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STICKNEY, IL - The first three day harness racing week of the Hawthorne meet saw the addition of Friday racing as horses continue to get fit and race-ready. While the opening three weeks of the Hawthorne meeting saw different drivers and trainers making their mark, everyone seemed to get into the mix in week four. The Friday evening eight race card found eight different trainers in the winner's circle with driver Juan Franco being the only driver to post a double on the card. Friday's card saw Fancy Creek Jolene (1:55.2) return to the form see showed a couple of years ago in winning the opener for trainer Kim Hamilton. 16-1 shot Undrafted (1:55.2) gave Franco his driving double in winning race three. The fastest mile on the night came in the finale as Youmakemyheartsing (1:53.2) won for driver Kyle Wilfong and trainer Brett Wilfong. Saturday opened with Fox Valley Lincoln (1:56.3) getting his second consecutive win for Mike Oosting and trainer Dee Cozzi. Louscaramon (1:57.2) became a three-time winner this meet as Casey Leonard guided him home in the second for trainer Steve Searle. Leonard got his second driving victory on the card in the fourth as Lindy's Big Bang (1:56.2) took the Open trot in the evening's feature. A driving double on the card also came from Mike Oosting, winning race three with Spunky Bottom Girl (1:57.1). Kyle and Brett Wilfong closed out the night taking the late double as Boogie on Down (1:55.4) won the eighth race followed by Be Magical (1:59.0) winning the finale. Trainer Steve Searle got his second Saturday win as Coming Up (1:57.1) was handled nicely by driver James Molitor in race five. Sunday's action found us with a three-time winner to start the night as My Uptowne Girl (1:56.0) took the opener for Juan Franco and trainer Gerald Hansen. Back to back Open paces followed with Dee Rocks (1:54.2) holding off favored Rollin Coal for driver Ridge Warren in the second race while Castle Flight (1:52.1) was impressive once again in winning race three for Kyle Wilfong. The Sunday card closed with three consecutive driving doubles. First it was Mike Oosting winning races four and five with Valar Morghulis (1:56.0) and Dirt E Rock (1:56.0). Next up was Brandon Bates as he took the sixth with Bluebird Luigi (2:00.2) followed by Slow Your Roll (1:59.2) in the seventh. Todd Warren drove home the final double on the night, winning the eighth behind Cookies Empire (1:56.2) and Crystal Hotspur (1:58.4) in the evening's final race. Overall on the weekend, 20 different trainers and 11 different drivers won races from the 26 conducted in the three day period. Through four weeks, Mike Oosting has taken over the lead in the driving standings with 14 victories. He is followed by Kyle Wilfong (13), Casey Leonard and Todd Warren (12), and Brandon Bates with 11 victories. Trainer Steve Searle remains atop the training standings, sending out eight winners from 33 starters. Derek Burklund follows in second with seven wins and there is a three-way tie for third between Brett Wilfong, Mike Brink, and Ronnie Roberts, each with six victories. 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. by Jim Miller, for Hawthorne Race Course  

ANDERSON, Ind.-October 25, 2019- The track was lightning fast on Friday, October 25 at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, while the track hosted harness racing divisions of The Circle City Stakes for three-year-old fillies and colts of both gaits. The night provided several impressive performances, including a track record-setting performance and two track recording-equaling performances. Pure Chance set the new track standard for three-year-old trotting fillies while Tellmeaboutit matched the record for three-year-old pacing geldings and Summer Charm equaled the record for three-year-old pacing fillies. The evening's racing action kicked off with Pure Chance and Trace Tetrick going gate-to-wire, lowering the track standard for trotting fillies to 1:52:2 in the first race on the program. Pure Chance clicked off fractions of :27:3, :56:4 and 1:25:2 before crossing the wire to re-establish Meadowbrook Grace's 1:52:3 track record time. The Christopher Beaver trainee paid $2.40 to win. The other division of the stakes action for trotting fillies was won by Grand Swan who also went to gate to wire with LeWayne Miller in the bike in 1:53:3. The second record show came from Tellmeaboutit with Michael Oosting in the first division for pacing geldings. The Alvin Miller trainee waited patiently with a pocket trip through fractions of :26:2, :53:2 and 1:20:4. Once the field turned for home, it was a calvary charge toward the wire but Tellmeaboutit bested his competitors. Stopping the clock in 1:48:3, he tied the record set by Always A Prince the previous year. Tellmeaboutit returned $2.40 to win at the betting windows. The New York Sires Stakes Champion Hickfromfrenchlick returned to Hoosier Park for the second time this season to score his eighth consecutive victory in the other pacing colt division in 1:49:3 with Trace Tetrick in the bike. Summer Charm and Drew Monti turned in the second record-tying performance of the night when the Ron Burke trainee equaled the 1:49:4 pacing filly record set by Wisdom Tree in 2018. The track record for three-year-old pacing fillies is now co-held by Summer Charm, Wisdom Tree and Rockin Nola. Summer Charm benefitted from a pocket seat through fractions of :26:3, :55:1 and 1:23:0 and dug in gamely late in the lane to best her rivals. Summer Charm paid $13.00 to win in the slight upset. The other pacing filly division was captured by Fully A Virgin with Michael Oosting in 1:50:2. The evening's 13-race card also featured two divisions of the Circle City Stakes for the three-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Whata Swan and Robert Taylor were able to withhold all challenges and score in 1:55:2 to pull the slight upset in the first division for trainer William Crone. Lucky Weekend with Peter Wrenn followed suit to pull another upset in the second division of the stakes action, scoring in 1:53:3 for trainer Melanie Wrenn. he lone division of The Madison County Stakes for two-year-old pacing geldings on the card was won by Odds On Osiris with Peter Wrenn, grabbing back-to-back stakes wins in 1:52:2 for trainer Melanie Wrenn. Grand Circuit racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park will continue on Saturday, October 26 with a 10 race card featuring divisions of the Madison County Stakes for two-year-olds. In conjunction with the live racing action, Harrah's Hoosier Park will host Fright Night at the Races, a family-fun Halloween event. The 2019 live racing season at Harrah's Hoosier Park will be conducted through November 9. For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule, please visit by Rose Flood, for Harrah's Hoosier Park    

