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Hightstown, NJ — It’s Time For Fun has brought plenty of pleasure to the Wilfong family over the years and harness racing trainer Brett Wilfong hopes the 6-year-old female pacer will add to the enjoyment in 2021. Lynn Wilfong, Brett’s dad, bred and owns It’s Time For Fun, who was an Indiana Sire Stakes champion at age 3. She has earned $312,395 during her career, winning 17 of 71 races and cashing a paycheck 55 times. After a brief bout with sickness, It’s Time For Fun makes her seasonal debut in Friday’s $22,500 open for fillies-and-mares at Miami Valley Raceway. Kyle Wilfong, Brett’s son, will be in the sulky, leaving from post five in a field of nine. It’s Time For Fun is 8-1 on the morning line. Miss You N is the 3-1 favorite. “I think if she stays healthy, she could have her best year this year,” Brett Wilfong said. “She’s going to have to battle the open mares or the class below that all year, but if we can keep her healthy, she can have a good year. She tries hard that last quarter, and that’s worth a lot. She has a real good closing kick. “She’s pretty competitive in that top class. If you can go for $15,000 to $25,000 every week, you can have a pretty good year.” It’s Time For Fun closed last season with five consecutive on-the-board finishes, including one victory. Earlier in the campaign, she finished second in the Indiana Sire Stakes championship for older female pacers. In 2018, It’s Time For Fun won the Indiana Sire Stakes championship at odds of 11-1 with Kyle Wilfong at the lines at Hoosier Park. “That sure was a nice evening,” Brett said. “There are a lot of good memories.” It’s Time For Fun is a daughter of Skydancer Hanover out of Irwin’s Character. She was limited to six starts at age 2 because of a foot infection, but Brett liked the horse all along. “We thought she had a lot of potential,” Brett said. “She was a beautiful animal. She could pace free-legged, didn’t really need the hobbles too much. She just had an effortless gait. Once she got over her foot infection, she had a lot more opportunity to show what she really was.” The Wilfongs owned It’s Time For Fun’s sire and dam. The family, which has farms in Indiana and Illinois, has bred hundreds of horses over the years. “It’s very family oriented,” Brett said about the Wilfongs’ involvement in harness racing. “Everyone is active, everyone enjoys the races, enjoys the horses. My mom (Barbara) and dad enjoy watching the races and they raise the yearlings and take care of some of the broodmares. Dad needs to be occupied. When you’ve been a self-employed horseperson your whole life it’s hard to sit down and not do anything.” Lynn Wilfong was inducted into the Indiana Standardbred Hall of Fame last year. In addition to breeding and racing, he helped lobby for pari-mutuel racing in Indiana and spent a dozen years as president of the Indiana Trotting & Pacing Association. In 1993, he received the very first Breeders Award given by the Standardbred Owners and Breeders of Indiana, now known as the Indiana Standardbred Association. “It’s a night we won’t forget,” Brett said. “My dad and uncle Ralph were part of the grassroots effort in Indiana to get pari-mutuel betting passed in the state legislature. My dad has a lot of ties other than owning a lot of horses over the years. I know my dad was very proud of it. It was pretty special for our whole family. “We have a lot of good memories.” With It’s Time For Fun aiming to create more. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

STICKNEY, IL - A big twelve race Saturday card at Hawthorne kicked off the start of leg two action for Night of Champions races as two divisions of the Beulah Dygert and Plum Peachy took place. The Beulah Dygert is for Illinois-bred, three-year-old filly trotters and the Plum Peachy is for the state-bred, three-year-old filly pacers. Race two on Saturday was the first division of the Beulah Dygert as a field of six trotters faced the starter. Good Design was the favorite off her leg on win with Kyle Wilfong in the bike. A break prior to the start left Shadow Copy well back early as Good Design backed down the pace through three opening quarter in :30.0. After cruising through the half in :58.3, Good Design lead Trotting Grace and New Queen into the far turn. Through three quarters in 1:27.2, Good Design remained in control and opened up into the lane. Geared down late, Good Design was an easy winner in 1:55.4. Trotting Grace held second while New Queen finished third. Good Design is owned by Mr. Lynn Wilfong and trained by Brett Wilfong. Race four