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Hawthorne's Weekend Recap

Published: June 24, 2020 4:02 pm ET

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With the summer season gearing up, Illinois-breds were the focus as the entry box continued to overflow. Hawthorne saw increases in handle every weekend day, surpassing $1 million in handle both Friday and Saturday and $1.3 million on Sunday.

On Friday evening, multiple legs of the Club Hawthorne Mini Series continued, as driver James Lackey kicked off a driving double by winning the opener behind Almost Cut My Hair in 1:52.1. A speedy strip led to solid times throughout the card. Lackey also won the fifth race, as he guided On Duty to an easy win in 1:51.2.

Driver Cordarius Stewart and trainer John Hughes paired up for a Friday double, as they won Race 2 with Illuminati Hanover (1:55.1) and Race 8 with Final Prize (1:56.2).

Todd Warren won also won two races on Friday, as he drove home the first of trainer Tom Simmons two winners on the night as Mykonos (1:53) won the fourth. Warren also won the Friday finale with Dakota Roadster (1:53.1) for trainer Rob Rittof. Simmons' second winner of the night came from Yankee Bounty (1:52) for driver Juan Franco in Race 12.

The only driving triple Friday belonged to Casey Leonard. Leonard took the third with Trashytonguetalker (1:52.1), sixth behind Sirodsdalicrickett (1:53.3), and seventh with Natives Best Bet (1:52.3). Trainer Terry Leonard had a double, as Over Speeding (1:53.3) joined Trashtonguetalker as his winners on the card.

The fastest mile of the night went to 24-1 shot Rock Steady Ron, as Clifton Bell gave him a perfect trip for trainer Jamaica Patton and won Race 9 in 1:50.2.

A 13-race Saturday card spanned nearly six hours as a nearly two hour mid-card weather delay slowed the evening down. Two divisions of the Cardinal for Illinois-bred three-year-old male pacers were contested along with their female counterparts in the Violet.

The first division of the Cardinal was won by RGs Tracer (1:54.1), as Travis Seekman drove home the winner for his wife, Desirae. The second Cardinal division went to Fox Valley Ren (1:53), as he held off a game Hezzz A Wise Sky for driver Kyle Wilfong and trainer Nelson Willis.

The Violet came after the weather delay and it was Fox Valley Exploit (1:55.2) that was a clear winner for driver/trainer Kyle Husted. The Violet was one of three Husted victories during the card. Earlier in the evening, Husted guided Louzotic (1:58.3) to a win via DQ in the Open Trot. Husted capped a training double with his third driving win of the night as Fox Valley Hijinx (1:52.3) captured the tenth race.

Kyle Wilfong had the other driving triple on Saturday, as he won Race 3 behind Tropical Fruit (1:55.2) and the nightcap with Meadowbrook Glider in 1:57.1.

Sunday’s action started early with a pair of non-wagering races, as two divisions of the Violet for Illinois-bred three-year-old trotting fillies were contested.

The first division was won in a game effort by Bee See (2:01.1) for Kyle Husted and Steve Searle. The second division was an upset, as Celone Hall (1:58) was able to roll by Lous Abigail for Mike Oosting and trainer Mike Brink.

The story of the Sunday card was Oosting’s driving, as he guided five horses to the winner’s circle. After his non-wagering score with Celone Hall, Oosting took the Phil Georgeff series final with Frontier Rollo (1:51) for trainer Tom Simmons. He was back two races later with his second win for Mike Brink, this time with GM Patty Lin (1:57.4) in the Daryl Busse Trot Final. Mike’s fourth win on the night was Mike Brink’s third training victory, which came in the Cardinal for Illinois-bred three-year-old male trotters, as Crooked Creek (1:57.4) rallied for the victory. Oosting’s fifth Sunday score was trainer Steve Searle’s second, as Coming Up (1:54.3) won Race 12.

Sunday also saw a near track record performance, as aged mare Tempus Seelster paced a strong 1:50.3 mile in the Filly and Mare Open for driver Travis Seekman and trainer Rob Rittof.

(Hawthorne Race Course)

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