STICKNEY, IL - Eleven Championship races and two invitational events comprised a big Saturday evening at Hawthorne as the Night of Champions event paid out over $1.1 million in purses. While some of the favorites didn't disappoint, there were some upsets the surprised everyone. A recap of the night's racing action: THE INCREDIBLE FINALE CHAMPIONSHIP The Incredible Finale Championship, for Illinois Conceived and Foaled three-year-old Colt and Gelding Pacers carried a purse of $136,142. A field of nine lined up to meet the starter after a single scratch of Fox Valley Julius. The Bucket took the lead soon after the start but Maximus took over early on the backstretch and led almost all the way. Favored Engel Stable of IL LLC's Meyer On Fire, driven masterfully by Michael Oosting, just got up, winning by a nose. Meyer On Fire is trained by Erv Miller. Maximus held on for second while The Bucket got up for third. Owner Marty Engel, "Beautiful weather. I don't know how you guys did this but the weather is perfect. Nice crowd. I couldn't be happier. Meyer on Fire was a little green to start his career and it took a number of races to get straightened out but Erv Miller did a super job with him. He's named after my grandson Meyer. When you win with a homebred, it's especially exciting. I didn't think he got up in time. Mike (Oosting) did a great job. He's not an easy horse to drive. He's on the lazy side. But, Mike gets along super with this horse. I wouldn't be here without him." Meyer On Fire traveled the mile in 1:55.2 after fractions of :29.0, :58.2, and 1:27. THE PLESAC CHAMPIONSHIP The Plesac Championship, for Trotters, three-years-old and up, Illinois Conceived and Foaled, offered a purse of $45,000. Favored Picky Picky Valor appeared to be home free late in the stretch but longshot 53-1 Spirit O'Mar had other ideas. He continued to grind and wound up getting the victory. Owned by Jeanne Marquis, while trained and driven by Steven Searle, Spirit O'Mar finished a length and a quarter ahead of Annas Lucky Star. Picky Picky Valor held on for third. Spirit O'Mar paid $108.80 to win. Steven Searle, "He is what he is. We put him in there because we knew we would get our money back and maybe a little more. Plus, he's fun to race. He got good at the right time and everything worked out. We were actually shooting for fifth and anything above that was a bonus. Around the half, I was thinking, 'Maybe we're going to get our fifth'. Then, halfway around the turn, I was thinking, 'Ya know, fourth is looking better'. Then at the top of the stretch, I was thinking that this couldn't be real. But, he kept trotting. That one thing he does, he does trot." They got the mile in 1:56.2 after fractions of :28.0, :57.2 and 1:27.1. THE INCREDIBLE TILLIE CHAMPIONSHIP 10 Trotters lined up to contest The Incredible Tillie Championship. The race, for two-year-old Illinois Conceived and Foaled Filly Pacers offered a purse of $122,504. Fox Valley Torrid, the 6-5 favorite, had a great trip and got up late for the score. Owned by Fox Valley Standardbreds, trained by Rodney Freese and driven by Casey Leonard, Fox Valley Torrid set a new lifetime mark of 1:54.3, winning by a length and a quarter, after fractions of :29, :56.4 and 1:26.1. Fox Valley Halsey took the lead quickly but Valar Morghulis soon took over and led until about the eighth pole when Fox Valley Torrid took over. Valar Morghulis held second while Perch finished third. Casey Leonard, "The track is a little tiring, a little loose. I knew Kyle had to get Perch out of there and then when the horse broke there was a little confusion. But there was enough early speed to set up for "Torrid". When Kyle got in front of me I knew he had to come with me so it worked out the way I hoped it would. We had to steady a bit on the turn but she gave her all in the lane like she always does." THE KADABRA CHAMPIONSHIP The $132,874 Kadabra Championship, for Illinois Conceived and Foaled two-year-old Colt and Gelding Trotters, featured a well-matched field of eight. Driver J D Finn took advantage when a couple of rivals broke early and he was able to guide eventual winner Trixie's Turbo right to the front end. They were able to stay there throughout; winning for the seventh time in 10 races. Fox Valley Cruise tracked Trixie's Turbo pretty much the entire way and held on to finish second, a length and three-quarters back. One of the more impressive trips of the night, however, was that of third-place finisher, Louscardamon. He broke on the backstretch and was nearly last when they turned for home but he simply flew late to get up for third and he finished only a couple lengths back. Trixie's Turbo is owned by Charles Doehring and trained by Jared Finn "I raised him and his brothers out of a really good mare that really produces good colts. I've been blessed." He generated fractions of :29.2, :59.3, and 1:29.3 on his way to a mile in 2:00.1 THE TONY MAURELLO CHAMPIONSHIP The $45,000 Tony Maurello Championship, for Illinois Conceived and Foaled Filly and Mares Pacers was won by favored Fox Valley Charm. Driver Mike Oosting had this mare tracking the pace set by Bucklegirl Bobette, but moved about a sixteenth out and got up to win a popular victory, winning by two and three-quarter lengths. Trained by Dirk Simpson and owned by Peter J. Karras, Fox Valley Charm covered the mile in 1:52.0 following fractions of :28.3, :56.3 and 1:24.2 Dirk Simpson, "I left her here at the farm so she didn't have to ship. She does really well off the farm. That was what made the difference over last week. Plus, she had a trip over the track. We shipped from a smaller track and the long stretch takes some getting used to." THE FOX VALLEY FLAN CHAMPIONSHIP The $122,504 Fox Valley Flan Championship featured a romp by favored Louzotic. Winning for the seventh time in 11 starts, Louzotic, driven by Kyle Husted, drew off to a five and a half-length victory. Louzotic is owned by Flacco Family Farms LLc and trained by Steven Searle. Those are also the connections of third-place finisher Lou's Paramour (Searle drove). Doc Flacco, "We have a wonderful team and God was very kind by sending us Lou's Legacy. We bred this horse, raised it, broke it. It gives you a special feeling. We own the mare and the sire. Steve also finished third with our other little girl. He had better go to church tomorrow. Rick (farm manager), "We broke her at the farm. She was kind of small. She had a nice way of going but, just like Steve said, she was a small baby with a big heart." Steve Searle earlier, "Louzotic is probably the barn favorite. She's the little horse that nobody wanted. She was a June foal. But, she has the heart of a champion." Fractions for the mile were :29.2, :58.3. 1:29.2 with a final time of 1:59.0 THE ROBERT S. MOLARO CHAMPIONSHIP Favored Stonedust made a valiant effort to get past Unlocked in the waning yards of the $45,000 Robert S. Molaro Championship for Illinois Conceived and Foaled Pacers. Unlocked had taken the lead midway through the backstretch and was able to repel the belated challenge of Stonedust, holding on for a neck victory. Unlocked, owned by Megan Rogers Racing Stables and trained by Norm Parker, was driven by regular pilot Jim Pantaleano. Fractions of :27.3, :55.3, 1:24.0 were set prior to the final time of 1:51.1 THE BEULAH DYGERT MEMORIAL CHAMPIONSHIP The $99,032 Beulah Dygert Memorial Championship for three-year-old Illinois Conceived and Foaled Filly Trotters was won by favored Trotting Grace. Trotting Grace was piloted by Kyle Husted and trained by Steven Searle. Owned by H W Wright, Mystical Marker Farms LLC, and Steven Searle, Trotting Grace won for the fifth straight time. Kyle Husted, "I wanted to follow Juan (New Queen) as long as I could late. Juan's horse looked like she was drifting out so I made the decision to go inside and she exploded. She's especially good on clay tracks and she went downstate and got her confidence down there. Steve Searle can do it all. He's a very sharp horseman and it shows." New Queen held for second, a length and a half back, while Maui Mama came along late to finish third. They covered the mile in 1:57.0 following fractions of :28.4, :58.0, and 1:27.1 THE ROBERT F. CAREY JR. MEMORIAL CHAMPIONSHIP As expected, Jim Ballinger's Fox Valley Gemini, trained by Terry Leonard and driven by Casey Leonard, won the $160,080 Robert F. Carey Jr. Memorial Championship. It might not have been expected, however, that he had to work as hard as he did to get the victory. But, in the end he got the win and that's what counts. The Robert F. Carey Jr. Memorial Championship was for three-year-old, Colt and Gelding Pacers, Illinois Conceived and Foaled. You'remyhearthrob wrestled the lead on the backstretch, after the first quarter in :27.2, and proceeded to lead most of the way, tripping the timer in subsequent quarters at :55.3 and 1:24.3. He begrudgingly ceded the lead to Fox Valley Gemini late in the stretch. He never gave up but neither did Fox Valley Gemini.   Fox Valley Gemini did have the perfect trip. He raced with cover throughout and had plenty of pace when he finally tipped out. He did get the victory, winning by a length. In 1:53.0. You'remyhearthrob held on to finish second while Backstreet Lawyer finished third. Jim Ballinger. "It's very special having a horse like Fox Valley Gemini, especially tonight. He's as game as they come. If it hadn't been for the sickness, I don't think he would have gotten beaten in Springfield. But that's part of racing. I'm sure glad that he raced good tonight. The Leonards (Terry and Casey) are great people. They did a terrific job with the horse and Casey did a great job driving tonight." THE PLUM PEACHY CHAMPIONSHIP The New Americana emerged victorious in Saturday's Plum Peachy Championship. The Plum Peachy Championship was for three-year-old Filly Pacers, Illinois Conceived and Foaled. The New Americana, owned by David F Falzone, James J Molitor, and Steven J Leita, trained by Harold Herrera and driven by Kyle Husted, hadn't been in great form for much of the summer but woke up in a big way last week, when she wired the field in the final leg of the Plum Peachy. Kyle Husted, "I tried to race her on the front in Du Quoin and she got kind of trapped but I've been racing her from off the pace ever since. Last year, she was a little bit of a front end horse, so the last two weeks we had to try something different so we gave it a shot that way. I got a little worried late since we had pressure early and I hoped we didn't run out of gas but I didn't want to go slow enough to let Mike (Allbeastnobeauty) and Ridge (Fox Valley Jazzy) into the race. I wanted their horses to go a big mile to catch me." They paced the mile in 1:54 after fractions of :27.2, :55.2 and 1:24.1 THE ERWIN F. DYGERT CHAMPIONSHIP Saturday's nitecap, The Erwin F. Dygert, for Illinois Conceived and Foaled three-year-old Colts and Geldings, was won by Dr. Patrick Graham's Big Lou. Trained by Curt Grummel and driven by Kyle Wilfong, Big Lou covered the mile in 1:59.1 after fractions of :30.4, :59.2 and 1:29.4. There was considerable traffic trouble in the race but Wilfong managed to keep Big Lou clear of it all. Big Lou was two and a quarter lengths clear at the wire. Longshot Cruzen Cassi got up for second while Illinimight overcame considerable early trouble to finish third. 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 Hathworne Race Course  

