Day At The Track

No surprise in first Hawthorne Open

05:58 AM 12 Jan 2016 NZDT
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Sam Widger
Sam Widger

The betting public dispatched the east coast invader Ontario Success off at overwhelming odds of 1 to 5 and the 6-year-old harness racing gelding didn’t disappoint his many backers in Saturday’s $12,500 featured Open Pace at Hawthorne.

Nicely driven by veteran Illinois horseman Sam Widger Ontario Success ($2.60) was making his first local start under the care of trainer Roger Welch who was sent the talented pacer by conditioner and part-owner Ron Burke.

Widger (pictured) used the one-slot to his advantage and had Ontario Success in the two-hole in the early going behind the 27-1 longshot Jones Beach (Simon Allard) who took the field to a rather leisurely 29 flat first quarter on a sloppy track.

Sammy had Ontario Success out of the pocket on the backside and into the lead before the half-mile pole reached in 57 seconds. The winner was given a 29.1 third quarter breather and when the field started to bunch-up at the top of the lane, Widger asked his pacer for a more and Ontario Success responded, by pacing a 27 flat last panel in the rain.

Jones Beach was second best, one length behind while Lonewolf Cruiser came on strong in the lane for third.

Earlier the venerable ICF pacer Fort Silky followed a two-month layoff with his 58th career victory in the $9,500 sixth race conditioned pace for non-winners of $8,000 in their last five starts.

Casey Leonard gave the now 10-year-old gelding a perfect pocket trip behind the even-money favorite Ice Scraper and Fort Silky did the rest, zipping past for a winning 1:56.3 mile on atrack soaked by the continued falling of snow throughout the evening.

Fort Silky has now hauled-in just $80 short of $795,000 for owners John Prentice and Neva Kane Ikeeler, both of Paw Paw, Illinois.

The $10,000 Open for 3 to 5-year-olds turned out to be no-contest with My Buddy Trickster ($7.60) much the best.

Travis Seekman hustled the Bob Phillips trainee out from the outside post and once My Buddy Ninkster cleared to the top he had no trouble going all the way. The 4-5 favorite Feelnlikearockstar was a distant second, beaten five and one-half lengths at the end of a 1:54.3 mile.

My Buddy Nnikster is owned by John and Mary Krasnican of Streator, Illinois.

Casey Leonard had a driving triple, giving him nine winners on the first two Hawthorne cards. Seekman had a two-bagger Saturday.

By Mike Paradise

The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: