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Hawthorne's Weekend Recap

Published: July 29, 2020 3:35 pm ET

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With two months left in the summer racing season at Hawthorne Race Course, the Night of Champions legs rolled on as points leaders looked to extend their leads while others looked to break into the top ten.

Friday night featured a pair of divisions of leg three of the Robert F. Carey, Jr. Memorial. The Robert F. Carey, Jr. Memorial is for Illinois-bred three-year-old male pacers.

The first division featured a heavy favourite, as 2019 two-year-old champ Hezzz A Wise Sky was sent away as the 1-9 choice in the field of five. Despite settling at the back of the pack early on, the favourite didn’t disappoint as Bobby Smolin confidently handled him, closing in :27.3 to win by a length and a half. 38-1 longshot Western Perch finished second while Illini Force was third. The Don Filomeno-trained Hezzz A Wise Sky covered the mile over a 'fast track' in 1:53.

The second division of the Carey was also a field of five, as a pair of scratches left Ryans Ambassador and RGs Tracer co-favoured. In a race contested very similarly to the first division, Kim Roth-trained Bagman settled at the back of the field early and rallied for the victory. Driven by Todd Warren, Bagman closed in :27.2 to win by two lengths in 1:54.4. Ryans Ambassador was second while RGs Tracer finished third.

On Saturday night, a pair of divisions of the Plum Peachy, for Illinois-bred three-year-old filly pacers, took place. In the first division, the favourite didn’t disappoint. Kyle Husted-trained Fox Valley Exploit got the job done as the 2-5 favourite, settling back early and rallying for driver Casey Leonard to win in 1:53. Sign Her Up closed to finish second while Sleazy Gal was third.

The second division of the Plum Peachy was a runaway, as the Leroy Hunt-trained Double Parked made the top early and drew off in the lane, winning by six lengths for driver Travis Seekman. Dancin Eyes finished second while Fox Valley Nia closed to finish third. Double Parked won in 1:54.4.

State-bred three-year-old trotters were the focus on Sunday, as the boys contested a pair of divisions of the Erwin F. Dygert Memorial while the girls battled in the Beulah Dygert Memorial.

The first division of the Erwin F. Dygert Memorial saw an impressive effort, as Crooked Creek was sent away as the heavy favourite and rolled to a clear six-length score for owner Ed Teefey, trainer Mike Brink, and driver Mike Oosting. Lous Paisano was second while Desert Sheik finished third. Crooked Creek won in 1:56.2.

The skies opened the following race, as rain poured down upon a then 'sloppy' surface for the first division of the Beulah Dygert Memorial. While favoured Lous Abigail carved out the early fractions, it was driver Brandon Bates and Fox Valley Extacy who rallied for the three-length score. The win was career victory No. 1,000 for Bates as a driver as Fox Valley Extacy won in 1:59 for trainer Hector Herrera. Lous Abigail held second while Bee See finished third.

The second division of the Erwin F. Dygert Memorial also went to the favourite -- this time it was the Tom Simmons-trained Fox Valley Quest. Taking the early lead for driver Casey Leonard and drawing clear in the lane, Fox Valley Quest stopped the timer in 1:59.4. On Higher Ground chased to finished second while Mt Red Thunder closed late to finish third.

The second division of the Beulah Dygert Memorial was wide open. While favoured Tropical Rosie tired in the lane, it was second choice Fox Valley Lush who took over in the stretch and won for driver Todd Warren and trainer Jim Eaton. Lous Cover Girl was second while Lous Flashy Dancer finished third. Fox Valley Lush went 2:02.1 over the sloppy track.

(Hawthorne Race Course)

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