Day At The Track

Harness racing action from Illinois

04:42 AM 18 Jun 2020 NZST
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Desert Sheik, harness racing
Desert Sheik
Four Footed Photo

(Mt. Sterling, Illinois)--Graduates of the Illinois Classic Yearling Sale have continued an active late-spring campaign, combining to win ten stakes races in the span of four days (June 13-16), including a sweep of both divisions of the opening leg of the Erwin Dygert Series for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings at Hawthorne Racecourse in Stickney, Illinois.

Desert Sheik and Fox Valley Kobe, both gelded sons of Pizzazzed and both bred and sold by Fox Valley Standardbreds, finished 1-2 in the opening division of the Dygert Sunday evening in 1:59, while Fox Valley Quest (Pizzazzed) won the second division over fellow sales graduate On Higher Ground (Cassis) in 1:57.4. Fox Valley Quest was also bred and sold by the Fox Valley crew, while On Higher Ground came from the consignment of K.E.M. Standardbreds. The four trotters have earned a combined $221,000 in their careers, after being purchased for a combined total of $53,000.

Desert Sheik races for owners Mark Brown, Dean Biggs, and trainer Mike Brink, while Fox Valley Kobe is owned by trainer Jim Eaton, Michael Brown, and the Estate of F. Phillip Langley. Carl Lacy and Benita Simmons share ownership in Fox Valley Quest, who is trained by Tom Simmons, with All-Wright Racing and trainer Mike Brink the co-owners of On Higher Ground.

On Saturday at Hawthorne, sales grads Fox Valley Ren and Fox Valley Exploit had gotten things started for breeder-consignor Fox Valley Standardbreds, winning legs of the Robert Carey Jr. Memorial and the Plum Peachy, respectively, in 1:53.3 and 1:55. Both are offspring of Sportsmaster, and the two have accumulated $186,000 in earnings, following a combined purchase price of $65,000. The former races for Megan Rogers Racing Stables Inc. and trainer Nelson Willis, while the latter campaigns for owners David Brigham and Kyle Husted, with Husted also the trainer-driver.

Sign Her Up (Sagebrush), a $3000 sales alumnus bred and sold by Fair Meadow Farm, was runner-up to Fox Valley Exploit and now boasts career earnings of $70,000 for owners R.B. Roper and Fabian Johnson and trainer Charles Arthur.

In other Saturday action, Amazon Princess nabbed a leg of the David Magee Series in 1:57.4 for owners Michael Anthony Stable, David and Joseph McCaffrey, and Clark Fairley. Trained by Fairley, the daughter of Party At Artsplace won for the first time in eight career starts, justifying her $10,000 purchase price from the consignment of Jeffers Farm and breeders Mary Lea Jeffers and Adele Jeffers Everett.

Fox Valley Extacy and Fox Valley Lush capped a busy weekend for Fox Valley-breds at Hawthorne Sunday evening, finishing 1-2 in a leg of the Beulah Dygert Series for three-year-old trotting fillies, in 1:59.2. The two daughters of Pizzazzed, both graduates of the 2018 Illini Classic, have combined for more than $50,000 in earnings. Fox Valley Extacy races for owners Kevin Miller, Ryan and Bert Hochsprung, and David Falzone, while Fox Valley Lush is owned by Robert Silberberg, John R. Schwarz Jr., trainer Jim Eaton, and the F. Phillip Langley Estate.

Illini Classic graduates added another four victories during Tuesday’s program of county fair stakes racing at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, led by Super Park with the fastest mile of the day, in 1:54.2. Trained by Nick Prather for owners Cole and Connor Prather and George Pollock, the gelded son of Duneside Perch was bred and sold by Fair Meadow Farm.

BC’s Tufftiger, bred and sold by Larry (Brad) Price, upped his record to 3-for-3, taking a division of the two-year-old colt and gelding pace in 1:57.1 by 15 lengths. The gelded son of Walker Place is trained by Roshun Trigg for owner Jeremy Cavitt.

