Day At The Track

Last qualifiers for Night of Champions at Hawthorne

08:37 AM 15 Sep 2018 NZST
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Stonedust, harness racing
Stonedust and driver Casey Leonard
Four Footed Fotos

STICKNEY, IL - With just over one week to Night of Champions at Hawthorne, the final legs of each series were taking place this weekend. On Friday night, eight of the 13 races on the card had Night of Champions implications.

The card kicked off with a field of eight pacers in the first of two divisions of the Robert S. Molaro. With the top five to qualify for next week's final, the race for Illinois-bred aged pacers was evenly matched as Stonedust was sent away favored with Casey Leonard in the bike.

Leaving quickly were Dakota Jack and He Gone Jack, as they were joined by Sporty Redhot through the quarter in :28.1. On the backside, Sporty Redhot held his lead, passing the half in :57.4. In the turn, the field bunched up, with Uptown Sleaze up to challenge Sporty Redhot through three quarters in 1:25.4. In the Lane, He Gone Jack found room between horses while Stonedust rallied down the center of the track. At the wire, the favorite drew clear, winning in 1:52.1.

He Gone Jack finished second while Dakota Jack was third. Stonedust is owned by Thomas Pollack and Jeffrey Cullipher and trained by Tim Clevenger.

Race three on the Friday card was the first of two divisions of leg four of the Robert F. Carey, Jr. Memorial for Illinois-bred three-year-old pacers. Last year's Illinois-bred Champion, Fox Valley Gemini was the heavy favorite with Casey Leonard driving. Leaving for the lead and opening up was Frontier Frank as he passed the quarter in :27.0 and the half in :55.3.

In the turn, Fox Valley Gemini tipped out as he ranged up to challenge through three quarters in 1:24.2. In the blink of an eye, Fox Valley Gemini's lead expanded to five lengths in the stretch as he won going away in 1:51.1. Fox Valley Jalan got up for second while Song Cycle Senese was third.

Fox Valley Gemini is owned by Jim Ballinger and trained by Terry Leonard.

Race four was the first of two divisions of leg four of the Incredible Tillie for Illinois-bred two-year-old filly pacers as a field of seven headed to the gate. Getting away quickly was Valar Morghulis with Jim Pantaleano driving as he opened a three length lead through the quarter in :28.0.

Stalked through a half in :57.3 by Fox Valley Halsey, Valar Morghulis held his lead into the turn. With Fox Valley Halsey tipping out to challenge in the turn, the pair passed three quarters in 1:26.1. In the lane, Valar Morghulis was roused, and responded, as Fox Valley Halsey dropped back but Fox Valley Torrid picked up the chase. All out at the wire, Valar Morghulis held on to win by a head over Fox Valley Torrid. Fox Valley Lil Kim closed to finish third.

The final time for the mile was 1:53.4. Valar Morghulis is owned by Megan Rogers Racing Stables Inc. and trained by Nelson Willis.

Race five was the first of two divisions of the Fox Valley Flan for Illinois-bred two-year-old filly trotters.

Puddin Cheeks was favored for driver J D Finn. The favorite made the early lead while pushed by Loussolataire through the quarter in :29.0.

Puddin Cheeks held the lead down the backstretch as Loussolataire dropped in, passing the half in :59.2. On the turn, Lou's Paramour moved from the back to push the pacesetter, as Puddin Cheeks passed three quarters in 1:29.0.

In the lane, Lou's Paramour came up empty and backed out as Loussolataire came through a wide open rail to get up at the wire. Puddin Cheeks held second while Notnangel finished third.

The final time was 1:59.4 for the winner as Loussolataire won for the sixteenth time this year, making her the winningest juvenile in North America. Loussolataire is owned by Steven Renard and trained by Steve Searle. She was driven tonight by Casey Leonard.

Race six was the second division of the Incredible Tillie with a field of seven. Perch was favored with Kyle Wilfong driving. At the start, there was shuffling for position before Perch moved to grab the lead through the quarter in :29.3. On the backside, Fox Valley Lolo moved to take over, passing the half in :58.1.

With Perch on her heels through the turn, Fox Valley Lolo held the lead into the lane through three quarter in 1:27.2. At the top of the stretch, Perch moved to take over as both Foolishlittlegirl and Lilly Von Shtupp ranged up to challenge. At the wire it was Perch prevailing by a half-length in 1:55.0. Foolishlittlegirl finished second while Lilly Von Shtupp was third.

Perch is trained by Jay Garrels.

Race seven was the second division of the Fox Valley Flan with a field of seven as Louzotic and Encantado took the wagering action. Getting away for the lead was Heidi High as she was sent through the quarter in :29.2. Prior to the half, Louzotic moved to assume command, passing the half in :59.1.

Rolling through three quarters in 1:30.2, Louzotic led the field into the stretch. In command late under the handling of Kyle Husted, Louzotic was clear at the wire, winning in 1:58.3. E L Game On closed to finish second while Encantado was third.

Louzotic is owned by Flacco Family Farms LLC and trained by Steve Searle.

Race eight was the second elimination of the Robert S. Molaro with a competitive group of seven heading to the gate. Clearing the lead was Fox Valley Rebel as he was chased through the opening quarter by favored Unlocked in :28.0.

After a half in :56.4 and three quarters in 1:25.0, the top pair stayed in order turning into the stretch. At the top of the lane, Unlocked tipped out and moved alongside Fox Valley Rebel as the duo battled through the stretch drive. Nearing the wire, Unlocked emerged clear, winning for driver Jim Pantaleano in 1:51.4. Fox Valley Rebel was second while Slzburgerslzburger finished third.

Unlcoked in owned by Megan Rogers Racing Stables Inc and trained by Norm Parker.

Race ten was the second division of the Robert F. Carey, Jr. Memorial as the nine horse field was led by You'remyhearthrob with Kyle Wilfong driving.

At the start, the favorite left quickly, clearing the lead easily through the quarter in :28.0. Cruising along on the backside, You'remyhearthrob passed the half in :56.4 as Mykonos chased.

After three quarters in 1:25.2, You'remyhearthrob took the field into the stretch with a two length lead. Kept to task, You'remyhearthrob held sway, winning by nearly two lengths in 1:52.3. Backstreet Lawyer rallied to finish second while Mykonos was third. You'remyhearthrob is trained by Brett Wilfong.

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 or contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700.

by Jim Miller, for Hawthorne Race Course

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