ANDERSON, IN -September 13, 2018-Ima Real Ladys Man, with Michael Oosting in the bike, turned in a gritty performance to find the winner's circle in the featured event of the evening, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Stopping the timer in 1:51.1, Ima Real Ladys Man was able to overcome a tough, first-over trip to pull the 8-1 upset and establish a new lifetime best in the process. Leaving from post three in the talented field of ten, Ima Real Ladys Man was uninvolved in the early stages of the race. LeWayne Miller had last week's elimination winner, Frontier Telaphras, dialed in and he was pointed to the front through the opening panel in :26.3. His lead would be short lived as the heavy post-time favorite, Ollie's Ztam, wanted his turn on the front and made a quick move down the backside to reach command at the second station in :54.1. The quick pace continued as Ollie's Ztam led the field through the three-quarters in 1:22.3 but Oosting was unable to wait any longer and had Ima Real Ladys Man on the attack first-over. As the field turned for home, Ima Real Ladys Man had the momentum and surged past the tiring leader, rolling on to the wire finishing three lengths to the good. Tellmeaboutit and Peter Wrenn used a well-timed attack to get up for second while Frontier Telaphras held on for third. Sent off at odds of 8-1, Ima Real Ladys Man returned $18.80 to his backers at the betting windows. "He's been a nice colt all along," trainer, owner and breeder Perry Smith noted after the victory. "He's never done anything wrong and we took our time with him. The trips haven't worked out for him but he has a lot of guts just like his mother." Smith also raced the dam of Ima Real Ladys Man, Im The Real Lady, who was an Indiana Sires Stakes Champion at two. Sired by Tellitlikeitis, the homebred gelding has now won three of seven lifetime outings while pushing his lifetime bankroll to $77,186 for his connections. Ima Real Ladys Man is expected to take on Grand Circuit company in his next outing at Hoosier Park on Friday, September 21 in the $125,000 Elevation Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Indiana Sires Stakes action will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, September 14 with the fifth and final $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings highlighting the evening's 14-race card. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 10. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

