As summer finally came to the Chicagoland area, the action was heating up on the racetrack as leg two action for the Night of Champions races took place this past weekend at Hawthorne. Three-year-old pacers were the focus on Saturday night while three-year-old trotters took center stage on Sunday night.
A pair of divisions took place on Saturday as Illinois-bred fillies were the focus in the Plum Peachy while the boys battled in a pair of divisions of the Robert F. Carey, Jr. Memorial.
Race two was the first division of the Plum Peachy as a field of seven was led by Fox Valley Lolo.
Getting away quickly was Valar Morghulis as she made the lead while chased by Fox Valley Torrid through the opening quarter in :28.4. Things remained the same through a half in :58.4 as Valar Morghulis led the field into the turn. First to move was Fox Valley Halsey as she ranged up to contend while Valar Morghulis passed three quarters in 1:27.0. Into the lane, Fox Valley Torrid and Casey Leonard tipped out to challenge, taking over mid-stretch and opening up for the victory in 1:53.1. Valar Morghulis held second while Fox Valley Lolo rallied late to finish third. Fox Valley Torrid is owned by Fox Valley Standardbreds and trained by Rodney Freese.
Race three Saturday was the first division of leg two of the Robert F. Carey, Jr. Memorial as Meyer on Fire was sent as the favourite.
Leaving from the outside for the lead was Casey Leonard and Fox Valley Triton as he cleared The Bucket to pass the quarter in :28.3. Slowing things down on the backside, Fox Valley Triton led the field through the half in :59.1 as Meyer on Fire started to move from the back of the field. On the turn, Meyer on Fire moved alongside Fox Valley Triton as the duo covered three quarters in 1:26.3. In the lane, Fox Valley Triton repelled Meyer on Fire’s bid, winning in 1:53.3. Meyer on Fire held second while The Bucket finished third.
Fox Valley Triton is owned by Dandy Farms Racing, FT Racing Stable, and Peter Kouchis.
The fifth on Saturday was the second division of the Robert F. Carey, Jr. Memorial as Maximus was favoured with Kyle Wilfong driving.
Making the lead was Maximus as he cruised through the quarter in :28.4 and the half in :58.4 as Coming Up chased. After three quarters in 1:28.1, Maximus maintained his lead, holding on to win in 1:55.0. Coming Up chased the entire way around to hold second while Smash N Sagebrush was third.
Maximus is owned and trained by Ken Rucker.
Race seven on Saturday was the second division of leg two of the Plum Peachy as Perch as favored with Kyle Wilfong in the bike.
Making the lead was Lilly Von Shtupp as Perch stalked through the quarter in :28.2. Unchanged were the positions after the half in :58.0. On the turn, Wilfong tipped Perch out as she rolled to the front through three quarters in 1:26.4. Roused in the lane, Perch opened up, winning while clear in 1:53.3. Lilly Von Shtupp held second while Brienne the beauty finished third.
Perch is owned by Del Insko Training Stable, Jay and Susan Garrels and trained by Jay Garrels.
While Saturday was a nice evening for racing, things turned for the worse on Sunday as the three-year-old trotters faced a sloppy racetrack. Two divisions of leg two of the Erwin F. Dygert Memorial trot were contested for the boys while a field of nine lined up in the second leg of the Beulah Dygert Memorial for the females.
Race two on Sunday was the first division of the Erwin F. Dygert Memorial as the field of seven was led by Louscardamon with Kyle Husted driving.
Leaving for the lead was Swaneelou as he cruised through a quarter in :30.3. Moving to take over on the backside was the favorite as Louscardamon passed the half in :59.3. Maintaining his lead in the turn, Louscardamon covered three quarters in 1:29.4 and was asked by Husted to go in the lane. He responded well, opening up his lead to win clearly in 1:58.1. Swaneelou held second while longshot Super Betcha rallied to finish third.
Louscardamon is owned by Flacco Family Farms LLC and Dr. Patrick Graham and trained by Steve Searle.
Race five was the second division of leg two of the Erwin F. Dygert Memorial with a competitive field of seven. Lourhianon went favoured with Luke Plano in the bike.
Breaking stride at the start was Trixies Turbo which allowed Frontier Manard to set an easy pace through a quarter in :31.2 and half in 1:01.1 as Lourhianon chased. Into the turn, Lourhianon took over while Lousraptor followed closely behind through three quarters in 1:30.2. In the lane, Casey Leonard guided Lousraptor out as he rolled by the favorite and opened up, winning in 1:57.3. Lourhianon finished second while For Trots Sakes closed for third.
Lousraptor is owned by Flacco Family Farms and trained by Roshun Trigg.
Race eight was the second leg of the Beulah Dygert Memorial with a field of nine led by Louzotic with Kyle Husted driving.
Leaving for the lead was Heidi High from the inside as Louzotic moved early to challenge. Heidi High passed the quarter in :28.4 with the lead as the favorite chased. After a half in :59.2, Heidi High maintained her lead into the turn. Lous Paramour started to move on the outside but Heidi High still held her lead through 1:29 for three quarters. In the lane, Heidi High was roused by Juan Franco as Louzotic tried hard but she couldn’t go by. Heidi High held on to win in 1:56.1 over Louzotic. Skippymalou finished third.
Heidi High is owned and trained by Charles Arthur.