was the second division of the Dygert with Maui Mama and Casey Leonard the favorite in the field of six. Getting away for the lead was the favorite as she passed to opening quarter in :29.3. On the backside, White Pants Fever moved to take over through a half in :58.3. After three quarters in 1:27.3, White Pants Fever opened up two lengths into the stretch. Mid-stretch, Maui Mama tipped out and rolled on by, winning in 1:57.3. Sunny Sasha rallied for second while White Pants Fever was third. Maui Mama is owned by Bill Wright and trained by Mike Brink. Race eight was the first of two divisions of the Plum Peachy with a field of nine. Fox Valley Jazzy was the favorite in the race with Ridge Warren driving. Making the lead was The New Americana as she was joined by Fox Valley Jazzy through the quarter in :29.1. On the backside, The Sis Master was hustled to the front, covering the half in :57.1. On the turn, The Sis Master held her lead as Fox Valley Jazzy pressured through three quarters in 1:26.0. In the lane The Sis Master was all out, looking to hold off Fox Valley Jazzy as she was able to do so in 1:53.4. Fox Valley Jazzy was second while The New Americana was third. The Sis Master is owned by Bet-Mor Stable and trained and driven by Michele Morgan. Race ten was the second division of the Plum Peachy with Rollin Coal and Allbeastnobeauty battling for favoritism at post time. Getting away quickly was Rollin Coal and Casey Leonard as they were pressured through a quarter in :28.2. After a half in :57.1, Rollin Coal led Frontier Cuzin into the turn. Passing three quarters in 1:25.3, Rollin Coal was up by two lengths into the lane. Mid-stretch, Skeeter Machine and Kyle Wilfong tipped out and challenged the leader, closing alongside her late in the stretch. At the wire Skeeter Machine emerged on top by a head over Rollin Coal. Frontier Cuzin held third. The final time for the mile was 1:54.1. Skeeter Machine is owned by Francis and James Greer and trained by Alan Bowen. Hawthorne Race Course, Chicago's Hometown Track, continues the summer harness season through September 24. Fall thoroughbreds close out the year, running from October 5 through December 29. For more information, visit www.Hawthorneracecourse.com or contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700. by Jim Miller, for Hawthorne Race Course  

ANDERSON, Ind.; - June 7, 2016 - An incident during a regularly scheduled harness racing training session at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino today resulted in the drowning fatality of a Standardbred racehorse. After a preliminary review, it is believed that Just Dance With Me, a three-year-old Standardbred racehorse driven by Brett Wilfong and owned by the Wilfong family, veered left off the racetrack at 11:45 a.m. as a result of a broken bit and loss of control. The racehorse went through the inner racetrack fence, and into the infield pond. The driver was unharmed and did not require additional medical care. "Our condolences go out to the Wilfong family for their loss," said Rick Moore, Hoosier Park's vice president and general manger of racing. "In the sport of horse racing, racehorses are very much part of the family and are cared for as such." The local Anderson Fire Department responded to the incident. The Indiana Horse Racing Commission has been notified. Moore added, "This unfortunate event is the first of its kind in the more than 20 years of racing at Hoosier Park and we will conduct a full investigation of the incident. Horse racing, much like any other racing sport, has its inherent risks that we must continue to keep in mind." Emily Gaskin

With the start of Spring only a week away let’s take a look who has fared well on the local harness racing circuit the first couple of months of the 2015 Winter. The leading stable as we go into Thursday’s action may be a bit of a surprise. It’s Brett Wilfong (pictured) who is off to a hot season start, The Donovan, Illinois horseman has had 21 of his horses finish first as we head into the middle of March Brett’s 13 winners at Maywood Park ties him for the top spot with Perry Smith, who took last year’s training title at the half-mile track. Wilfong’s 8 victors at Balmoral Park has Brett tied for third best at the Crete, IL big track with Jim Ellison. Balmoral’s defending trainer champion Nelson Willis is on top there with 14 winners, followed by Bob Phillips with 9. Perry Smith rounds out the current Balmoral Top Five with 6. At Maywood Wilfong and Smith are followed by trainers Angie Affrunti and Gary Fatland, both with 7. Dave McCaffrey, Terry Leonard and