STICKNEY, IL - On Friday night at Hawthorne the females were the focus as the boys took their turn to shine Saturday at Hawthorne. Leg three action was featured for juvenile pacers and trotters. Two divisions of the Incredible Finale took place for two-year-old pacers along with a pair of divisions for the trotters in the Kadabra. Race three was the first division of the Incredible Finale as a field of eight was led by heavily favored The Bucket with Casey Leonard driving. Leaving for the lead were multiple horses as Ryan Racketeer was able to hold his inside position through the quarter in :29.1. On the backside, Mike Oosting guided Sporty McGrew to a brief lead but The Bucket was quick to move behind him, passing the half with the lead in :58.1. On the turn, The Bucket opened up a three length advantage as he cruised through three quarters in 1:28.1. In the lane, Sporty McGrew tipped out and tried hard as Leonard kept The Bucket to task. Nearing the wire, longshot Fox Valley Julius found late life, but The Bucket was able to hold on to win by a length. Fox Valley Julius was second while Sporty McGrew finished third. The final time for the mile was 1:57.0. The Bucket is owned by Ken Rucker and George Dremonas and trained by Terry Leonard. Race four was the first division of the Kadabra as a field of eight lined up. For Trots Sakes was favored with Mike Oosting driving. Making the early lead was Trixie's Turbo as he opened up a lead through the quarter in :30.1. Guided by J D Finn through the half in 1:02.1, Trixie's Turbo faced a challenge by Foxvalleysrushhour. After three quarters in 1:32.4, Trixie's Turbo and Foxvalleysrushhour battled through the stretch drive as Trixie's Turbo prevailed. Foxvalleysrushhour was second while Lous Endeavor closed to finish third. The final time for the mile was 2:01.3. Trixie's Turbo is owned by Charles Doehring and trained by Jared Finn. Race five was the second division of the Incredible Finale as Meyer on Fire was the heavy favorite with Mike Oosting in the bike. Hustled away was longshot Cooter Luke as he was pressed by Coming Up through the quarter in :29.1. On the backside, the favorite was on the move as Meyer on Fire passed the half in 1:00.1. On the turn, Maximus ranged up to challenge Meyer on Fire as the duo hit three quarters in 1:29.4. In the lane, the battle ensued as Maximus tried hard but Meyer on Fire was too much for him. Meyer on Fire won by a length in 1:57.2. Maximus finished second, followed by Cooter Luke. Meyer on Fire is owned by Engel Stable of IL, LLC and trained by Erv Miller. The second division of the Kadabra went as race six on Saturday evening with Loscardamon sent away favored for Mike Oosting. Louscardamon was able to clear the lead, passing the quarter in :31.2. On the backside, Crackerjack Bill ranged up to challenge, clearing the lead but only briefly as Louscardamon regained the lead through a half in 1:03.1. On the turn, Fox Valley Cruise ranged up to challenge Louscardamon as they passed three quarters in 1:33.3. Roused in the lane by Oosting, Louscardamon opened up to win by six lengths in 2:01.4. Big Garcia Vega closed to finish second while Frontier Manard got up for third. Louscardamon is owned by Flacco Family Farms LLC and Dr. Patrick Graham and trained by Steve Searle. 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  

The 2017 Suburban Downs at Hawthorne stakes season kicked off on Friday night as two divisions of leg one of the Plum Peachy Eliminations took place. The Plum Peachy is for Illinois-bred harness racing three-year-old filly pacers. Race six on Friday was the first of the divisions as a field of ten lined up behind the gate. Illinois Champ from 2016, Princess Sage was making her 2017 debut and was sent away as the favorite for driver-trainer Freddie Patton Jr. Leaving for the lead was the favorite but longshot November Rain carved out the quarter in :28.3. Princess Sage took over through a half in :58.2 and covered three quarters in 1:27.3. In the lane, Princess Sage was challenged by multiple horses as 45-1 shot Fancy Creek Jolene closed fastest of all for driver Matthew Avenatti to win by a half-length over Boogie On Down. Dandy's Dududidudu rallied for third. The winning time for the mile was 1:55.1. Fancy Creek Jolene is owned by Frank Marcolini and trained by Kim Hamilton. Race ten was the second division of leg one of the Plum Peachy stakes with a field of eleven. Favored Lady's Party was riding a three race win streak into this spot as she started from the second tier for driver Casey Leonard. Getting away for the lead was Rousey Ronda as she covered the quarter in :29.1. On the backside, Lady's Party quickly moved to the front, to battle the half through :57.3. On the turn, Lady's Party maintained her advantage, pacing three quarters in 1:26.2. In the lane, Filly Forty took over for Jamaica Patton and drew away. At the wire, the 55-1 shot Filly Forty won by daylight. Rousey Ronda got up for second as Lady's Party held third. Final time for the mile was 1:53.3. Filly Forty is owned and trained by Dossie Minor. Multi-Win Evenings Drivers - Mike Oosting (2 Wins), James Lackey (2 Wins), Kyle Husted (2 Wins) Race Winners Race 1 - Sgt Grit (1:56.0) Race 2 - Bettormeboy (1:53.0) Race 3 - Major Bliss (1:52.4) Race 4 - Luke's Rocketman (1:54.4) Race 5 - Heartland Revenue (1:54.1) Race 6 - Fancy Creek Jolene (1:55.1) Race 7 - Rocken Camnation (1:52.4) Race 8 - KC Rambunctious Boy (1:53.1) Race 9 - Coal Hanover (1:51.2) Race 10 - Filly Forty (1:53.3) Race 11 - Skim The Top (1:52.0) Race 12 - Major Legacy (1:52.3) ABOUT HAWTHORNE RACE COURSE Founded in 1891, Hawthorne Race Course is the 4th oldest racetrack in the nation and the oldest sporting venue in Illinois. Located in Stickney, Illinois on the edge of Chicago's city limits, the 126 year old facility hosts thoroughbred racing in March and April and again in October through Dec. Standardbred harness racing is conducted in May through September. The family-owned and operated business has been an innovator in horseracing for more than 100 years and features the nation's most rewarding players program. For additional information: | | @ClubHawthorne. Jim Miller

