Saturday evening at Hawthorne, eleven stakes finals were contested for the Night of Champions at Hawthorne. The races for Illinois-breds were contested over a 'fast' track.
The first stakes event on the evening was the Kadabra Stakes for two-year-old colt and gelding trotters. Louscipher used a well-timed move by Pat Curtin to overtake stablemate Lougazi in the lane and hold off Polar B at the wire for a three-length score in 1:58.3. Trained by Roshun Trigg and owned by Flacco Family Farms, Louscipher paid $7.20 as the second choice.
The Fox Valley Flan final was for two-year-filly trotters. Driver Casey Leonard used a well-timed move with Fox Valley Elana to catch favoured Lous Credit Report in the final sixteenth. Longshot Heartland Honey finished third as Fox Valley Elana won in 2:02. Fox Valley Elana paid $8.20 for owner and trainer Dane May.
The Incredible Tillie final for two-year-old filly pacers saw another upset. Driver Freddie Patton, Jr. made a bold, three-wide move in the turn with Princess Sage and out finished favourite My Kind of Dance at the wire. Razzleme Dazzleme got up for third. Final time was 1:55.3. Princess Sage was owned by Keli Jo Bell and Freddie Patton, Jr. and trained by Freddie Patton Jr. as she returned $15.60.
The Beulah Dygert Memorial trot for three-year-old filly pacers saw the first winning favourite on the Night of Champions card. Vengeful and driver Todd Warren used a quick move in the turn and extended into the lane to draw clear for a five length score. Surviver Di held second while Roma Falls closed for third. Vengeful covered the mile in 1:58.1. Vengeful is owned by Providence West Inc. and trained by Kenny Collier, returning $3.60 to win.
Three-year-old colt and gelding trotters matched up in the Erwin F. Dygert final. The favourites finished one-two as Hail Caesar sustained a strong rally on the turn for Casey Leonard to hold off Fear. Longshot Primed N Powerful got up for third. Hail Caesar won in 1:58.1 for owner H W Wright and trainer Mike Brink. He returned $4.60 as the slight second choice.
The Plesac final was for four-year-old and up trotters. Another favourite got the job done as Ants Iner Pants was able to wear down Tricky Nick late for driver Kyle Husted. Rock Hollywood got up for third as Ants Iner Pants won in 1:57.3. Owned by Thomas Wisniewski and trainer Steve Searle, Ants Iner Pants paid $6.80 to win.
For two-year-old colt and gelding pacers, the Incredible Finale final was the most exciting finish on the night. Mike Oosting was able to swing Fox Valley Herbie six-wide into the stretch to rally from last for a half-length score in 1:54. Fox Valley Herbie caught Fox Valley Jeter and Gabe Henry. Fox Valley Herbie paid $9.20 for owner Benita Simmons and trainer Tom Simmons.
Four-year-old and up male pacers took to the track as there was no upsetting 1-5 favourite Unlocked. Driven by Jim Pantaleano and trained by Norm Parker, Unlocked assumed command early, drawing clear to win in a snappy 1:51.3. A Cool Card held well for place while Lucky Crusader got up for third. Owned by Megan Rogers Racing Stables Inc. and trained by Norm Parker, Unlocked paid $2.60 to win.
Dr Drake Ramoray didn’t let starting from the outside post slow him down as he, along with driver Jim Pantaleano, rushed to the front end and never looked back in Saturday’s Robert F. Carey Memorial Championship for Illinois Conceived and Foaled three-year-old Colts and Gelding Pacers, winning by two and three-quarters lengths. Dr. Drake Ramoray, trained by Norm Parker and owned by Megan Rogers Racing Stables Inc. got the mile in 1:53.0. He paid $11.20 as the fifth choice in the wagering.
Whiskersonkittens grabbed the lead quickly and held all the others safe as she paced her way to a five-length victory in Saturday’s Plum Peachy Championship fir three-year-old filly pacers. Driven by Todd Warren, owned by Ronald G Krupp and trained by Kimberly Roth, Whiskersonkittens paid $4.80 as the betting favourite in the race. She paced the mile in 1:52.4. LKs Nancy Lee finished second while morning-line favourite Char N Marg got up for third.
Fox Valley Charm, owned by Peter J Karras, trained by Rodney Freese and driven by Michael Oosting scored a half-length victory in Saturday’s Tony Maurello Championship at Hawthorne Race Course. He covered the mile in 1:52.3, paying $9.00 as third choice in the wagering. Despite starting from the ten, Fox Valley Charm was able to gain good position early, had the lead by midstretch, and was able to hold off all late comers.