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Sophomore Runs Unbeaten Streak To 12

Published: May 26, 2018 12:01 pm ET

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Leg one action of the Night of Champions series kicked off on Friday night at Hawthorne as three divisions of the Robert F. Carey Memorial pace for Illinois Conceived or Foaled three-year-olds were conducted.

The highlight of the evening came in the final division of the Carey as last year’s Illinois Champion Fox Valley Gemini took to the track in search of his 12th consecutive victory to open his racing career. He didn’t disappoint as Casey Leonard guided him home to a five-and-a-quarter length score in 1:51.4.

Trained by Terry Leonard and owned by Jim Ballinger, Fox Valley Gemini was sent off as the 1-9 choice in the field of nine and settled well off the early pace which was set by Heza Real Shooter through the opening quarter in :28 and Talk About It after a half in :55.4. On the move in the turn, Fox Valley Gemini was picking off horses, but was still in fourth through three quarters in 1:24. In the blink of an eye, Fox Valley Gemini took over in the stretch and won in hand. Sagebrush Shocker closed to finish second while Yougotitfiguredout was third.

In the first division of the Carey Memorial, a battle ensued between Fox Valley Hijinx, Molina, and Dandy Dude. Those three battled the pace as Dandy Dude cut the mile through fractions of :29.1, :58.2, and 1:26.4. In the stretch, Molina pushed the leader, but it was Kyle Husted and Fox Valley Hijinx who closed fastest of all to get up by a nose on the wire. Molina was a game second while Dandy Dude was a neck back, finishing third. The final time was 1:53.4. Fox Valley Hijinx is trained by Kyle Husted and owned by David Brigham.

The second division of the Carey turned out to be the fastest division of the night. Favoured was Youremyhearthrob as he was sent to the lead, covering fractions of :28.2, :55.2 and 1:23.1. Leading the field into the stretch, Youremyhearthrob was headed by Backstreet Lawyer and Kyle Husted as Backstreet Lawyer took command. Stopping the clock in a quick 1:50.4, Backstreet Lawyer was a winner by two-and-a-half lengths at the wire. Youremyhearthrob held on for second while Als Briefs finished third. Backstreet Lawyer is trained by Tom Simmons and owned by Engel Stable of Illinois LLC, J.D. Graham, and Benita Simmons.

Hawthorne Race Course, Chicago’s Hometown Track, continues the summer harness season through September 24.

(with files from Hawthorne)

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