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DU QUOIN, Ill. — Tibretta Reiman may be the new assistant manager for the Du Quoin State Fair, but this local gal comes into this new position with deep roots and generations of family tradition. Hailing from Pinckneyville, Reiman and her family have been showing its locally renowned Bigham Jerseys since the first fairs. She also worked as a regional tourism specialist before accepting an appointment this spring to coordinate the Du Quoin fair on behalf of the Illinois Department of Agriculture. While she prefers to explain her role as “local boots on the ground” for new Illinois State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon, Reiman has been orchestrating an administratively reorganized fair that’s now a partner with the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. Here’s what she’s been working on. What are the biggest changes this year? There are many of them, but they are mostly behind the scenes. We are trying to honor the past while looking to the future. Everything takes money, and everyone has worked hard to bring in more money in sponsorships and vendors, which we’ve been very successful with. We’ve had to look to other avenues and outside of the box. There’s been more work on tourism surrounding the fair. Another change is the partnership with the Springfield fair. The staffs have been working together, and we’re sharing some of the entertainment. Du Quoin used to operate on it own. We’re all family now. Is there more emphasis on agriculture this year? Our theme this is “Producing Our Future,” which relates to future of agriculture and the next generation. We’ve expanded the agricultural experience with displays about farming and explaining where food comes from. We also have a number of schools coming in for field trips. And, of course, we also have the annual livestock shows. We also have Ag Youth Day on Monday (Aug. 29). That’s when we have the FFA Farm Yard Follies. Where will you spend most of your time during the fair? I’ll be behind the scenes, making sure all of ticketing, back stage and security is all moving in the right direction. The key is ensuring everyone has a good time from start to finish. What’s your earliest memory of this fair? It definitely was showing cows when I was 3 or 4 years old. My family has been showing cattle here all along. My son has done the same thing. He was pictured showing his cow on the cover of the 2008 fair guide. What are the best tips for families? We’ve always had free entertainment, but there’s even more this year. It’s all listed in our fair schedule. We also have reasonable pricing for carnival rides. There’s a pay-one-price ride special for $18 at Krogers. The wristband allows unlimited carnival rides for one day. A lot of people also don’t know that they can rent strollers, wagons, wheelchairs, powered scooters and golf carts. The fair business is loud, fast and comes with many moving pieces. Where on the fairgrounds do you go for a quiet moment? Lately, I’ve been coming out to the Grandstand. I enjoy sitting there and looking out over the infield and thinking about how little it has changed in all these years. I also like go out to the lake by the cow barns. What are your must-have fair foods? The first thing I get is a Paulette’s corn dog. I also love the Gyro King gyros. There’s a Philly cheese taco, the catfish nuggets at T Street Pub and Joanie’s cinnamon rolls.   Founder’s legacy marches on When the ribbon is cut on Aug. 26 and the Twilight Parade steps through the Main Gate, a new chapter starts for the Du Quoin State Fair. Presenting its 94th line-up, the fair opens with new staff, improved business practices, more food and retail vendors and new features, especially for families. Yes, there’s still harness racing, rodeos, auto races, carnival rides, live music, lots of livestock and, like it or not, tents full of politicians. But Assistant Fair Manager Tibretta Reiman hopes revelers catch a comfortable feeling of nostalgia as they stroll the fairgrounds this season. “We have many traditions that have survived the years, and I think that’s why many people come back with their families every year. They came here as kids, and now they’re coming back with their kids and their grandkids,” Reiman said. While attending this fair in Perry County may be a family tradition for many in southern Illinois, the fair has been a milestone in the region’s history since 1923. That’s when William R. Hayes bought an old coal strip mine next to his 30-acre tract and began building the fairgrounds to match the quality of the Illinois State Fair Hayes built a park-like setting that boasted planting of 1,400 trees, a grandstand, barns — the first one still is standing and in use — and a horse track. The result is what some 150,000 people are expected to enjoy this year at the 1,200-acre fair complex with an 18,000-seat grandstand, a track to host horses, race cars and motorcycles, 12 lakes and 30 miles of black-topped roads. In the center of the grounds is the Hayes Mansion, a white-columned house behind a wrought-iron fence that used for special events. Notable events in the fair’s past include the Hambletonian harness race, a renowned competition that has since moved to New York. The fair now runs races with pari-mutuel betting in the grandstand. Hayes was known as an adept businessman and attracted investors to help build a fairgrounds with all the amenities. The fair’s website reported, “He foresaw the event as a prestigious, statewide attraction that ‘would be improved yearly as long as the fair exists.’” The early fairs featured harness and auto racing, a dog show, an auto show and even a “flapper” fashion show. There also was a flying circus with stunt pilots, parachute jumpers and a dirigible from Scott Air Force Base near Belleville. The fair also has notched some firsts: staged the first night horse show under electric lights and the first night stage show starring the Music Box Revue in 1929. In 1970s and 1980s, the fair attracted such headliners as Bob Hope, Sammy Davis Jr., Alabama, Willie Nelson, Jim Nabors and the Bee Gees. Even the likes A.J. Foyt, Tony Bettenhausen and Mario Andretti know the fair. Although Hayes started his business career selling soft drinks from a pushcart, he established a Coca-Cola bottling and distributing plant, a dairy products company and a chain of 19 movie theaters. The fairgrounds has changed hands over the years, with the state of Illinois taking ownership in 1986. Today, Reiman and her staff are busy with final preparations for the next fair, which follows a “Producing Our Future” theme. By Karen Binder Reprinted with permission from AGRINEWS  