Race one on Saturday night at Hawthorne Raceway kicked off the leg two harness racing action of the Bob Larry for pacers that were non-winners of $30,000 lifetime through March of this year. The leg one winner Hot Rod Dylan was the heavy favorite for driver Mike Oosting at post time. At the start Sporty Redhot got away well and grabbed an early lead through a quarter in :28.4. On the backside, Hot Rod Dylan moved up to take over through the half in :57.2. After three quarters in 1:25.4, Hot Rod Dylan maintained his advantage. In the lane, Hot Rod Dylan was all out as Fox Valley Nemitz rolled up on the outside. The two were noses apart on the wire as Hot Rod Dylan just held off Fox Valley Nemitz in a final time of 1:53.0. Sporty Redhot held on to finish third. Hot Rod Dylan is owned by Shirley Le Vin and trained by Nelson Willis. Race two was the first division of the second leg of the Mike Paradise for Illinois-bred three-year-old pacers that had not won $10,000 lifetime through the end of March. Leaving quickly was longshot Frontier Fred but Ima Skydancer drove up on the outside to make the quarter in :28.4. Kid Rocky moved to challenge but Ima Skydancer maintained the lead through a half in :57.1 and three quarters in 1:25.4. In the lane, Mike Oosting roused the favorite as Ima Skydancer was all out, holding on for a half-length win in 1:54.4. In Your Eye rallied on the outside for second over Kid Rocky. Ima Skydancer is trained by Mike Brink. Race three was the second division of the Mike Paradise with a field of six as leg one winner Sullivan was the favorite for driver Casey Leonard. Getting away for the lead from the outside was Commondiscourtesy through the quarter in :28.4. Kyle Husted kept him on the lead through a half in :58.3 and three quarters in 1:27.4. In the lane, Sullivan angled out to contend but Causway and Mike Oosting was moving best of all down the center of the track and rolled by both late. Causway stopped the clock in 1:55.3, keying a Mike Brink trained exacta as Sullivan finished second while Commondiscourtesy was third. Race four was the first division of leg two of the Cicero Claiming Series with a field of eight set to line up. Mobil Big John was favored with Casey Leonard driving. Getting away on top was the favorite but Vital Terror moved up on the outside to lead through the opening quarter in :28.1. On the backside, Mobil Big John assumed command and covered the half in :56.3. In the turn, Mccito ranged up to contend as Mobil Big John held the lead through three quarters in 1:25. Roused in the lane, Mobil Big John opened up on the lead, winning easily in 1:52.4. Doc's Deal rolled up for second while Vital Terror finished third. Mobil Big John is owned by Tessa Roland and trained by Darren Taneyhill. Race five was the second division of the Cicero Claiming Series with a field of six as KC Rambuctious Boy was scratched. Leg one winner Maserati Seelster was the heavy favorite for driver Tyler Shehan. Maserati Seelster took command from the start through a quarter in :27.4. On the backstretch he opened up the lead to three lengths, covering the half in :55. In the turn Maserati Seelster extended to a five length lead through three quarters in 1:23.3. Unchallenged in the lane, Maserati Seelster won easily, stopping the clock in a snappy 1:52. CR Artistic was second while Bestnotlie Hanover finished third. Trainer Darren Taneyhill grabbed his second win on the card. Multi-Win Evenings Drivers - Mike Oosting (4 Wins), Tyler Shehan (3 Wins) Trainers - Darren Taneyhill (2 Wins), Loralee Johnson (2 Wins), Kelly Chupp (2 Wins) Race Winners Race 1 - Hot Rod Dylan (1:53.0) Race 2 - Ima Skydancer (1:54.4) Race 3 - Causway (1:55.3) Race 4 - Mobil Big John (1:52.4) Race 5 - Maserati Seelster (1:52.0) Race 6 - Kyles Secret (1:53.2) Race 7 - Likethewayoulook (1:57.0) Race 8 - Sam Swifty (1:55.0) Race 9 - Outlawpocketrocket (1:54.4) Race 10 - Roll to Glory (1:55.0) Race 11 - Cheekie (1:53.2) ABOUT HAWTHORNE RACE COURSE Founded in 1891, Hawthorne Race Course is the 4th oldest racetrack in the nation and the oldest sporting venue in Illinois. Located in Stickney, Illinois on the edge of Chicago's city limits, the 126 year old facility hosts thoroughbred racing in March and April and again in October through Dec. Standardbred harness racing is conducted in May through September. The family-owned and operated business has been an innovator in horseracing for more than 100 years and features the nation's most rewarding players program. For additional information: | | @ClubHawthorne. Jim Miller  

Freshman trotting fillies grabbed the main stage on Friday's Balmoral Park harness racing card as a full field of 10 diagonally gaited youngsters squared off in the $19,700 Violet Stake.   Fresh off wins in the Lady Lincoln Land and a Violet elimination Lynn Wilfong's More Than Likely overcame the dreaded outside starting spot to record a neck decision in 1:59.0 for driver Kyle Wilfong.   Reserved through the early going as Surviver Di (Kyle Husted) carved out splits of 29.3, 1:00.3 & 1:29.4 Wilfong calmly maneuvered his way through the outer flow as he made his way to the top of the stretch.   With even-money favorite Vengeful making a nasty break just as she moved into the lead at the top of the lane the outcome remained wide open as a fresh More Than Likely began to chew up ground on the far outside of horses. Charging down the center of the track, the Roger Welch trained daughter of Designer Lindy--Midori Hanover trotted into the lead with less than a sixteenth of a mile to go then held firm as a fast closing Praise Singer (Robert Smolin) took one final run at the winner only to come up a few steps short. Surviver Di held on for the show dough.   Sent off as the second choice in the wagering More Than Likely returned $7.20, $4.80 & $3.40 while running her record to 4-1-1in 11 starts with career earnings of $55,491.   A total of 15 two-year-old trotting colts were dropped in the box for next week's $21,300 Cardinal Stake Final necessitating a pair of $8,000 elimination tussles on Friday night. The top five finishers in each division will be back for next week's finale.   In the first division Thomas Pollard and Dirk Simpson Stables Pastor Clint held off a furious late rally from 50-1 outsider Fox Valley Diamo, prevailing by a hard fought neck in 1:59.3 for driver Casey Leonard.   The Mike Brink trained son of Powerful Emotion--SS Stardust shook off a tough first over trip in route to his fourth win in 14 career starts. The bay gelding also has a second and four thirds to his credit with career earnings of $20,801 after Friday's victory. Fox Valley Diamo (Pat Curtin) was a game second while pace setter Fear (Robert Smolin) held on for third. Also gaining spots in the final were Mr Strata and Fox Valley Sir.   In the second division another Brink trainee toted home top honors with Casey Leonard at the controls as Powerful Father pulled off the 8-1 upset winning by a neck in 2:00.1 after a thrilling stretch battle.   The bay son of Powerful Emotion--Fox Valley Poetry ranged up second over as the field hit the top of the stretch then gradually wore down the pace setting JD Cheese (Todd Warren) to post his first career victory for the partnership of Patricia McCaughey, Loren Tournear and Mystical Marker Farms LLC. Favored Speedy Rendezvous (Ridge Warren) was a hard fought second while PJ Boy (Mike Rogers), who lacked racing room throughout the stretch drive was forced to settle for a third place check. JD Cheese and Homershobbyhorse grabbed the last two spots in the final.   Driver Mike Oosting was honored on Friday night as well as the veteran reinsman joined an elite group with his 6,000th driving victory. The milestone win came on Saturday, Oct. 10th as the Beecher, IL resident guided Gibbs to a 1¾ length victory in the 10th race of the night. The 53-year-old Oosting, who captured the 2015 driving title at Maywood Park and also boasts an unprecedented six straight driving titles here at Balmoral Park, has driven the winners of more than $37.1 million during his career and has also sent out 539 winners during his days of training standardbreds. He has notched more than 250 driving victories in 13 of the past 14 seasons. Live racing continues on Saturday, Oct. 17th at Balmoral Park. Once again all the action gets underway at 7:10pm on Saturday night and as always the $1 Pick 4 (races 9-12) features a $25,000 guaranteed pool. The 10-cent Hi Five (race 10) also features a guaranteed pool of $25,000. The live racing action will be headlined by ICF two-year-old pacing fillies as a field of eight are scheduled to go postward in the $8,140 Beecher Stake. Tom Kelley

