Driver: Todd Warren

Owners: Beau and Pat De Long

This son of Sportsmaster captured both the $40,000 Springfield and Du Quoin State Fair titles on mile tracks and then nailed down to $55,000 Cardinal Final on Maywood Park’s half-mile oval. Fox Valley Action was also the runner-up in the $74,500 Mini Me and the $250,000 Orange & Blue Colt Finals and a $28,300 Hanover stake against open company pacers. The youngster took his season mark of 1:52.3 in his Governor’s Cup win at Du Quoin.

2-Year-Old Filly Pacer


Record: 4-4-4 in 14 starts

Money Won: $138,693

Trainer: Nelson Willis

Driver: Dean Magee

Owners: Sawgrass Farms

Consistency was her trademark. She missed only one purse check in 14 freshman starts and when it came down to Super Night’s $189,000 Orange & Blue Filly Championship the division’s biggest stake race of the year Thank You Doc proved best, edging her rival Auniqueaquistion with season best time of 1:54.1. Thank You Doc also won Maywood’s My Metallica stake. The daughter of Lexington Legend skipped Springfield and Du Quoin in her first season after finishing second in Balmoral’s $64,000 Loyal Opposition Final. She was also third in Maywood’s Violet.

2-Year-Old Colt Trotter


Record: 7-1-3 in 15 starts

Money Won: $155,814

Trainer: Dirk Simpson

Driver: Todd Warren

Owners: Mystical Marker Farms and Jack and Peggy Hood

Powerful Poe didn’t start off his first season with the look of a champion, dropping his first seven decisions. However his trainer Dirk Simpson was pointing the trotter for the major stakes later in the year and the freshman delivered. After annexing the $40,000 Springfield title, a $15,000 division of Du Quoin’s Darn Safe in the summer he went on to capture his last five races. After his Lincoln Land elimination win, Powerful Poe breezed in the $119,000 final with a career best mile of 1:56.3. He then followed with stakes triumphs in Balmoral’s $58,100 Hanover, the $43,500 Cardinal and the $12,700 Betzotic.

2-Year-Old Filly Trotter


Record: 10-2-0 in 13 starts

Money Won: $183,210

Trainer: Dirk Simpson

Driver: Dave Magee

Owners: Jim Bafia, Gene White and Sam Daddono

She ran away with this honor and gave trainer Dirk Simpson a sweep of the Illinois freshman trotting divisions. The daughter of American Native was purchased in July from trainer Mike Brink and proceeded to win her first eight starts for her new connections. The filly took her elimination and the finals in Balmoral $54,000 Fox Valley Flan and Springfield’s $40,000 State Fair event. At Du Quoin she trotted her fastest mile of 1:57 flat in the $30,000 Shawnee. She beat open-company fillies in the $118,000 American National before her winning streak ended with a second place finish in the $118,000 Lady Lincoln Land. She bounced back in a big way by taking a $33,000 Hanover and the $46,500 Violet.

3-Year-Old Colt Pacer


Record: 11-5-6 in 33 starts

Money Won: $214,651

Trainer: Bob Phillips

Driver: Robert Smolin

Owner: Bob Phillips

It’s been a busy and productive season for Al’s Hammered who has established himself as the divisions best. The colt wowed them on Super Night when he motored home in a very quick time of 1:48.1 when he romped in the $189,000 Langley Final. Earlier he took the $59,000 Incredible Finale. No less than 20 of his 33 season starts have been out of the ICF ranks. His victory last Saturday was his second in an Invite against the best horses on the grounds. Last quarters of 26 seconds and faster have been the norm for this son of Droppinthehammer for his owner and trainer Bob Phillips of Crete.

3-Year-Old Filly Pacer


Record: 8-3-3 in 22 starts

Money Won: $161,235

Trainer: Jesse De Long

Driver: John De Long

Owners: Horseman’s Financial Agency and Premier Racing Stable.

The Party At Artsplace filly put together a five race winning streak at the right time starting in August with the $40,000 State Fair Final at Springfield with career best mile of 1:51.3. She followed by taking Du Quoin’s Time Dancer, her Grandma Ann elimination and its $159,000 championship on Super Night at Balmoral and Maywood’s Giggles The Clown. Party Hangover was second in the finals of Balmoral’s $56,000 Ann Vonian and third in the $112,000 Maywood Filly Pace. She went 8-for-15 in her sophomore campaign when she strictly raced against other state-bred fillies.