Du Quoin, IL - As the county fair and state fair season winds down in Illinois, major harness racing took place over the past two weeks at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield before moving this weekend to the Du Quoin State Fair. Mother Nature tried to put a damper on the racing in Springfield, forcing the cancellation of one card and another to be shifted, but stakes eliminations and finals were able to be contested when the skies were clear. After the completion of elimination races during a hot Friday afternoon on August 12, over five inches of rain fell in a matter of hours in Springfield, forcing the cancellation of the Saturday card on August 13. A couple of dark days included more rain, forcing the postponement of the card on Tuesday, August 16 as that card was moved to the following Thursday. Round the clock work by the Springfield track crew had the surface ready for the finals though on Wednesday, August 16 as the top Illinois-breds took to a fast track. The following were the winners of the Illinois State Fair Championship races: Two-year-old filly trot - Annas Lucky Star Two-year-old colt & gelding trot - Polar B Two-year-old filly pacers - Artemesia Two-year-old colt & gelding pacers - Fox Valley Inferno Three-year-old filly trot - Praise Singer Three-year-old colt & gelding trot - PJ Boy Three-year-old filly pace - Bucklegirl Bobette Three-year-old colt & gelding pace - BS Tyriffic This Saturday and Sunday the Du Quoin State Fair takes place as many of the two and three-year--olds that squared off in Springfield will meet once again. While live wagering is available on-site at the Du Quoin State Fair, races can be viewed online at www.duquoinstatefair.net under the "Entertainment" and "Harness Racing" tab. Post time each day is Noon. Jim Miller  

MOUNT GREENWOOD — A standardbred filly bred for harness racing at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences in Mount Greenwood has been sold at auction for $1,000. Proceeds from the sale of Emily Strong — a horse named for Emily Beazley — will be given to Emily Beazley's Kures for Kids. The 12-year-old girl from Mount Greenwood died on May 18, 2015, after a four-year battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Her parents, Nadia and Ed Beazley, started the charity three months after Emily died. The non-profit organization raises funds for pediatric cancer research and is inspired by the little girl who captivated the neighborhood with her battle against the deadly disease. "I wish [Emily Strong] would have brought in what she was worth," said Dennis Pietranduono, a part-time farmer at the school at 3857 W. 111th St. Pietranduono, a resident of suburban Evergreen Park, brought the trotter breeding program to the school about three years ago. He and Principal William Hook hoped the horse named by Emily's sister Olivia would sell for closer to $5,000. The pair also expected the price to increase after another harness-racing horse born at the Ag School won her first stakes race Aug. 3 at the Coles County Fair in Downstate Charleston. Send For Me won the seventh race at the fair, defeating four other horses. Emily Strong "was a steal," said Pietranduono, who blamed the decline of harness racing throughout Illinois for the rock-bottom price. Both Send For Me and Emily Strong share the same mother, Basic Brown. The broodmare is expecting another foal in April. Going forward, the school will likely target other states to sell its horses where the animals will fetch a better price, Pietranduono said. The Ag School has just three horses in its barn, which doubles as a classroom. It sits on 72 acres and teaches agriculture to urban students using livestock along with crops, a greenhouse and even a three-hole golf course. But with the decline in harness racing, the school will likely put more focus on its therapeutic riding program, said Pietranduono, who believes this shift will come when the new riding barn is complete. As for Emily Strong, the yearling was sold to Pat Gammage of Bay Springs, Miss., on Sunday. He plans to race the horse and could re-name her as well. In fact, Send For Me was named Brite Star Aggie when she was born in April 2013 at the Ag School. Emily Strong was also first given the name Ag's ByeBye Birdie to honor teacher Maria Byrd, who died suddenly in 2014, Pietranduono said. She was renamed four months after Emily Beazley's death. Should Emily Strong win any races in Illinois, the Ag School would get a portion of the proceeds. The "breeders stake" is usually around 12½ percent, and the school would receives half of that take. Pietranduono promised to donate any winnings back to Emily Beazley's charity. "She's a beautiful animal," he said. And while the farmers might have been disappointed by the price of their horse, Nadia Beazley remained overwhelmed by the school's generosity. On Tuesday, she remembered crying on the phone upon receiving news that the horse would be named for her late daughter. "It was more personal for me," said Beazley, who hopes the new owner sticks with the name Emily Strong. Nadia Beazley was also pleased that the Ag School pledged the horses' future winnings to the charity. And she remembered being awestruck by the beauty of the horse whom she first met as a foal. "A $1,000 is a lot of money to us," she said. By Howard Ludwig Reprinted with permission of the dnainfo.com site

