by Al Cimaglia
July 16, 2017
Hawthorne will conclude an exciting weekend with the Violet Final as the headline event. In Race 5, a field of nine 3-year-old filly trotters will battle for a share of a $20,000 purse. The Late .50 Pick 4 rolls in Race 8 and will have a $20,000 guaranteed pool.
Last night the mandatory payout on the Jackpot Hi-5 created a huge pool of $1,413,238. The lucky winners who selected the correct combination of 7-1-2-8-4 were rewarded with a $64,380.68 payout. My shortfall came in looking past the #8 and not leaning more heavily on the #1. Both horses went off at 30-1 and they boosted the mutuel.
The hottest hands belonged to drivers Tim Curtin and Casey Leonard, both steered home three winners. James Horvath Jr. sat on top of the trainer's list with victories in the final two races on the card.
Tonight could be different, but horses were coming from behind and winning on Saturday evening. My focus will be on the Late Pick 4 and I'm leaving the 3/2 favorite in Race 9, KTL'S Lucky Strike off my ticket. Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.
2-Celebrity Hercules-3rd start after a layoff for this 11-year-old and should be sitting on a big try for Team Leonard.
5-Macie Rae-Oostings steers and gets along well. A big threat to win if can mind manners.
7-Kickinitwithkohler-Drops to a good level for success. With the right trip can close in a hurry.
4-Clever Upstart-Has been camera shy but drops and gets a good post versus a field without any all-stars.
8-Willy Mouse-Hiteman sticks and he kept this 3-year-old on stride in last. Might be ready for an aggressive effort.
9-Fox Valley Shout-Can close but will need a good steer and then use one big move down the lane to win at a square price.
5-Phenomenal-Has the speed and can close but needs to get off the gate in better shape. Can surprise if in striking position.
6-Faithful Desire-Knocked out in last with broken equipment. Has the gate speed to get to the top and control race.
7-Fox Valley Charliz-Has been facing better and Oosting should keep this filly in the hunt until the wire.
9-Dune Dame-Racing well and moves up after a sharp win. Outside post brings value and Leonard can work a nice trip.
3-Roll To Glory-Won last and stays at same level. Likes to roll late and passes foes in the stretch. Will respect repeat chances.
5-Delightfully Wild-Last was good and that came off missing a start. Could be sitting on a big try and get 1st Haw win.
10-Libby's Idea-Leonard's choice, finished 3rd after a rough trip at this level. Post is a challenge but best to not overlook.
.50 Late Pick 4
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