Clinard Properties Time To Roll lived up to name on Saturday night at the harness racing meeting at Balmoral Park as the six-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover etched his name in the Balmoral Park record books for an aged pacing horse with a 1:48.4 clocking in the $9,400 "Winners Over" pace. Confidently handled by driver Mike Oosting the Tom Simmons trainee sat just off a torrid pace being set by speedball Ice Scraper. Hitting full stride as the field turned for the money on a cold blustery night the career winner of $800,147 exploded home in 26.4 to notch his 32nd career victory. The previous mark of 1:49.1 had been shared by Big Tom, Sagebrush, He Wants It All and Western Trademark and dated all the way back to 2000 with the Big Tom mark.   Tom Kelley            

Fresh off a very convincing 1¾ length score in last week's elimination action Peter Karras's Fox Valley Charm will put a three-race winning streak on the line when she steps on to the track as the morning line harness racing favorite in Saturday's $116,000 Grandma Ann Championship for three-year-old pacing fillies.   After admittedly flying under the radar a bit during her freshman season, the $2,500 yearling purchase has really started to blossom under the tutelage of veteran conditioner Dirk Simpson who seems to be quite smitten by the bay daughter of Yankee Skyscaper--Fox Valley Cherub.   "She's really a nice horse to be around every day," said Simpson. "She loves to do her work, she's happy to go out to the track and she's a big strong filly who is as consistent as they come and just seems to keep getting better and better."   Lightly raced during the 2014 season Fox Valley Charm gave her connections a pretty good preview of the talent she possessed right out of the box as she opened her career with three straight victories, which included a Department of Ag. Stake score in 1:55.1 at Springfield. After closing out her first season with a win in a Betzotic Stake at Balmoral in early November Simpson turned the filly out for some "growing up time". For the year Fox Valley Charm wound up with a record of four wins, three seconds and a third in 10 starts while racking up just over $25,000 in earnings.   "I was really happy with the way she finished up last year and when we put her away for the year she was still fresh and not worn down a bit," explained Simpson. "Her owner, (Peter Karras) believes in giving his horses plenty of time out in the field so we just took our time bringing her back and that's probably why it's starting to pay dividends later in the year like it is now."   An even bigger and stronger Fox Valley Charm made her sophomore debut in early June, tuning up for her second season with a sharp qualifying effort at Simpson's home base at the State Fair Grounds in Springfield. From there it was on to Hoosier Park for a couple of starts before returning to Illinois where she captured the Mystical Victress Stake in 1:53.3 on June 28th.   After a couple of uncharacteristic breaks cost her better finishes in the Ann Vonian Stake and the State Fair Stake in Springfield Simpson decided to make a couple of changes with the filly and those "tweaks" have seemed to do the trick. "One of the main things we wanted to do was get the same driver on her every week so we turned to Mike Oosting and he's done a great job with her," said Simpson. "We added a couple of head poles as well and covered her up a little bit and she's really been good these last few weeks. We're certainly hoping it continues right into Saturday's final for us." Oosting seems to be equally impressed by Fox Valley Charm's recent victories.   "She likes to leave out of there in a hurry and she really surprised me with how long she can carry that high turn of speed," said Maywood Park's leading driver. "I've been trying to teach her a few things in these last few starts as well and she really seems to get it. She is getting better and better with each start and I believe she's got some big things ahead of her if she continues to progress like she has."   Tom Kelley

Freshmen pacing fillies were front and center on Thursday, July 9th at Maywood Park as a total of 12 state-bred harness racing youngsters squared off in a pair of $6,000 divisions of the My Metallica Stake. In the first division, the Nelson Willis trained Aunt Ethel took full advantage of the inside starting spot as she grabbed command right from the word go and made every call a winning one with a three-length victory in 1:57.3.   Confidently handled by driver Mike Oosting, the homebred daughter of Sportsmaster--Miller Creek Ethel shot to the top where she put up splits of 29.0, 57.4 & 1:28.0. When called upon on the final turn by Maywood's leading reinsman the bay filly responded with a nice 29.3 final panel while drawing away from her rivals. Burry Me Inthesand (Gary Rath) turned a nice inside trip into a second place check while Thetis (Ridge Warren) rallied to finish third, 5¼ lengths behind the winner.   The win was the first in two lifetime starts for Aunt Ethel who is owned by Rick, Erwin and Vernon Barbre.   In the second division the Hosea Williams owned and trained Lexington Lady continued to impress as she cruised to an easy 4¼ length front stepping score in 1:55.4 for driver Brian Carpenter.   Flashing her high octane gate speed the daughter of Lexington Legend--Stephie Kay zipped right to lead effortlessly posting fractions of 28.0, 58.0 & 1:27.1 while rolling along unchallenged on the "engine".   With plenty still in reserve Lexington Lady left her rivals in her wake on the final bend pacing home in a snappy 28.3 for her third straight ICF stake score. Fox Valley Addison (Todd Warren) finished in the runner-up spot while longshot Our Miss Cami (Mike Oosting) nabbed the show dough.   The 1-5 favorite who was a $2,500 bargain buy as a yearling now boasts three wins and a second in four lifetime starts with earnings of $9,000.   Live racing continues on Friday, July 10th at Maywood Park with two divisions of the Fox Valley Barzgar Stake for ICF two-year-old pacing colts sharing top billing on the card. Those battles will go as races four and six on the 12-race program which also features a $10,000 guaranteed pool in the Pick 4 (races 9-12) and a new $15,000 guaranteed pool on the 10 cent Hi-Five wager (race 12). Post time for the first race is 7:30 p.m. (central).   Tom Kelley