By The 2015 Illinois State Fair harness racing card ended with a bang as 6-year-old pacing horse Time To Roll turned the fastest mile of the meet in the final race of four days. On the second day of racing last year, 5-year-old gelding King Mufasa made a triumphant return and won a state fair championship, just 13 months after nearly dying. While traveling, the trailer the horse was clipped by a tractor-trailer in a rainstorm. King Mufasa was cut from the wreckage and spent 44 days in intensive care. So what stories will unfold when harness racing takes the track the 2016 Illinois State Fair? Races are scheduled for Aug. 12, 13, 16 and 17 on the one-mile track at the Grandstand. Post time is noon. Eliminations for 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds in the Illinois State Fair Colt Stakes Championships are scheduled for Aug. 12. The Illinois State Fair Colt Stakes Aged Divisions and Illinois Department of Agriculture State Fair Races will be contested Aug. 13. The Illinois Topline Races and Illinois Department of Agriculture State Fair Races are Aug. 16. The final day of racing will culminate with Illinois State Fair Colt Stakes Championships and Illinois Department of Agriculture races. This year’s meet will not include The Grand Circuit Review Stakes, which typically draws horses throughout the United States to Springfield. It was canceled due to uncertain state funding and few nominated horses. By Marcia Martinez Reprinted with permission of The State Jornal-Register

ALTAMONT -- Carl Becker is now the winningest harness racing owner at the Effingham County Fair. Becker's horse, Duneside Life grabbed the lead and set the tempo in the Big 10 3-Year-Old Filly Pace in the third race of the day. Driven by Mike Rogers, Duneside Life led at the three-quarter mile marker and hung on to win by three in 2:07.3. Alvin Siebert and Jon Becker are the co-breeders. Carl Becker was tied with 24 wins and the 25th victory pushed him into the all-time winningest racing owner at the Effingham County Fair. Rogers was the winning driver and took over for Kyle Husted, who grew up locally. Husted is in action at the Logan County Fair in Lincoln and will, hopefully, compete at his home track later in the week. Rogers added on to his total in the driver's standings with another several victories Monday. Rogers started off Sunday with three wins and added on to that with a victory in the Big 10 2-Year-Old Filly Trot, the opening race of the card, Rogers took Blake Ellie to the lead and held a length and a half lead at the half. Blake Ellis has had five starts this season and won at Champaign a couple of weeks ago. He finished up hanging on for the win in 2:15.4. In the second race of the day, the Big 10 2-Year-Old Colt Trot, Classi Cassi zipped to the victory, leaving the rest of the field behind.  Clifford Graber, the trainer and driver, took Classi Cassi out first, opened up a 15 length lead and finished with a whopping 23 1/2 length victory in 2:12.3. Classi Cassi had only two starts up to this point and finished both in second place. In the fourth race, the Big 10 3-Year-Old Colt Pace, Cruiser opened up a lead but Tha Pipe Fitta and Te's Black Tie remained close and when the three took the final turn, all were in contention. Te's moved into second and took the lead into the home stretch. Te's Black Tie, driven by Effingham's Darla Martin Lohman, came on strong and claimed the victory in 2:02.4, the fastest mile in two days. The final race, the Free For All Trot, only two horses were listed and Princess Val went offstride at the start of the race, so it was Defend The Rock all the way. Owned by Rodney Winter of Altamont, Defend The Rock went the distance for Rogers in 2:11.1. It was the third win of the day for Rogers who leads the way in the driver's standings with 31 points and six victories in the two-day event so far. Effingham County Fair Race One Big 10 2-Year-Old Filly Trot Purse: $1,842 1. Blake Ellie (Michael Rogers), 2. T.E.'s My Way (Ray Gash), 3. Zummie Ummy (Randall Finn), 4. Cassis-Silhouette Star (Darla Martin Lohman) Time -- :34.1, 1:09, 1:44.1, 2:15.4 Race Two Big 10 2-Year-Old Colt Trot Purse: $1,842 1. Classi Cassi (Clifford Graber), 2. Stevie's Pride (Randall Finn), 3. Loudanz Legacy (Paul Cavett), 4. Pretzel Power (Michael Rogers) Time -- :31.3, 1:01.4, 1:35.2, 2:12.3 Race Three Big 10 3-Year-Old Filly Pace Purse: $1,792 1. 1. Duneside Life (Mike Rogers), 2. Dune On Time (David Fagan), 3. Fox Valley Brianna (Paul Cavett) Time -- :33.4, 1:06.1, 1:37.1, 2:07.3 Race Four Big 10 3-Year-Old Colt Pace Purse: $1,831 1. Te's Black Tie (Darla Martin Lohman), 2. Tha Pipe Fitta (Paul Cavett), 3. Cruiser (Ray Gash) Time -- :31 2/5, 1:03, 1:33.4, 2:02.4. Race Five Free For All Trot Purse: $1,040 1. Defend The Rock (Michael Rogers), 2. Princess Val (Paul Cavett) Time -- :33.2, 1:06.1, 1:40, 2:11.1. Tuesday's Entries Race One 2-Year-Old Open Pace AE: ICF Maidens Purse:  $1,260 1. Herehecomesarockin (Jared Finn), 2. Bigger N Better (Jared Finn), 3. Scenic Cruise (Ray Gash) Race Two Free For All Pace Purse: $1,080 1. Jaded Truth (Richard S. Finn), 2. Queen  Beatrice (Darla Martin Lohman), 3. Cruiser (Ray Gash), 4. Feel My Pain (Richard S. Finn) Written by Millie Lange Reprinted with permission of thexradio.com site

