Day At The Track

Cardinal, Violet focus of racing weekend

07:29 AM 25 Jun 2020 NZST
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Bee See, harness racing
A game effort by Bee See
Four Footed Photo

STICKNEY, IL - With the summer harness racing season gearing up, Illinois-breds were the focus as the entry box continued to overflow. Hawthorne saw increases in handle every weekend day, surpassing $1 million in handle both Friday and Saturday and $1.3 million on Sunday.

On Friday evening multiple legs of the Club Hawthorne Mini Series continued as driver James Lackey kicked off a driving double winning the opener behind Almost Cut My Hair in 1:52.1. A speedy strip led to solid times throughout the card as Lackey also won the fifth race, guiding On Duty to an easy win in 1:51.2.

Driver Cordarius Stewart and trainer Joh Hughes pair up for a Friday double, winning race two with Illuminati Hanover (1:55.1) and race eight with Final Prize (1:56.2).

Todd Warren won also won two Friday, driving home the first of trainer Tom Simmons two winners on the night as Mykonos (1:53.0) won the fourth. Warren also won the Friday finale with Dakota Roadster (1:53.1) for trainer Rob Rittof. Simmons second winner of the night came from Yankee Bounty (1:52.0) for driver Juan Franco in race 12.

The only driving triple Friday belonged to Casey Leonard. Leonard took the third with Trashytonguetalker (1:52.1), sixth behind Sirodsdalicrickett (1:53.3), and seventh with Native's Best Bet (1:52.3). Trainer Terry Leonard had a double as Over Speeding (1:53.3) joined Trashtonguetalker as his winners on the card.

The fastest mile of the night went to 24-1 shot Rock Steady Ron as Clifton Bell gave him a perfect trip for trainer Jamaica Patton, winning race nine in 1:50.2.

A 13-race Saturday card spanned nearly six hours as a nearly two hour mid-card weather delay slowed the evening down. Two divisions of the Cardinal for Illinois-bred three-year-old male pacers were contested along with their female counterparts in the Violet.

The first division of the Cardinal was won by Rg's Tracer (1:54.1) as Travis Seekman drove home the winner for wife Desirae. The second Cardinal division went to Fox Valley Ren (1:53.0) as he held off a game He'zzz A Wise Sky for driver Kyle Wilfong and trainer Nelson Willis.

The Violet came after the weather delay as Fox Valley Exploit (1:55.2) was a clear winner for driver/trainer Kyle Husted. The Violet was one of three Husted victories on the card. Earlier in the evening Husted guided Louzotic (1:58.3) to a win via DQ in the open trot. Husted capped a training double with his third driving win of the night as Fox Valley Hijinx (1:52.3) took the tenth race.

Kyle Wilfong had the other driving triple on Saturday, winning race three behind Tropical Fruit (1:55.2) and the nightcap with Meadowbrook Glider in 1:57.1.

Sunday's action started early with a pair of non-wagering races as two divisions of the Violet for Illinois-bred three-year filly trotters were contested.

The first division was won in a game effort by Bee See (2:01.1) for Kyle Husted and Steve Searle. The second division was an upset as Celone Hall (1:58.0) was able to roll by Lous Abigail for Mike Oosting and trainer Mike Brink.

The story of the Sunday card was Oosting's driving as he guided five horses to the winner's circle. After his non-wagering score with Celone Hall, Oosting took the Phil Georgeff series final with Frontier Rollo (1:51.0) for trainer Tom Simmons. He was back two races later with his second win for Mike Brink, this time with Gm Patty Lin (1:57.4) in the Daryl Busse Trot Final. Mike's fourth win on the night was Mike Brink's third training victory, coming in the Cardinal for Illinois-bred three-year-old male trotters as Crooked Creek (1:57.4) rallied for the victory. Oosting's fifth Sunday score was trainer Steve Searle's second as Coming Up (1:54.3) took race 12.

Sunday also saw a near track record performance as aged mare Tempus Seelster paced a strong 1:50.3 mile in the filly and mare open for driver Travis Seekman and trainer Rob Rittof.

Hawthorne Race Course, Chicago's Hometown Track, returned for live harness racing on Saturday, February 15 and races through Sunday, September 20. Post time nightly is 7:10 PM. Hawthorne races live during the summer harness meet every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Fall thoroughbreds close out the year, running from October 2 through December 26. For more information, visit or contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700.

Jim Miller

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