Albert Kopiec each have 6. Wide Open Features: Friday’s co-features at Maywood Park are a pair of medium level conditioned paces, one for colts and geldings and the other for fillies and mares. Both have no-clear cut favorite. The Maywood morning line has two Tom Simmons trainees as the early choices The pair will race uncoupled because of different ownership. Long Term (Date Hiteman), a winner last week stepping up in class, opens at 2-1 while his stable-mate Real Hero (Casey Leonard), a nose short last time,  is at 5-2 first flash odds. Expect Desperado Alibi (Brian Carpenter), coming off a game win last week and with the pole position Friday, to also get plenty of play at the betting windows. The same goes for Don’t Worry B Happy (Mike Oosting) who is listed at generous 10-1 odds in the program. The Willis trainee proved best at Friday’s class two weeks ago. Also going postward in the non-winners of $8,000 in their last 8 starts are Some Heart Throb (8-1, Kyle Wilfong) and Total Sin (12-1, Lavern Hostetler). The 10th race for distaffers is another where 3 or 4 horses could be vying for most of the public’s choice. Last week’s front-stepping winner Incredible Filly (Tim Curtin) is listed at 3-1, Melodie Hotspur, a bridesmaid in her last four outings, is next at 7-2. Financial Effort (Casey Leonard) follows at 9-2 with Molly Go Lightly (Mike Oosting) at 6-1. The latter got bottled up behind a wall of horses and finished full of pace but much too far back to reward her backers. Steph’s Place (Todd Warren) who steps up after popping for her new barn a week ago is at 8-1. The 6-year-old ICF mare was claimed for $4,000 by Smith in her last February start after capturing 5 of her first 6 outings for the Terry Leonard Stable. She’ll start off at liberal 8-1 odds. Completing that field are ER Monica (15-1, Dean Magee), Misspanderosajones (12-1, Ridge Warren), Sealark Hanover (15-1, Sam Widger) and Gimmeazzzmooch (10-1, Dale Hiteman). By Mike Paradise

After opening his second season with two very impressive scores over "older open" company, Paula Smith and James Runyan's Fox Valley Deuce took his first crack at state-bred stakes company on Saturday night at Balmoral Park in the $10,000 Taurus Bomber Stake. The gelded son of Sportsmaster--Dodger Girl had no problem keeping his perfect slate intact as he cruised to an easy 4 ½ length score over five rivals in 1:56.1 for driver Casey Leonard. Hustled away from the outside post in the field of six, the Joel Smith trainee was parked through an opening quarter of 29.4. After grabbing command as the field straightened up onto the backstretch for Leonard, the issue was never really in doubt again as the good looking sophomore put up leisurely middle splits of 1:00.2 & 1:29.4.   Fit and fresh as he headed for the money Fox Valley Deuce finished off the mile in grand fashion, rattling off an eye opening 26.2 final split to make it three in a row in 2014. Orange & Blue winner Cotton Eyed Joe (Robert Smolin), who was making his sophomore debut, finished a fast closing second while Dune Dude (Dean Magee) turned in a solid try to rally for third.   With the win Fox Valley Deuce now boasts fives wins and a third in 18 lifetime starts with earnings of $28,147.   A trio of Newcomer Series finals were contested on Saturday night as well. The $7,800 Filly & Mare final was taken by Brett Wilfong's Chariots Afire (Jimmy Daniel) as she cruised to her second win in three starts this year. The home-bred daughter of Skydancer Hanover stopped the clock in 1:55.0. The $8,000 colt & gelding final was captured Nelson & Kay Willis's Shark Vision (Kyle Wilfong) as the royally-bred son of Cam's Cam Shark made it three in a row in 2014 while tripping the timer in 1:55.1.   On the trotting side of the docket, the Lester Banks owned, Steve Bauder trained Mary Queen (Dale Hiteman) was able to mind her manners again as she uncorked a big closing burst to knock off eight other diagonally gaited specialists in the $7,750 final of that series.The final time was a career best of 1:59.2.   There will be no live racing this Wednesday April 2, 2014 due to lack of entries.    By Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park