STICKNEY, IL - On a beautiful Saturday evening at Hawthorne, two divisions of leg three of the Robert F. Carey Memorial Stakes took place over a fast track. The Carey Memorial is for Illinois-bred harness racing three-year-old colt and gelding pacers. Race five on the card was the first division of the Carey as a field of eight lined up. Sent away as the favorite was Dr Drake Ramoray (Duneside Perch) as Jim Pantaleano flew in for the drive. Leaving for the lead early was He Gone Jack and Dale Hiteman through the quarter in :28.3. Early on the backstretch, favored Dr Drake Ramoray took over, covering the half in :57.3. On the turn, Chlo's Richess moved to challenge Dr Drake Ramoray through three quarters in 1:26.3. In the stretch, Dr Drake Ramoray battled on and held sway, winning by two lengths in 1:53.4. Holdonwe'rerolling got up for second while Chlo's Richess finished third. Owned by Megan Rogers Racing Stables Inc and trained by Norm Parker, Dr Drake Ramoray paid $5.20, $3.00, and $2.20. Holdonwe'rerolling returned $3.20 and $2.40 while Chlo's Riches paid $2.40 to show. The second division of the Carey went as race seven on the Saturday card. Favored at post time was Royale Rose for driver Matt Krueger. Leaving from the inside for the lead was Caffeine Kid for Dale Hiteman through the quarter in :28.2. On the backside, Royale Rose was first to move as he took over through the half in :57.1. In the turn, Royale Rose met the challenge of Goinduneside after three quarters in 1:25.2. In the lane, Royale Rose opened up a two length lead but Dan D Dune (Duneside Perch) came flying down the center of the track and drew clear by four lengths for driver Casey Leonard. Royale Rose finished second while IYQ YQR was third. Owned by Cynthia Kay Willis and trained by Nelson Willis, Dan D Dune paid $10.00, $4.20 and $2.80. Royale Rose paid $2.80 and $2.40 while IYQ YQR paid $5.00 to show. Jim Miller

STICKNEY - Friday evening at Hawthorne featured a pair of divisions of leg three of the Plum Peachy Stakes. The Plum Peachy is for Illinois-bred harness racing  three-year-old fillies as each division went with a field of six. The first division went as race three on the card and was contested over a track listed as good. Favored at post time was Whiskersonkittens (Party At Artsplace) for driver Todd Warren. Leaving for the lead was Whiskersonkittens as she made the opening quarter in :28.4. On the backstretch, Whiskersonkittens maintained her lead while tracked by Bucklegirl Bobette through the half in :59.2. On the turn, Bucklegirl Bobette moved to head Whiskersonkittens through three quarters in 1:28.2. In the lane, Whiskersonkittens fought back and opened up, drawing clear by four lengths on the wire as the 1-9 choice. Lexington Lady closed late for second while Narcissistic finished third. Final time for the mile was 1:55.2. Owned by Ronald Knupp and trained by Kim Roth, Whiskersonkittens returned $2.20, $2.10, and $2.10. Lexington Lady paid $4.20 and $3.20 while Narcissistic paid $4.20 to show. Race six was the second division of the Plum Peachy as Char N Marg (Sportsmaster) was the heavy favorite with Casey Leonard driving. Early on Dandy's Diva moved to the front but Char N Marg quickly took over through the quarter in :28.2. On the backside, the 1-9 favorite opened up a four length advantage through the half in :58.2. On the turn, Char N Marg got a breather through three quarters in 1:27.4. In the lane, Char N Marg was kept to task, holding clear by four lengths. Ashlee's Fine Lady finished second while LK's Nancy Lee was third. Char N Marg covered the mile in 1:55.1. Owned by Quaid Racing LLC and trained by Nelson Willis, Char N Marg returned $2.20 and $2.10. Show wagering was cancelled on the race. Ashlee's Fine Lady paid $3.80 to place. Jim Miller

STICKNEY, IL - Thursday night at Hawthorne featured leg three action for the Illinois-bred harness racing three-year-old trotters. Male trotters were featured in the Erwin F. Dygert Memorial Stakes while the females took to the track in the Beulah Dygert Memorial Stakes. Race six on the card was the third leg of the Erwin F. Dygert Memorial Trot. Favored was Hail Caesar. Moving to the early lead was Primed N Powerful through the opening quarter in :29.1. Into the turn, Fear took over for Todd Warren through the half in :57.4. On the turn, Primed N Powerful came back to challenge, assuming command through three quarters in 1:28.1. In the lane, Hail Caesar rolled up three wide and took over for Casey Leonard, drawing clear by four lengths on the wire. Longshot Wrightwood closed late to finish second while Primed N Powerful held third. The final time for the mile was 1:58.1 over a track listed as fast. Owned by H W Wright and trained by Mike Brink, Hail Caesar (Powerful Emotion) returned $3.60, $2.40 and $2.10. Wrightwood came back $18.20 and $6.20 while Primed N Powerful paid $3.20 to show. Race seven Thursday was the Beulah Dygert Memorial Stakes with a field of eleven set to face the starter. The favorite was Vengeful for driver Todd Warren. Leaving for the lead were multiple trotters as Vengeful had to work to make the lead through the opening quarter of :29.3. On the backstretch, longshot Shez A Devil Woman pushed Vengeful along through the half in :58.3. In the turn, Shez A Devil Woman put a head in front briefly but Vengeful fought back through three quarters in 1:28.2. In the stretch, Vengeful opened up a three length lead and remained clear at the wire, winning by five lengths. Surviver Di rallied to finish second while More Than Likely was third. Final time for the mile was 1:57.4. Vengeful (Powerful Emotion) is owned by Providence West, Inc. and trained by Kenny Collier. She returned $5.00, $3.00, and $2.40. Surviver Di came back $3.20 and $2.60 while More Than Likely paid $8.40 to show. Early Pick 5 Carryover Friday Thursday night at Hawthorne saw no winning tickets of five of five in the early pick five, leading to a carryover into the Friday card. The early pick five on Friday will have a carryover of $3,317. Jim Miller