3-Year-Old Colt Trotter


Record: 10-0-0 in 14 starts

Money Won: $135,130

Trainer: Nelson Willis and Trond Smedshammer

Driver: Marcus Miller and Trond Smedshammer

Owners: Walter and Paige Paisley; Randi Alendal

Bred by his original owners Walter Paisley and his daughter Paige, Riccolo dominated this division before being sold to his current Norwegian owner. Riccolo captured his first nine outings racing out of the Nelson Willis Stable, capped off with the $100,000 Su Mac Lad crown on Super Night. The son of Northern Kid also captured the $41,900 Cardinal and the $34,700 Hanover for his Beecher conditioner. The 71-year-old Paisley, formerly of Plainfield, drove Riccolo to a victory in the horse’s season initial season start. The 23-year-old Miller then guided the trotter to eight straight wins and Smedshammer extended the streak to nine in a row in a $23,000 Open at The Meadowlands.

3-Year-Old Filly Trotter


Record: 7-2-7 in 21 starts

Money Won: $122,490

Trainer: Erv Miller

Driver: Marcus Miller

Owners: Obermeier & Quaid Stables

In her second season of racing Maevey Gravy missed only one purse check in 21 season starts. The consistent daughter of Northern Kid proved best in both State Fair championships, trotting her season’s best mile of 1:55 flat in the $40,000 Springfield Final before her win in Du Quoin’s $20,000 Windy Skeeter. Earlier she beat open company fillies in a $37,400 Hanover and state-breds in the Fox Valley Diva and the Sorce Ann, all at Balmoral. She was second in the $116,000 Lady Ann Reed and third both the $51,000 Fox Valley Evita and the $50,000 Violet finals, also at the Crete racetrack.

Aged Colt Pacer


Record: 9-1-1 in 20 starts

Money Won: $191,339

Trainer: Roger Welch

Driver: Todd Warren

Owners: John Carver and Bert Hochsprung

This son of Cole Muffler began the year only collecting 1 win in 5 starts and banking $14,700 on the east coast before he was shipped to the Roger Welch Stable. Since joining the Beecher trainer he has added nearly $175,000 to his card while winning 8 of 14 starts. He thundered home in the $52,000 Big Tom and Super Night’s $127,000 Maurello and then left the ICF ranks and showed he can still get the job done. He notched a trio of Invitational Paces at Balmoral and also took an Invite at Indiana Downs. His Oct. 6 Invite win on the Crete big track in 1:49.2 equaled his career fastest.

Aged Mare Pacer


Record: 11-2-2 in 18 starts

Money Won: $185,792

Trainer: Erv Miller

Driver: Marcus Miller

Owners: Mystical Marker Farms and Peggy Hood

This is the second consecutive year she’s been much the best in the older mare pacing division. Mystical Victress was a perfect 5-for-5 against other ICF mares, highlighted by back-to-back victories in the Propes Championship and her third straight Super Night crown (she won the Grandma Ann at 3). She also whipped her division rivals in Balmoral’s $51,000 Parklane Powerful, the $20,000 Sue Fee and the $38,735 Violet in her Maywood Park debut. The mare had Invitational triumphs at both Balmoral and Indiana as well.

Aged Trotter


Record: 7-1-1 in 13 starts

Money Won: $36,157

Trainer: Jodi Peacock

Driver: Casey Leonard, Rick Schrock and Marcus Miller

Owners: Jodi Peacock

The home-bred son of Vaporize didn’t get a lot of opportunities in his five-year-old season but when he did he often made the most of them, winning at over 50 per cent clip (7-for-13). Super Sonic Flash won his second consecutive Springfield State Fair championship and then following with the Du Quoin title with a lifetime best time of 1:54 and 3/5. The trotter then went to Indiana Downs and bagged a $14,000 conditioned trot.

Congratulations to all of the newspaper’s 2012 division honorees and their connections.

By Mike Paradise

The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association

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