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Illinois Freshmen Battle In Stakes Elims

Published: July 3, 2017 12:33 am ET

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Juvenile trotters kicked off the Sunday evening (July 2) harness racing card at Hawthorne Race Course in the Cardinal and Violet Stakes eliminations.

The Cardinal is for Illinois-bred two-year-old colt and gelding trotters. A field of nine was set to meet the starter after the scratch of Two News. Vics Pizza was the favourite for driver/trainer Mike Brink. Jiggle The Handle got away quickly from the outside, clearing the lead through a :30.1 quarter. After a half in 1:00.3, the 99-1 shot Jiggle The Handle maintained the lead. On the turn, Mt Erie Mafia took over, through three-quarters in 1:32. In the lane, Jared Finn kept after Mt Erie Mafia, as he held sway, winning in 2:01.2. Fox Valley Strpwr was second while Krispy K finished third. Mt Erie Mafia is trained by J D Finn and owned by Finn Racing, Dennis Gardner, Dustin Fitch, and Jason Atteberry.

Race two was the first of two Violet eliminations for Illinois-bred two-year-old filly trotters and a field of eight took to the track. Good Design, with Kyle Wilfong in the bike, was the favourite as she was looking for consecutive wins to open her career. Sunny Sasha made the lead from the inside through a quarter in :30.3. On the backside, Jared Finn and Sunny Sasha kept the lead, trotting the half in 1:01.2. On the far turn, longshot New Queen moved to challenge but Sunny Sasha kept her lead, covering three-quarters in 1:31.4. In the lane, Sunny Sasha was all out as Maui Mama cruised up on the outside for Casey Leonard to catch her on the wire. Good Design finished third. The final time for the mile was 2:00.3. Maui Mama is owned by H W Wright and trained by Mike Brink.

Race three on Sunday was the second Violet elimination with eight fillies lining up behind the starter. E L Miss Kaibra, with Mike Oosting driving, was the favourite and established the lead, reaching the quarter in :30.3. On the backstretch, longshot Frontier Jackie assumed the lead, as E L Miss Kaibra broke stride. The half was clocking in 1:01.4 as Trotting Grace took over. After three-quarters in 1:31.4, Trotting Grace opened up in the lane for Kyle Husted, winning by daylight in 2:00.4. Lous Silver Star finished second while Fox Valley Winnie was third. Trotting Grace is trained by Steve Searle, who also co-owns with H W Wright and Mystical Marker Farms.

Race five was leg two of the Beulah Dygert Memorial Trot for Illinois-bred three-year-old fillies featuring a field of 10. The favourite from the outside was Anna Lucky Star with Kyle Wilfong driving. Daisy Lou Duke made the lead from the rail through the opening quarter in :29.4. On the backstretch, Lous Game N Match moved to press the leader as Daisy Lou Duke held her lead through the half in :59.3. On the turn, Kyle Husted kept Daisy Lou Duke up top, covering three-quarters in 1:29.2. In the lane, Daisy Lou Duke battled but could not hold off the favourite as Annas Lucky Star rolled by in the final sixteenth to win in 1:57. Daisy Lou Duke held second while Fox Valley Ella was third. Annas Lucky Star is owned by Danny Graham and trained by Nelson Willis.

Race eight on Sunday was leg two of the Erwin F. Dygert Memorial Trot for Illinois-bred three-year-old colts and geldings. The heavy favourite from the field of 11 was Louscipher with Casey Leonard in the bike. Trixies Jethro made the lead early for Jared Finn through the opening quarter in :30 and continued on to the half in :59.4. Into the turn, Trixies Jethro continued to lead, pushed by Picky Picky Valor through three-quarters in 1:29.1. Late in the lane, Trixies Jethro gave way as favoured Louscipher rolled up on the outside and drew clear, winning in 1:56.4. Picky Picky Valor got up for second while Muscle Image finished third. Louscipher is owned by Flacco Family Farms LLC and trained by Roshun Trigg.

(With files from Hawthorne Race Course)

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