Day At The Track

Hopes higher after "Super Night" eliminations

03:28 AM 12 Sep 2014 NZST
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Let's Go Higher, harness racing
Let's Go Higher in prior win
David Braum Photo

Most horsemen tend to be cautious about their horses’ chances when Super Night rolls around and don’t want to appear to be too optimistic. After all anything can happen in a horse race and it often does on Illinois most anticipated racing evening of the year.

“I have to admit my hopes are up a little bit more for Super Night than they were the week before the eliminations,” said owner and trainer Jesse De Long who has had a Super Night champion in his barn the last two years.”

And well they should be.

De Long’s mare Let’s Go Higher, the 2013 Lorna Propes champion, breezed in 1:52.1 in her Propes elimination for trainer Heidi Rohr. His 2-year-old filly Sportsmuffler (1:54.3) was much the best in her Orange and Blue Filly elimination, and Jesse and John De Long’s 3-year-old Party Hangover Two finished a strong fourth in  the Grandma Ann stake prep.

“Jimmy Richard and Heidi Rohr had Let’s Go Higher out east. I don’t think she came in a sharp this time around as she did last year but they told me ‘don’t worry, she’ll be fine.’ I was a little worried but they were right, she did race really well.

“It’ll be kind of strange racing against Party Hangover Saturday. I still cheer for the mare but I don’t want to cheer for her too much when she’s racing my mare. It should be interesting race.

“Party Hangover is a very good mare and so is the mare (Dune In Red) that beat her last week. It’s a tough field and it should be a very good horse race.

“I have Party Hangover’s little sister (Party Hangover Two) also racing Saturday in the Grandma Ann. Like (my son) John always says about her: ‘We always seem to finish fourth, about a length and a half out of first, and we seem to always draw outside the horse and have to come from way back. Maybe things will be different Saturday.”

I told Jesse he can probably count on much quicker fractions in the Grandma Ann Final and its $142,000 purse than he saw in the $10,000 prep when Molly Go Lightly (Matt Krueger) cruised to a  :57.2 half-mile time and got away with a:29.third quarter enroute to her 1:55 flat victory.

“I hope you right,” replied Jesse. That would help our filly a ton. She’s close now to being near the top of her game like she was earlier in the summer when she paced in 1:52.3) in a Hanover.

“I thought our 3-year-old pacing filly (Sportsmuffler) raced super last weekend in her division of the filly Orange and Blue.

“I’m really excited about her now. She had two things that were wrong with her at Du Quoin and they are perfect now. She should be good for the final.”

First Super Night post on Saturday will be at 6:30 pm Chicago time.

by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

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