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Leonard Sweeps Incredible Finale Splits

Published: June 18, 2017 2:16 am ET

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Driver Casey Leonard swept a pair of $12,000 opening round Incredible Finale Stakes divisions with Illinois-bred two-year-old male pacers Mykonos and Heza Real Shooter as a part of a six-win performance on the Saturday evening (June 17) program at Hawthorne Race Course.

The stakes action began in the opener with a field of eight lining up after the scratch of Sagebrush Sharp. Beach Shootingstar was the favourite with driver Mike Oosting in the bike. Shooting Straight left for the lead from the outside and he worked hard to make the top through a contested quarter in :29.4. After a half in 1:01, Shooting Straight maintained his lead into the turn. On the turn, Not Me Gram moved up to challenge through three-quarters in 1:30.3. In the lane, Not Me Gram and Shooting Straight battled, but inside the final sixteenth, the career-debuting Mykonos slipped through along the inside to get up for driver Casey Leonard in 1:59. Shooting Straight battled back for second while Not Me Gram held third. Mykonos is owned by Tripoli Stable and trained by Tom Simmons.

Race seven was the second division of the Incredible Finale with a full field of 10 facing off over the 'good' track. Molina, with Kyle Husted driving, was favoured from the outside and left for the lead. Molina cleared to command at the quarter in :29.4 and maintained his advantage on the backside, covering the half in 1:01. On the turn, Molina continued on, covering three-quarters in 1:31. In the lane, Heza Real Shooter ranged up to challenge with Casey Leonard driving and caught Molina in the shadow of the wire to win by a neck. The final time for the mile was 1:59.2. Big Boy Frazier finished third. Heza Real Shooter is owned by John Barnard and trained by William Crone.

Among Casey Leonard's other successful Saturday outings was a victory in the $15,000 Fillies & Mares Open Pace. OK Heavenly was assigned post 10 far outside her foes in the six-horse field as the favourite for Leonard. Shortly after the start, Fresh Squeezed encountered broken equipment and was pulled up, leaving five to contest the mile. Phyllis Jean got away on the lead through the quarter in :27.4. After a half in :56.3, Phyllis Jean maintained her lead into the far turn. The field bunched up into the stretch with Hipnumberone swinging four-wide to challenge through three-quarters in 1:25.2. In the stretch, OK Heavenly was able to work her way through the field, splitting horses to win by a length over Hipnumberone in 1:52.3. Kyles Secret was third. OK Heavenly is owned by Dandy Farms Inc. and Mark Winship and trained by Angela Coleman.

(With files from Hawthorne Race Course)

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