STICKNEY, IL - A fourteen race Sunday card at Hawthorne featured three divisions of leg three of the Incredible Finale Stakes. The Incredible Finale is for Illinois-bred harness racing two-year-old colt and gelding pacers. A storm prior to races left the track sloppy to open the card as race three was the first division of the Incredible Finale. Favored at off time was Gabe Henry. Moving to the early lead was Fox Valley Sparty through the quarter in :29. Sork moved early on the backside to take over for driver Kyle Husted through a half in :57.4. On the turn, Sork was challenged again by Fox Valley Sparty through three quarters in 1:27.4. In the stretch, Fox Valley Sparty and Dale Hiteman were challenged by Gabe Henry and Todd Warren as Gabe Henry went on to a length and a half score. Fox Valley Jeter closed late for second while Fox Valley Sparty finished third. Final time for the mile over the sloppy going was 1:57.1. Owned by Carol Graham and trained by Thomas Graham, the colt by Henry Clay returned $3.60, $2.40, and $2.20. Fox Valley Jeter paid $3.20 and $2.20 while Fox Valley Sparty paid $3.00 to show. The second division of leg three of the Incredible Finale had Sporty Redhot as a heavy post time favorite for driver Todd Warren. Sent for the lead was Sporty Redhot but Spirited Encounter beat him to the lead through the quarter in :29.1. On the backside, Spirited Encounter maintained his lead through the half in :58. On the turn, Sporty Redhot ranged up to challenge through three quarters in 1:27. In the stretch, Sporty Redhot gained the lead but had to hold off the move of multiple horses and held on to win by a length. Fox Valley Reggie finished second while Fox Valley Inferno was third. Final time for the mile was 1:56.4. Owned by Alan Beals and trained by Kim Roth, the gelding by Sportsmaster remained undefeated from three lifetime starts and returned $2.80, $2.40, and $2.10. Fox Valley Reggie paid $16.60 and $6.60 while Fox Valley Inferno returned $2.40 to show. Race seven was the third division of the Incredible Finale as the track was upgraded to good. Sullivan took the wagering action and was sent off as the favorite. Making the early lead was Uptown Sleaze while pressed by Fox Valley Nemitz through the quarter in :29.2. On the backstretch Fox Valley Nemitz was pushed by Sullivan through the half in :59.1. In the turn, Casey Leonard and Sullivan assumed command, covering three quarters in 1:27.4. In the lane, Sullivan was all out but Fox Valley Nemitz and Dale Hiteman came back to catch him nearing the wire. Uptown Sleaze held third. Final time for the mile was 1:57.3. Owned by Fox Valley Standardbreds and trained by Joel Smith, the gelding by Richess Hanover paid $9.60, $3.00, and $2.20. Sullivan returned $3.20 and $2.60 while Uptown Sleaze paid $2.40 to show. Jim Miller

STICKNEY, IL - On another warm evening in the Chicagoland area, three divisions of leg three of the Incredible Tillie Stakes at Hawthorne Racecourse were contested. The Incredible Tillie is for Illinois-bred two-year-old filly pacers. The first division went as race seven on the Friday card over a fast track as Princess Sage (Sagebrush)  was sent away as the favorite. Leaving for lead was Princess Sage as she made the top easily through the opening quarter of :28.3. On the backside, the 1-5 favorite maintained her lead for driver Freddie Patton Jr through the half in :58.3. On the turn Princess Sage opened a five length lead through three quarters in 1:27.0. In the stretch, Princess Sage shortened but held on by a length and a half in 1:56. Fox Valley Charliz closed for second while Pinstripe Pants finished third. Owned by Keli Jo Bell and Freddie Patton, Jr. and trained by Freddie Patton, Jr., Princess Sage paid $2.60, $2.10, and $2.10. Fox Valley Charliz paid $4.60 and $3.20 while Pinstripe Pants returned $3.00 to show. The second division of the Incredible Tillie had a full field of ten as Fox Valley Honor was bet down to favoritism off a 30-1 morning line. Making the lead early was Filly Forty but was quickly pressed by My Mona Me through the quarter in :29.1. On the backside, Razzleme Dazzleme (Sagebrush) took over through the half in :59.2. After three quarters in 1:28.2, Razzleme Dazzleme led the field into the lane. Mid-stretch, a row of four came to challenge but Razzleme Dazzleme and driver Kyle Husted held everyone off, stopping the clock in 1:56.4. Hope Hotspur finished second while Dandy's Dududiddudu was third. Owned by Derek and Amy Jacobus and trained by Nick Prather, Razzleme Dazzleme paid $15.80, $6.80 and $5.00. Hope Hotspur paid $4.80 and $3.80. Dandy's Dududidudu returned $3.00 to show. The third division of the Incredible Tillie had another full field of ten as My Kind of Dance (Skydancer Hanover) took the majority of the wagering action. At the start, A Real Doozie moved to the lead but Jump Right quickly took over through the quarter in :29.0. On the backside, Just Doit Queeny assumed command through the half in :59.2. On the turn, A Real Doozie moved to challenge Just Doit Queeny through three quarters in 1:28.2. In the lane, favored My Kind of Dance and Casey Leonard ranged up to challenge as they were three across. At the wire, My Kind of Dance prevailed by a neck over A Real Doozie. Just Doit Queeny finished third. Owned by Adrian Adam and trained by Alex Adam, My Kind of Dance paid $3.00, $2.40, and $2.60. A Real Doozie returned $9.80 and $6.40 while Just Doit Queeny paid $2.60 to show. Jim Miller