Western Perch, owned by Douglas Bowen, Alan Bowen, and Troy Markert, copped a division of the three-year-old colt and gelding pace, as the altered son of Duneside Perch stopped the timer in 1:58. Alan Bowen serves as trainer, having purchased Western Perch from the consignment of breeder Fair Meadow Farm in 2018.

Shady Maple Spirit added his name to the list of winning sales grads on the afternoon, as the son of Yankee Valor captured a division of the two-year-old colt and gelding trot in 2:05 by 14 lengths for owners Dennis Gardner and Dustin Fitch. Trained and driven by Gardner, Shady Maple Spirit sold at last year’s Illini Classic for $8,000 from the consignment of Farrier’s Acres as agent for Freeman Mast, with Kenneth Chupp as breeder.

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(Effingham, Illinois) -- Harness horses with local and area connections have continued to do well across the state in recent days, led by a pair of stakes wins last weekend at Hawthorne Race Course near Chicago, Illinois.

Fox Valley Exploit, a three-year-old pacing filly from the barn of owner-trainer-driver Kyle Husted of Altamont, Illinois, won a leg of the Plum Peachy Series last Saturday night in 1:55. Co-owned by David Brigham of Concord, Michigan, Fox Valley Exploit has notched $100,000 in career earnings, after being purchased by Husted for $22,000 as a yearling.

Also reaching the winner's circle at Hawthorne Race Course was Desert Sheik, who won a leg of Sunday's Erwin Dygert series for three-year-old trotters in 1:59 for co-owner Dean Biggs of Altamont, Illinois. Trained by co-owner Mike Brink, Desert Sheik has won $66,000 in his lifetime, after being purchased as a yearling by Biggs for $12,000. Mark Brown of Chatham, Illinois, also owns an interest in the horse.

Easy E O, owned by Chuck Doehring of Brownstown and trained by Charleston's Jill Brown, finished third behind Desert Sheik.

On Tuesday at the Illinois State Fairgrounds - Illinois Dept. Of Agriculture in Springfield, Illinois, BBR Lady upped her record to three wins in as many starts, capturing the Illinois Fair Stakes two-year-old filly trot for owners Elizabeth Roedl of Edgewood, Illinois, and Freddie Patton Jr. of Clinton, Mississippi . BBR Lady led all the way and won by four lengths.

In the following race, Emsroscopcoletrain took runner-up honors in a division of the two-year-old colt and gelding trot for owner Jacob Roedl of Edgewood, Illinois.

Other horses recording top-three finishes included Clearly The Bomb, who was third in the two-year-old filly pace for owner-trainer-driver Angie Coleman, formerly of Altamont, Illinois, and TE's Smoothas Silk, who finished third in the sophomore filly pace for owner T.E. Harre Jr., formerly of Brownstown, Illinois.

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(Newton, Illinois)--A horse with Newton, Illinois, connections pulled a 70-1 shocker in the opening race Tuesday night at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing and Casino in Anderson, Indiana, as Phabaj (pronounced FAH buh) won a $10,000 leg of the Jera Larkins Memorial for driver Jared Finn.
 
Owned by Finn Racing LLC and trained by Jared's father, Jd Finn, Phabaj returned $142 on a $2 win ticket in her first start in more than seven months. The three-year-old trotting filly went the one-mile distance in 1:56.1, as she bumped her career bankroll to $33,000 in 14 starts.
 
The Finn Stable also sent 11-1 outsider La Nancio to the post in a separate division of the same race, and the filly responded with a runner-up effort despite an eight-month layoff.
 
Tuesday night's card marked a return to racing for Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing and Casino for the first time since the onset of restrictions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The races were contested without spectators in the stands, as wagering was facilitated through online accounts and simulcast locations.

(Originally composed by Kurt Becker, Altamont, Illinois, disseminated by The Horseman's Voice)
 
 
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