Day At The Track
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The Chicago White Sox winning their first American League pennant in 40 years wasn't the only excitement in the windy city in 1959. On July 17 of that year Bye Bye Byrd became the fastest harness racing horse in Sportsman's Park history when he rattled off a 1:58.2 clocking in the $54,879 American National Maturity Pace, a world record for an aged pacer on a five-eighths mile track.

Wednesday night's $12,000 Iggy Magoo stakes has brought out the Dirk Simpson trained harness racing star Powerful Poe for his 3-year-old debut.

Fort Silky, the current king of the older ICF pacers on the harness racing circuit, won't get an opportunity to follow last month's Song Cycle stakes triumph with another in the $17,000 Rambling Willie.

The $12,000 Desperate Lady, Maywood Park's initial ICF stake of the year for 3-year-old pacing fillies was originally scheduled for Thursday night but was moved to Friday's harness racing card where it will share top billing with the $12,000 Taser Gun for state-bred sophomore colts.

Last year at this time Wednesday’s feature starter Benn’s Score Keeper was more familiar with a rural grocery store than he was with Balmoral Park's one-mile track.

All systems are 'Go' for the Dirk Simpson trained ICF freshmen trotting champions Powerful Poe and Trot Fudge Sundae to make their 3-year-old harness racing debuts at Balmoral Park.

While there are plenty of disappointments for horsemen in the harness racing industry there are some pleasant surprises as well. The four-year-old Iowa bred mare Miss Moon Light has been one of those cheery revelations for the Wisconsin based father-son tandem of trainer Jesse and driver John De Long.

The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association (IHHA) is proud to once again administer the "Big Tom Scholarship" worth $5,000. The scholarship is funded by Tom Lewandowski, John Leahy and Jolene Leahy.

The first ICF trotting stake race of the season for 3-year-old colts and geldings will head up Wednesday's Balmoral harness racing program with a pair of sons of the stallion Powerful Emotion likely to get a good portion of the public support.

The Bob Phillips Stable's Big Brad looks to make it back-to-back harness racing stakes victories when Maywood Park hosts its first ICF stake race of the season Friday night. It's the $12,000 Sportsmaster for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings.

Through the late 1990s and the early 2000s this son of Abercrombie was a very successful and popular horse on the Chicago harness racing circuit when he campaigned for the Brian Pinske Stable.

Three-year-old pacers from the barn of Bob Phillips captured the first pair of 2013 ICF stake races when Big Brad breezed in the $12,000 Taurus Bomber and Big Zipper held on in the $12,000 Direct Balance. However when I caught up with the veteran harness racing conditioner I learned that all the news out of Phillips stable wasn't good.

Don't you just love a good name for a harness racing horse? I do. I've always felt that good horses deserve good names and if that's the case, then the Wilfong family of Donovan, Illinois must have a lot of very good horses because they continually come up with great horse's names taken from catchy phrases.

It was nice to see that all three ICF stakes scheduled on Saturday night will be raced. The rescheduled $12,000 Taurus Bomber for 3-year-old colts will kick-off the trio of state-bred harness racing features in race two. The $12,000 Direct Balance for sophomore fillies will follow while the $17,000 Song Cycle for older pacers will go as race seven.

Harness racing drivers John De Long and Marcus Miller have been good friends for several years so when the 23-year-old Miller left Illinois to compete on the east coast his good buddy from Wisconsin understood the move but was sad to see it happen.

Harness racing drivers John De Long and Marcus Miller have been good friends for several years so when the 23-year-old Miller left Illinois to compete on the east coast his good buddy from Wisconsin understood the move but was sad to see it happen.

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