STICKNEY, IL - On a warm and muggy Thursday at Hawthorne, two divisions of leg three of the harness racing Fox Valley Flan Stakes and Kadabra Stakes took place. The Fox Valley Flan is for Illinois-bred two-year-old filly trotters while the Kadabra is for the Illinois-bred two-year-old cold and gelding trotters. Race two on Thursday was the first division of the Fox Valley Flan as a field of eight lined up with Dandy's ESP the heavy post time favorite off a win in leg two. Leaving quickly was She's Savvy as she made the lead easily through the quarter in :31.2. On the backside, She's Savvy maintained her lead through the half in 1:02.3. On the turn, She's Savvy held the edge through three quarters in 1:32.4. In the stretch, She's Savvy opened up the lead for Matt Krueger but shortened late as Beatrice and Casey Leonard rallied to catch her on the wire. She's Savvy held second while Daisy Lou Duke was third in 2:02 over a fast track. Owned by Ervin Miller Stable Inc, James Alan Geis, and Leland Mathias and trained by James Eaton, Beatrice returned $7.20, $6.00, and $4.20. She's Savvy paid $7.00 and $4.40 while Daisy Lou Duke returned $8.60 to show. Race five was the first division of the Kadabra Stakes with a field of nine. Favored at post time was Totally Pazzazzed for driver Casey Leonard. Leaving for the lead was Trixie's Jethro through the quarter in :29.4. After a half in :59.2, Trixie's Jethro and Jared Finn led the field through the turn as he opened up in the turn through three quarters in 1:29.4. At the wire, Trixie's Jethro opened up, winning in 1:59.3. Louscipher finished second while Cassisandfifth was third. Owned by Charles Doehring and trained by J D Finn, Trixie's Jethro returned $4.80, $3.00, and $2.80. Louscipher paid $3.80 and $3.60. Cassisandfifth paid $10.40 to show. The second division of leg three of the Fox Valley Flan was conducted after a short weather delay over a sloppy track. Favored at post time was Betsy B Breeze. In the opening quarter the favorite grabbed the early lead for driver James Lackey in :29.4. Opening up the lead on the backside, she covered the half in :59.2. On the turn, Lous Credit Report moved to challenge Betsy B Breeze through three quarters in 1:30.2. In the lane, Lous Credit Report took the lead for Jamaica Patton and held clear by five lengths in 2:01. Fox Valley Elana finished second while Lous Game N Match finished third. Owned by Flacco Family Farms LLC and trained by Roshun Trigg, Lous Credit Report paid $11.60, $5.80, and $3.80. Fox Valley Elana returned $10.60 and $8.00 while Lous Game N Match paid $4.80 to show. Race seven was the second division of the Kadabra Stakes with a field set to compete in the slop. Matt Q was the favorite off three consecutive victories leading into this race. At the start Bands Houdini grabbed the lead through the quarter in :31.4. On the backside Matt Q and Casey Leonard took over through the half in 1:03.2. After three quarters in 1:36.2, Matt Q led the field into the lane. Late stretch, Matt Q opened up and won easily in 2:06.0. Bands Houdini finished second while Swiss Bank closed for third. Owned by Quaid Racing LLC and trained by Nelson Willis, Matt Q returned $2.60, $2.40, and $2.20. Bands Houdini came back $27.60 and $14.00 while Swiss Bank paid $23.60 to show. Jim Miller

It will be a smorgasboard of carryovers and guaranteed pools for harness racing fans on Thursday, July 21st at Hawthorne as the non-stop action starts at the opening bell and goes all the way through the 11thand final race of the night. Kicking off the action is the .50 Cent Early Pick 5 (races 1-5) which features a carryover of $6,198. Hawthorne’s track management along with the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program have joined forces to offer up a $20,000 guaranteed pool to get the festivities started. Next on the docket is the .50 Cent Early Pick 4 (races 2-5) which will feature a guaranteed pool of $30,000 thanks in part to a $7,104 carryover which will be added to the pot. The .50 Cent Late Pick 4 (races 8-11) also features its usual $15,000 guaranteed pool on Thursday night. If that isn’t enough to get gamblers pumped about the chance to take home a big payday on Thursday the popular .20 Cent Jackpot High 5 (race 11) also has a carryover pool of $18,589 just waiting for someone who can create the one winning ticket on the Thursday finale. Handicappers across North America can get a head start on their competition with free 12-line program pages for the guaranteed pool courtesy of the USTA Strategic Wagering Initiative and Track Master on the handicapping section at www.ustrotting.com. Once again post time at Hawthorne is 7:35 pm (central). Remember this will be a shortened week at Hawthorne with no live racing on Saturday, July 23rd. Racing will resume as usual on Sunday, July 24th.   Tom Kelley    