After opening their harness racing careers on the mile oval at Balmoral, this season's two-year-old pacing crop had their first tests on the tight turns of a half-mile oval as Maywood Park played host to a pair of Illinois conceived and foaled stake events on Friday night. With a total of 12 freshmen pacing colts dropped in the box, the Enzo The Baker Stake was split into a pair of $4,000 divisions. The girls were also in action on the sloppy track Friday night as a field of seven was sent postward in the $5,000 Juxtaposition Stake.   In the opening division of the Enzo The Baker, the Kay Willis owned Dan D Dune rolled to an impressive 6¼ length victory in 1:59.0 for driver Mike Oosting.   Content to save ground in third while Sagebrush Sid (Pat Curtin) led the field through splits of 30.2 & 1:00 Oosting pounced on the pace-setter as the pair raced head and head by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:29.4.   Quickly opening up an insurmountable edge around the final turn the gelded son of Duneside Perch--Witch Hanover continued to widen his margin through the lane in route to his first career win. Eddie Eddie Eddie (Clifton Bell) who was forced wide by a breaking horse on the final bend still managed to rally in time for the place money while Dakota Road (Robert Smolin), salvaged the show dough despite a miscue in that last turn.   Hammered at the betting windows the Nelson Willis trained Dan D Dune, who was a $9,500 Classic Yearling purchase, returned $3.20, $2.10 & $2.10. The second division produced a wire to wire performance as Stephen Mc MacKin, Marilyn Kelly and Lorna Roush's Wondrous Sport used the inside starting spot to perfection leading every step of the way as he reported home with a 1½ length victory in 1:59.0. Given a confident steer by driver Casey Leonard the gelded son of Sportsmaster--Wondrous Grace shot right to the front from the pole position, putting up splits of 29.3, 1:00.3 & 1:30.2 while relatively unchallenged on the front end. With plenty still in reserve, the Gary Rath trainee kept his rivals at bay through the lane with a 28.3 final quarter to notch his maiden breaking victory. Sagebrush Sam (Kyle Husted) enjoyed a perfect two-hole trip but was no match for the winner while Fox Valley Aramon (Todd Warren) saved ground throughout the mile to finish third. The second choice in the wagering Wondrous Sport returned $5.20, $4.00 & $3.20 while opening his account.   The Juxtaposition Stake figured to be a showdown between Lexington Lady and Fox Valleytiramisu who had traded first and second place finishes in their first two meetings and it proved to be just that with Lexington Lady getting the better of her main rival on this night as she cruised to a four-length victory in 1:57.2 for driver Brian Carpenter. Gunned right to the top from post five the Hosea Williams owned and trained miss rattled off splits of 27.3, 57.0 & 1:27.3 while Fox Valleytiramisu sat right on her back. These two were some 10 to 12 lengths in front of the rest of the fillies for most of the mile and things were no different in the late going as the daughter of Lexington Legend--Stephie Kay drew off in the lane for her second straight stakes win. Fox Valleytiramisu (Robert Smolin) was a clear cut second while Burry Me Inthesand (Gary Rath) was a distant third, 11½ lengths behind the winner. Looking like quite the bargain buy for her proud owner-trainer the $2,500 Illini Classic Yearling purchase returned $2.60, $2.10 & $2.10 while running her record to 2-1-0 in 3 lifetime starts with earnings of $6,000.   Tom Kelley

Illinois' top sophomore pacing fillies renewed acquaintances again on Friday night at Maywood Park as a field of eight second year distaffers went postward in one of the season's biggest harness racing events on the half-mile oval the $35,600 Filly Maywood Pace.   Taking advantage of a bye into the final of this event a fit and fresh Lex stormed right to the front and made it look easy as she cruised home with an effortless three-length victory in 1:54.2 for driver Kyle Wilfong over a track listed as fast despite day long rains and temperatures in low 50's.   Sent right to the front from post position four by Wilfong the daughter of Lexington Legend--I Bet U had things her own way as she strolled through opening splits of 28.0 & 56.4.   A first over bid came from Sportsmuffler (Casey Leonard) as the field moved onto the backstretch for the final time but Lex dug in gamely as she continued to lead the field by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:25.0.   After turning aside the challenge of Sportsmuffler the Nelson Willis trained miss seemed to find another gear, quickly drawing away from the pocket sitting Fox Valley Kit (Pat Curtin) and a tired Sportsmuffler to secure her fourth win in seven starts this year. Fox Valley Kit, a 17-1 outsider turned that perfect two-hole trip into a nice second place check while another longshot Duneside Perttie (Brian Carpenter) shook loose late to finish third at odds of 32-1.   Lex, who also captured this season's Violet Stake at Balmoral Park is enjoying a very nice start to her second season boasting a record of 4-2-1 in 7 starts while adding another $37,363 to her bankroll. For her career the ultra-consistent homebred sports a record of 8-4-3 in 16 tries with earnings of $102,163 for proud owner Kay Willis.   Bet as though defeat was out of the question Lex returned $2.60, $2.40 & $2.10 to her legion of backers. The "boys" were also in action on Friday night as a field of eight sophomore pacing colts squared off in their Maywood Pace Stake elimination. The top six finishers will return next week where they will be joined by Earndawg and Dixie's Boy in the $36,000 final. Using the inside starting spot to perfection driver Mike Oosting put heavily favored Lucpark right on the "engine" and the gelded son of Sportsmaster--Treasure The Best was never seriously threatened as he strolled home with a 2½ length verdict in 1:55.1.   With the exception of a mild first over bid from Gifted By Nature (Todd Warren) as the field neared the three-quarter pole the Erv Miller trained Lucpark was relatively unchallenged while putting up splits of 29.0, 58.3 & 1:26.1.   Off the mild fractions Lucpark had plenty in reserve, sprinting away from his rivals in the lane for his second win in six starts this season. Rockin Cassanova (Ridge Warren) sat on the winner's back every step of the way to grab the second place check while Frosty Dune (Kyle Wilfong) shook loose late to finish third after a ground saving trip. Also gaining spots in the final were Gifted By Nature, Dupage's Z Tam and Gett'er Done Dune.   With the win Lucpark now boasts career numbers of 6-3-3 in 18 starts with earnings just shy of $90,000 for owner Rocco Ruffolo. The 3-5 favorite in the wagering returned $3.40, $2.20 & $2.10. Tom Kelley    

Sophomore pacing colts kicked off the 2015 stakes action at the harness racing meeting at Maywood Park on Friday, May 15th as a compact field of six ICF three-year-olds met in the $8,000 Gosox Stake.   The youngsters showed some rust early on in their first foray over the half-mile oval but when the smoke cleared it was Rocco Ruffolo's Lucpark, the even-money choice in the wagering who emerged with a half-length triumph in 1:55.2 for driver Mike Oosting.   Leaving from the outside post in the field of six, Lucpark actually wound up in a decent spot as Oosting guided him over to the pylons in fourth as both Dixie's Boy (Casey Leonard) and Casey At Bat (Tim Curtin) committed early miscues. That left Rockin Cassinova (Todd Warren) to stroll through leisurely early splits of 29.1 & 59.1. The action began to heat up as the field moved onto the backstretch for the final time with Oosting rushing the Erv Miller trainee up to engage Rockin Cassinova. These two were head and head for the lead as they began to separate from the pocket sitting Dakota Roadster (Robert Smolin) while charging by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:27.3. Around the final turn Lucpark managed to poke a head in front of the pace-setter eventually putting that one away as the field turned for home.   The gelded son of Sportsmaster--Treasure The Best was not out of danger yet though as Dixie's Boy, who spotted the field 11 lengths at the opening station because of his miscue behind the gate, came charging up four-wide to throw a scare into the "chalk players" but the wire came just in time for Lucpark as he held on for his first win in three starts this season. Dixie's Boy was an impressive second considering his journey while Dakota Roadster finished third. With the win, Lucpark who returned $4.20, $2.40 & $2.10 now boasts a career record of five wins, two seconds and three thirds in 16 trips to the gate with earnings of $82,480 for his proud owner. Tom Keeley

