by Al Cimaglia
September 19, 2020
It is time for the Night of Champions at Hawthorne Racecourse with more than $970,000 in purses spread out over a 12-race card. The number one event in Illinois harness racing comes at the end of the Hawthorne meet. Tomorrow will be the final harness program in 2020 and that signals mandatory payouts.
Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.
Race 6-Beulah Dygert Memorial-Purse $98,000
8-Lous Abigail (6/5)-This gal has been on fire, and unless the trip is awful it should be the 6th straight picture for the Searle trainee. Leonard should find a decent seat, is likely to make an early move and not look back.
5-El Oh Govner (10-1)-Marcus Miller grabs the lines which is a ++ driver change. The #1 should get the top or the 2-hole but if fractions are honest this filly will be passing foes down the lane. Using underneath in gimmicks.
1-Fox Valley Extacy (5/2)-The logical 2nd choice usually stays trotting. Probably the case tonight unless there is an issue with starting inside. May want to control the race but that probably won't happen and will be hard pressed to overtake Abigail down the lane.
$10 Exacta 8-5, Total Bet=$10
Race 7-Erwin Dygert Memorial-Purse $109,000
6-Fox Valley Quest (3/2)-Odds-on favorite may have had his hands full if drew the 9 or 10 hole. But with this post draw there should be no excuse and Leonard can provide a good steer.
5-On Higher Ground (7/2)-Brink trainee is a consistent check casher and has finished in the money in 10 of 11 starts with 3 wins. Should be battling #1 for the 2nd place check and will give this 3-year-old a very slight edge.
1-Crooked Creek (5/2)-Comes off a 6-length romp in the slop and has also been very consistent hitting the board in 10 of 11 starts with 8-wins. Warren should keep the other Brink pupil in play throughout.
$5 Trifecta 6-5-1, $5 Trifecta 6-1-5, Total Bet=$10
Race 8-Kadabra Championship-Purse $118,000
4-Lousrolando (2-1)-The breaking issues seem to have been cured and will be trying for its 3rd straight trip to the winner's circle. Beat 5 from this field on 9/11 and expecting the same as long as minds manners.
8-Fistfullofdollars (5/2)-Came 3rd to the morning line choice on 5/2 but appears to have the best chance of any to knock-off the Husted trainee. Will probably need to trot faster than ever before to take top honors.
6-I'mnotalocaldude (12-1)-2-year-old is only 1-15 but has hit the board 8 times and comes off an improved effort. Should race close to the top of the stack and could hit the board if keeps trotting.
$4 Trifecta 4-8-6, $2 Trifecta 4-6-8, Total Bet=$6
Race 11-Plum Peachy-Purse $108,000
9-Fox Valley Exploit (3-1)-On the downside starting from the 9-hole will make the task more difficult. On a positive note this filly has been an odds-on chalk in the last 8 races and tonight the price will be better. This is my pick despite the post, it's the best horse with a stronger driver and is in top form.
1-Sign Her Up (2-1)-Did knock-off my top choice on 8/22 and took full advantage of a nice trip. Should be a major player, probably garnered the morning favoritism due to the post draw and it could make a difference.
4-Double Parked (6-1)-Looking to use in gimmicks and can hit the board with a decent journey. With a quick start could get the top and surprise if Seekman can steal a quarter.
$8 Exacta 9-1, $4 Exacta 9-4, $2 Exacta Box 4-9 & 1-4, Total Bet=$20
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