After a busy weekend of elimination’sthe fields have been set for one of the biggest nights of racing at Balmoral Park and now the count down begins to next Saturday’s (July 27th) Chicago Southland Festival of Racing. After a trio of stakes were filled on Saturday, July 20th the last two elimination tussles were contested on Sunday night with a total of 16 Illinois conceived and foaled three-year-old pacing fillies squaring off in a pair of $10,000 Ann Vonian Stake elim’s. The top five finishers in each division will be back next Saturday to slug it out for a purse of $60,000. In the first elimination Roy Drevsand Brett & Candice Wilfong’s Feel Like Dancing came charging through the passing lane to win by a length in a career best of 1:52.3 for driver Kyle Wilfong. After leading the field through anopening quarter in 28.3 Wilfong elected to allow a hard charging Dallas Jones(Casey Leonard) take command. That filly proceeded to rattle off middle splitsof 56.2 & 1:25.1 while the Brett Wilfong trained miss enjoyed a perfect pocket sitting ride. After finding room in the passing lane, the daughter of Skydancer Hanover—Fox Valley Funny exploded past the pace setter finishing offthe mile with a 27.1 final panel to post her seventh win in 14 starts thisyear. Dallas Jones held on to be second while the heavily favored Aliyah Maria(Todd Warren) finished third. Incredible Filly (Mike Cox) and My Marissa Clair(Phil Knox) also earned spots in the final. The second elimination was notwithout its anxious moments for “chalk” players but when the smoke cleared it was John Carver’s Auniqueaquistion who came out on top with a hard fought half-length victory in 1:52.2 for driver Dave Magee. Placed well off the pace while DuneIn Red (John De Long) and R Ciao Baby (Casey Leonard) sped through splits of28.2, 55.3 & 1:24.1, Magee had Auniqueaquistion in the outer flow as the fillies turned for the money. Picking off one rival after another, the Donna Lee Ozment trained daughter of Cole Muffler—Shesoluvabull went from fifth to first with a 27.3 final quarter to notch her sixth win in nine starts this year. Dune In Red turned in a solid effort to finish second while State Street Liz (Robert Smolin) shook loose late to be a fast closing third. The last two spots in the final went to R Ciao Baby and Mystical Danica (Lewayne Miller). Saturday’s action started with a total of 19 state-bred two-year-old pacing fillies battling in a pair of $10,000 Loyal Opposition elimination’s. The top five in each split will return next week to meet for a purse of $65,000. In the opening division Bruce & Mary Alexander’s Western Dame made it two in a row as she cruised to an impressive two-length victory in a career best of 1:54.2 for driver John DeLong. Charging from fifth to first after an opening quarter of 28.2, the daughter of Sagebrush—Dixie Dame left no doubt as to who was the best in this event as she continued on through middle splits of 57.0 & 1:26.0. Rolling home in 28.2, the $14,000 yearling purchase was never seriously threatened through the stretch as she scored for the second time in three starts. Thesleazyprincess (Mike Oosting) rallied late to be the bridesmaid while Anything I Want (Todd Warren) was a game third. My Little Bit (Robert Smolin) finished fourth and Fox Valley Rockn (Kyle Wilfong) was fifth. The second division of the Loyal Opposition elimination’s also provided a sharp winner as Sawgrass Farms Molly Go Lightly posted her maiden breaking win, reporting home with a 2 ¾ length verdict in 1:55.1 with Mike Oosting in tow. The homebred daughter of Lexington Legend—Waggle was confidently handled in the race ranging up first over through opening splits of 29.3 & 58.4. After sweeping into the lead as the field moved around the final turn, the Nelson Willis trainee led the fillies by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:26.4. The issue was never in doubt from that point on as Molly Go Lightly was a cruise control through a 28.2 final quarter to post her first win in four starts. Green Valey (Robert Smolin) came on late to finish second while April May Dune (Dave Magee) was third. Also gaining spots in the final were Fox Valley Amanda(Dale Hiteman) and Ms Solongbyebye (Jamaica Patton). Next on the docket were three-year-old pacing colts as a total of 15 state-bred sophomores battled in apair of $10,000 Incredible Finale Stake elimination’s. Once again the top five will be back for the “festival” where they will battle for a purse of $59,000. In the first elimination Paymaq Racing, D&M Trading & Mystical Marker Farms Mystical Walter continued to turn heads in this division as he posted his Third Straight victory, reporting home with a deceptively easy 2 ¼ length score in 1:51.1 for driver Casey Leonard. Fresh off his win in last week’s Hanover Stake, the gelded son of Yankee Skyscaper—Yankee Blue put his powerful brush to good use rushing from fifth to first after an opening quarter in 28.0. The Erv Miller trainee never looked back the rest of the way, effortlessly