Saturday’s delayed Taser Gun stake at Balmoral Park didn’t come up short this time in numbers or in talent. A full field of 10 ICF pacing colts and geldings will battle it out in the ninth race $8,000 headliner with a good portion of the wagering very likely going to the harness racing favorites Earndawg (3-1, Todd Warren), Lucpark (4-1, Mike Oosting) and Dixie’s Boy (5-1, Casey Leonard). Earndawg came away with division honors as a 2-year-old and deservedly so. He raked-in over $217,000 for Wisconsin owners Bo Delong (Clinton) and Earnest Miller Jr. (Mount Horeb), and Pat De Long of South Beloit, Illinois. A son of Sportsmaster, Earndawg captured the Colt Orange and Blue and Cardinal Finals at Balmoral, a division of the Madison at Hoosier and the Abe Lincoln at Maywood. Earndawg finished third in the first ICF sophomore stake of the season two weeks ago, his first outing in five months. That Betzotic stake turned out to be an easy win for the Joel Smith Stable’s Dixie Boy. The son of Duneside Perch was almost 4 lengths the best in 1:5:54.1. Casey Leonard will again handle Dixie’s Boy. The 37-year-old Illinois native was also listed to drive The Big Sleazy, Casey At Bat and Mighty Hot Shot but opted to stick with the James and Terri Blackman’s Dixie Boy, a three-time season winner for the residents of O’Fallon, Illinois. Du Quoin Governor’s Cup champion Lucpark packed a big late kick in his season debut last week against open company and mostly older horses, The Erv Miller trainee came from next to last at the half to finish second, pacing a :26.4 last panel. “He had a nice hold on me the whole way and he closed really well,” said Lucpark’s driver Mike Oosting. “We’re going to race him off (the pace) for a little while and when the bigger money races come along do what we have to do to win those races. I didn’t drive him as a 2-year-old. Dave Magee did before he retired,” continued Oosting. “Erv (trainer Miller) thought that Lucpark was the kind of horse that I would get along with well. “The horse has nice size. He does it right and he has a good attitude. Lucpark may not have been the best in his division last year but he might be this year. The horse is sound. I’m looking forward to driving him.” Another son of Sportsmaster, Lucpark put over $76,000 on his card as a freshman for Chicago owner Rocco Ruffalo. Earndawg landed the 3-slot in the Taser Gun with Dixie’s Boy to his right with the 4-post Lucpark starts a few slots further with the 7. The first two posts will be manned by Rockin Cassanova (8-1, Ridge Cassanova) and The Big Sleazy (8-1, Kyle Wilfong). Dinky Dune (10-1, Pat Curtin) and Casey At Bat (12-1, Tim Curtin have the 5 and 6. The 8, 9 and 10 went to Mighty Hot Shot (12-1, Matt Krueger), Dakota Roadster (6-1, Bobby Smolin) and Fox Valley Elijah (15-1). The Taser Gun state-bred stake had been a fixture on the Maywood Park schedule for years but when only horses entered it last Friday the appropriate switch to Balmoral Park was made. By Mike Paradise

Dandy Farm’s Firstclassallthway will likely be the odds-on harness racing favorite to pick-up his 40th career victory and the 8-year-old’s 11th at Maywood Park in Friday’s ninth race conditioned pace feature. The 8-year-old gelding is listed as the 8-5 morning line choice with Mike Oosting in the bike against five other pacers—Cuatro Cinco (programmed odds of 12-1), At Max Speed, (8-1) Gypsy Leather (10-1), Montero Blue Chip (5-2) and Desperado Alibi (3-1). Firstclassallthway owns a half-dozen lifetime triumphs in Balmoral Park Invite’s. Earlier this year Firstclassallthway won back-to-back “Winner’s Over” on the Crete, IL big track  in 1:51.3 and 1:50.3, over the likes of Iam Bonasera, Fort Silky and Ice Scraper. Trained by Jim Ellison for his Glenview, Illinois owners, Firstclassalthway comes into Friday’s race with $371,545 on his card and a lifetime best mile of 1:49.3. The Pick 6 wager carryover pool at Maywood Park is now up to $16,833 after no one again had a winning ticket last week. The 20 cent wager starts off with Thursday’s first race and goes through race six. On Their Way: Lucpark and The Big Sleazy, a couple of well-regarded ICF 3-year-olds, are expected to arrive on the local scene soon after qualifying nicely at the Southern Oaks Training Center in Florida last Thursday. The Big Sleazy finished a neck ahead of Lucpark in their qualifier, both hitting the timer in 1:56.3 preparing for their season debuts. Lucpark, an Erv Miller trainee, captured the Governor’s Cup last year in his freshman season when he earned over $76,000 for his Chicago owner Rocco Ruffalo. The lightly raced The Big Sleazy (2 for 8) captured the Orange and Blue Colt Consolation last Super night for trainer Nelson Willis and owner- breeder Marty Engel of Buffalo Grove, Illinois. Qualifying Update: The Mike Brown Stable’s Alwybreakinhearts (Todd Warren) and Del Chupp’s veteran Dontgetbyme (Kyle Husted) turned in the fastest two qualifiers on a very windy Tuesday at Balmoral Park. The stewards allowed one second off qualifying times with winds whipping up at 30 mph on the 46 degree chilly morning. The 4-year-old Alwybreakinhearts was three lengths the best in his 1:57.3 mile while the 10-year-old Dontgetbyme was a whopping 16 lengths ahead of his nearest foe in a 1:57.3 qualifier, pacing the last quarter in a quick 26.3, the fastest last panel among the five qualified contested. Former WCP Champ Back:  Going to the gate in the second of two Thursday qualifiers prior to the start of the regular at Maywood park card is the 2009 Windy City Pace champion In Over My Head for the Terry Leonard Stable. The now 9-yerar-old gelding is expected to make his first start of the year at Balmoral Park in early May at Balmoral Park where he was a 1:50 flat Invite winner in 2014. Qualifiers will be held at Springfield, Illinois today (Thursday) beginning at 1 p.m. Mike Paradise

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