STICKNEY, IL -Three-year-old trotters were the focus on Thursday evening at Hawthorne. Harness racing colt and geldings were featured in the $20,300 Cardinal Stakes while fillies were featured in the $18,500 Violet Stakes. Both races were contested over a fast track. First up were the boys in the Cardinal final as Fear was the heavy favorite in the field of ten for driver Todd Warren. Fear was sent away as the 1-5 choice. Prior to the start, both Storm Winds and Wrightwood broke stride. Setting the pace was Mr Strata as he had to work for the lead through the quarter in :29.1. Moving on the backside was Hail Caesar to grab a brief lead but Fear moved to take over through the half in :57.3. On the turn, Fear was challenged by Primed N Powerful through three quarters in 1:27.4. In the lane, Fear was pushed along by Primed N Powerful and Hail Caesar. Late in the lane Hail Caesar got out for driver Casey Leonard and was able catch Fear on the wire. 99-1 shot Bands Ariston closed to finish third. Final time was 1:59. After the race, the inquiry sign was posted as the stewards looked at Hail Caesar late in the stretch for possible interference to Primed N Powerful. After lengthy review, the result stood. Owned by H W Wright and trained by Mike Brink, Hail Caesar returned $7.20, $2.60, and $2.80. Fear paid $2.10 and $2.10. Bands Ariston returned $11.00 to show. The Violet Stakes for three-year-old filly trotters had a full field of ten as favoritism jumped around between multiple horses. At post time, Vengeful was the favorite with Todd Warren driving. Leaving for the lead was Awfully Emotional to grab the lead after a quarter in :29.3. On the backside, Vengeful took command through the half in :59.3. On the turn, Surviver Di moved up aside Vengeful to challenge through three quarters in 1:29. In the stretch, Vengeful shortened as Surviver Di rallied for Kyle Husted and took over late. Fox Valley Mirage got up for second while Vengeful finished third. Final time for the mile was 1:59.3. Owned by Steven Renard and trained by Steve Searle, Surviver Di paid $16.80, $10.6, and $4.20. Fox Valley Mirage came back $44.00 and $10.20. Vengeful paid $2.40 to show. Jim Miller  

STICKNEY, IL - On Friday evening at Hawthorne Racetrack over a fast harness racing track, Illinois-bred three-year-old pacing fillies were on display in leg two of the Plum Peachy stakes. Two divisions were set to compete. In the first division, Ashlee's Fine Lady was sent off as the favorite. Leaving quickly was Bucklegirl Bobetter as she cleared the lead through a quarter in :28.4 and half in :59.1. Favored Ashlee's Fine Lady moved to challenge on the turn as Bucklegirl Bobette battled through three quarters in 1:27.2. All out late, Bucklegirl Bobette dug in gamely for Kyle Wilfong to hold on for the victory in 1:54.4. Dandy's Diva finished second while LK's Nancy Lee was third. Trained by Robert Walker, Bucklegirl Bobette returned $8.60, $8.80 and $5.40. Dandy's Diva paid $9.80 and $7.40 while LK's Nancy Lee returned $3.40 to show. In the second division, Dakota Sleek was scratched leaving a field of seven as Char N Marg was the favorite. Art Angel Baby made the lead through the quarter in :28.1. At the half, favorite Char N Marg took over for Casey Leonard in :57. After three quarters in 1:25.3, Char N Marg led the field into the lane and opened up. Drawing clear late, Char N Marg won easily in 1:53.1. Likeafireballshot rallied for second while Whiskersonkittens finished third. Owned by Quaid Racing LLC and trained by Nelson Willis, Char N Marg returned $3.60, $2.80, and $2.20. Likeafireballshot came back $5.80 and $3.80 while Whiskersonkittens paid $3.40 to show. Jim Miller  

