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Hawthorne's Weekend Recap

Published: July 14, 2020 2:12 pm ET

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As the return to live racing at Hawthorne Race Course surpassed one month after a lengthy break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the babies on the grounds were featured as they start to round into form. The weather was great for the three-day racing weekend as handle at the track continued to surge.

Hawthorne's 11-race Friday card belonged to driver Todd Warren. Warren opened the night by winning with Chasing Money (1:54.2) for trainer Ronnie Roberts. Two races later, it was a Warren-driven upset as 19-1 shot Impressive Cowboy (1:54) caught the favoured OK Galahad for trainer Eugene Gilerman.

In the night’s featured event, the $42,950 Cardinal for two-year-old colt and gelding pacers, Warren pulled off another upset. This time he took trainer Jim Eaton’s Frontier Charley (1:57) from second-to-last into the winner’s circle with a late closing win at 10-1 odds. The 40-1 shot Mekkas Big Guy rallied for second over the favoured Well Basically.

In the very next race, Warren was back in the winner’s circle for his fourth time on the card, as Mighty Tony Mac (1:55) just got up for the victory for trainer Tim Roach. Warren made it a five-bagger when he drove Better Watch Out (1:52.1) to a win in the nightcap for trainer Merv Chupp.

While Todd Warren had five winners on Friday night, the spotlight also shone on his son, Ridge. Ridge grabbed a pair of victories as he confidently handled Toxic Rock (1:52.3) for the win in Race 5. He was back with his second victory on the card with a very smart drive behind 10-1 shot He Gone Jack (1:52.1), who weaved his way through traffic to win Race 10.

Ridge Warren’s solid Friday evening continued onward to Saturday, as he guided home a pair of winners on back to back nights. Ridge drove Rockyroad Aldo (1:58) to a 13-1 upset score in the opener for trainer Kim Roth.

He was also in the bike for the featured $43,100 Violet for two-year-old filly pacers behind the favoured Connie On The Go. The talented youngster didn’t disappoint, as she rallied in the lane to win by a neck in 1:58.2 for trainer Jamaica Patton. Princess Mooss held second while Clearly The Bomb was a game third.

Casey Leonard raced to a three-bagger on Saturday, as well. He scored with Fox Valley Sierra (1:55.4) in Race 2 for Terry Leonard. The driver-trainer duo teamed up again to score in the open trot, as Call For Justice (1:54.4) closed with a late rush for the win. Leonard closed out the card winning the finale for trainer Nelson Willis with Rockinsweetvictory (1:53.1).

On Sunday evening the inexperience showed for some of the juvenile trotters, as upsets occurred throughout the night.

The first of the evening’s featured events was the $22,775 Cardinal for juvenile male trotters. After winning earlier in the night with Valar Morghulis (1:53.4) in Race 2, driver Mike Oosting grabbed his second win on the card as he kept Shady Maple Spirit (2:04.3) on stride to win for trainer Dennis Gardner at odds of nearly 6-1. The upset came after 1-9 shot Coco DLascito broke multiple times in the race and was placed fifth after finishing fourth while breaking through the wire.

The following race was the $43,000 Violet for juvenile female trotters, and again Oosting and his drive were the beneficiaries of another costly break. This time the break came from 4-5 favourite Loulita who never recovered. Oosting took advantage, giving Myonly Sin (2:03.1) a perfect trip in victory for trainer Erv Miller. Oosting would go on to cap his four-win night as he guided Sport Miss Dune (1:57) to the win in Race 8.

The second division of the $22,775 Cardinal also saw another costly break to a favourite, as 3-5 shot Bobalou broke early and never recovered. This time it was Shady Maple Valor (2:03.4) who made the top and never looked back for driver Freddie Patton Jr. and trainer Roshun Trigg.

(Hawthorne Race Course)

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