posting middle splits of 56.2 & 1:24.1 before sealing the deal with a wicked 27.0 final quarter for his seventh win in 15 career starts. Monopoly Man (John De Long) followed the winner’s every move after giving way on the backside to finish second while Fancy Creek Elusiv (Dave Magee) was third. Also grabbing spots in the final were Sage Ruck (Mike Oosting) and Fox Valley Action (Todd Warren). In the second division John & Mary Krasnican’s Big Brad came storming through the stretch to win by a neck in a lifetime best of 1:51.0 for Robert Smolin. Moving up second over as pace setter Silver Devil put up splits of 28.0, 56.3 & 1:23.4 Smolin moved the Robert Phillips trainee off cover as the field turned for the money. Flying home in 26.4, the bay son of Henry Clay—One Sure Thing swept by his rivals and then was game to the wire as held off a final surge by Crankin’ It Up (Kyle Wilfong) for his fifth win in 13 starts this season. Crankin’ It Up was second while Kostas Wine (Dave Magee) rallied to finish third. Fox Valley Norman (John De Long) salvaged a fourth place finish after a tough first over bid while the last spotin the final went to Darth Quaider (Mike Oosting). Rounding out the Saturday action were Mini Me Stake elimination’s for ICF two-year-old pacing colts. With a total of 17 youngsters dropped into the entry box a pair of $10,000 splits were contested with the top five moving on to next week’s $63,500 final. In the first division Obermeier & Quaid Stables good looking youngster PQ Three lived up to his favored status winning by a well measured neck in 1:54.3 with Mike Oosting at the controls. Ranging up first over as Traffic Cop(Todd Warren) and R Duneshine (Dave Magee) battled through splits of 28.2, 58.27 1:26.4, Oosting had the son of Yankee Skyscaper—Sweltering just off the pace setters flank as the field turned for the money. Quickly swallowing up R Duneshine in the lane, the Erv Miller trainee then held firm to the wire for his second win in four starts. Traffic Cop re-rallied to finish a game second while Fox Valley Cupid (Robert Smolin) turned a ground saving trip into a third place check. Fox Valley Deuce (Dale Hiteman) was fourth while R Duneshine wound up fifth. The last elimination on the Saturday card provided the tightest finish as the Robert Phillips owned and trained Cotton Eyed Joe found racing room in the final sixteenth of a mile then rallied sharply for a head decision in 1:56.4 with Robert Smolin at the controls. After saving ground while Wimpy Doodle (Dean Magee) and Dunside Art (Mike Oosting) took turns leading the field through splits of 29.3, 1:00.3 & 1:29.2 Smolin appeared to be hopelessly locked in at the pylons. Smolin’s patience paid big dividends though as a seam opened up late in the stretch, allowing the son of Big Green Machine—Secret Dial to come roaring home with his first win in five career starts. Badger Quinn (Todd Warren), who made a power sweep to the front from the outside post wound up finishing a tough luck second while Fox Valley Van (John De Long) was third. The last two spots in the final went to Dunside Art (4th) and Wimpy Doodle (5th). Big Brad and Robert Smolin captured an Incredible Finale Stake elimination for 3yo pacing colts in 1:51.0 on Saturday night at Balmoral Park. PQ Three was a well measured winner for driver Mike Oosting in the first of two Mini Me Stake eliminations on Saturday. Cotton Eyed Joe found room late while rallying for a big win in the second Mini Me Stake elimination on Saturday. Western Dame cruised to an easy win for driver John De Long in the first of two Loyal Opposition Stake elimination's on Saturday night. Molly Go Lightly and driver Mike Oosting teamed up for an easy win in 1:55.1 in the second Loyal Opposition Stake elimination on Saturday.  Mystical Walter continued an impressive recent run as he posted his Third Straight victory in the first of two Incredible Finale Stake elim's for 3yo colt pacers.  

Illinois conceived and foaled three-year-olds were back in the spotlight on Friday, April 26th at Maywood Park as a pair of $12,000 stake battles shared top billing on the 14-race harness racing program.

After two competitive rounds of the Incredible Finale Series Wednesday's $9,350 harness racing final shapes up to a wide-open affair for ICF pacing fillies and mares. Early favoritism is divided between the Brent Wilfong trained entry of Feel Like Dancing and Chariots Afire at 3-1, double-series victor Cee Cee's Delight (Brian Carpenter) at 7-2, and first leg winner Dallas Jones (Casey Leonard) at 9-2.

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