STICKNEY, IL - Last night the ladies were the focus, tonight at Hawthorne the harness racing boys take the stage with four divisions of leg one of the Incredible Finale stakes. On a clear evening, over a fast track, Sork was the heavy 1-5 favorite in the first division. Leading early was Uptown Sleaze through a quarter in :29.4. After the half in :59.1, Uptown Sleaze was still clear into the turn. At the top of the stretch, Sork and Todd Warren began their move after three quarters in 1:28.4. Uptown Sleaze (Sagebrush) battled on gamely for driver Kyle Wilfong along the inside and held off Sork by a length at the wire. Sammy Sagebrush finished third. Owned by Engel Stable of IL, LLC and trained by Nelson Willis, Uptown Sleaze was 12-1, returning $26.60, $4.80, and $4.60. Sork returned $2.10 and $2.10 while Sammy Sagebrush paid $8.80 to show. Race four on Saturday evening was the second division in the Incredible Finale as Upbeat Big Guy was sent away as the favorite. Spirited Encounter moved early to take the lead after a quarter in :31.1. At the half, Causway came back to lead in 1:00.4 as Spirited Encounter broke stride. Into the lane, Fox Valley Reggie moved to the lead in 1:29.1 but shortened late as Fox Valley Jeter (Sportsmaster) and Casey Leonard was the winner. Causway got up for second while Slzburgerslzburger finished third. Final time for the mile was 1:58. Owned by Phil Langley, Christine Buttice, and James Eaton and trained by James Eaton, Fox Valley Jeter paid $16.40, $7.20, and $3.60. Causway paid $5.60 and $2.80 while Slzburgerslzburger returned $3.20 to show. Race six was the third division in the Incredible Finale with Sporty Redhot (Sportsmaster)  the race favorite. Ima Skydancer and driver Ryan Anderson carved out the early fractions of :31, :59.4 and 1:28.1. Battling into the lane, Ima Skydancer gave way as Royale Big Guy took over, but Sporty Redhot was quick to move. At the wire, Sporty Redhot drew clear for driver Todd Warren in 1:56.3. Royale Big Guy held second while Tiny Jim finished 3rd. Owned by Al Beals and trained by Kim Roth, Sporty Redhot returned $4.20, $2.80, and $2.80. Royale Big Guy paid $5.40 and $5.20 while Tiny Jim paid $7.00 to show. The final division in the Incredible Finale had Fox Valley Inferno as the post time favorite. Leaving for the lead was Captain Rhett, making the quarter in :30. First up to challenge was Sullivan, leading to the half in :58.1. Into the lane, Sullivan covered three quarters in 1:27.3 but Gabe Henry was moving strongly for Todd Warren and cruised to the victory in 1:55.3. Gabe Henry (Henry Clay) returned $9.60, $3.60, and $2.40. Fox Valley Inferno came back $3.00 and $2.10. Fox Valley Sparty returned $2.80 to show. Jim Miller

STICKNEY, IL - On a beautiful Friday evening at Hawthorne, four divisions of leg one of the Incredible Tillie Stakes took place. The Incredible Tillie is for Illinois-bred harness racing two-year-old pacing fillies. The card kicked off with the first division as a field of nine lined up behind the starting car. Sent away as the favorite was Princess Sage (Sagebrush) off a debut victory and near miss in her second start. Leaving for the lead was Princess Sage as she cleared the lead in :29.2 for driver Freddie Patton, Jr. Following a half in :58.4, Princess Sage held firm on the front end. Into the lane after three quarters in 1:28.1, Princess Sage led but was challenged by Sheadealer. Late stretch, Princess Sage dug in gamely and prevailed by a quarter of a length. Sheadealer was second, Dandy's Dududidudu finished third. Final time for the mile was 1:56.4. Owned by Keli Jo Bell and Freddie Patton, Jr. and trained by Freddie Patton, Jr., Princess Sage returned $3.60, $2.60, and $2.40 as the 4-5 favorite. Sheadealer paid $8.80 and $4.00 while Dandy's Dududidudu returned $3.00 to show. Race three on Friday night was the second division in the Incredible Tillie as Lili Von Shtupp was a late scratch. Moving early in the second division was the 1-5 favorite Filly Forty and Jamaica Patton through the opening quarter in :29.4 and half in 1:00.4. Filly Forty led the field into the lane through three quarters in 1:30.3 and was all out. Mid-stretch, Kyle Husted and Razzleme Dazzleme (Sagebrush) tipped out for the drive and wore down Filly Forty on the wire. Razzleme Dazzleme prevailed by a length and a quarter over Filly Forty in 1:58.4. My Kind of Dance finished third. Owned by Derek and Amy Jacobus and trained by Nick Prather, Razzleme Dazzleme returned $11.60, $3.00, and $2.60. Filly Forty came back $2.10 and $2.10 while My Kind Of Dance paid $3.00 to show. Race five on Friday was the third division in the Incredible Tillie with a full field of ten to line up. Hope Hotspur was sent away as the heavy favorite at 1-2. Leaving for the lead was Do You Dare through the quarter in :30. Moving early to the lead was the favorite Hope Hotspur and Casey Leonard, leading the field through a half in 1:00.4. On the turn, Pinstripe Pants moved to challenge and take command, covering three quarters in 1:29.4. In the lane, Pinstripe Pants led, but Hope Hotspur came back to lead late before Dale Hiteman and Fox Valley Dandy (Sportsmaster) exploded onto the scene, winning at 27-1. Hope Hotspur was second, Fox Valley Maya finished third. Final time was 1:58.1. Owned by Hugh Lake and Susan Lacey and trained by Ray Hanna, Fox Valley Dandy returned $57.00, $11.60, and $4.20. Hope Hotspur returned $2.60 and $2.20. Fox Valley Maya came back $3.20 to show. The final division of the Incredible Tillie had a field of nine lined up as Jump Right Up (Ideal Towne) was sent away as the 1-5 choice. My Mona Me got away quickly and led through the quarter in :29.4. Moving to the lead early was Da Blue Jay as she led the field into the turn after a half in 1:00.0. On the far turn, Jump Right Up and Todd Warren made their move to challenge through three quarters in 1:29. Leading late, Jump Right Up won by two and a half lengths, stopping the clock in 1:58. My Mona Me was second while Rockin Ashley got up for third. Owned by Quaid Racing, LLC and Cynthia Kay Willis and trained by Nelson Willis, Jump Right Up returned $2.60, $2.10 and $2.10. My Mona Me paid $6.40 and $3.40 while Rockin Ashley paid $4.20 to show. Jim Miller

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