by Al Cimaglia
September 23, 2017
It's going to be a big weekend of harness action at Hawthorne Race Course. Starting with the Night of Champions, when the finest Illinois breds will compete for a share $1.38 million in purses. There will be eight stakes on the 12-race card tonight which will have purses of over $100,000.
Sunday's headliner will be in Race 5, the mandatory payout of the Jackpot High 5 pool which will include a $179,305 carryover. Xpressbet account holders will receive 20X points on wagers placed on Sunday's Hawthorne card. There will be a $500,000 guaranteed pool.
July 16 was the last time the Jackpot High 5 had a mandatory payout. On that evening the pool grew to over of $1.6 million and the lucky winners collected a tidy $64,380.
Last night, drivers Ryan Anderson and Kyle Wilfong each had two trips to the winner's circle. Conditioner Loralee Johnson sat atop the trainer's list with two wins.
Comments and selections below for the Night of Champions are based on a fast track.
Race 1 - Open Pace - Purse $25,000
5 - Tookadiveoffdipper - Hoosier Park invader has raced well here in the past and rates a slight edge.
4 - Granite - Has been facing Open company at Hoosier and best mught be good enough.
2 - Trashtonguetalker - Local battler for Team Leonard should be in the hunt.
$1 Daily Double 4,5/1,5,7
$1 Exacta Box 2-4-5
Race 2 - Kadabra Championship - Purse $115,000
5 - Cruzin Cassi - Made a rare break in last but battled back, looking for another strong effort.
7 - True Detective - Luke warm program favorite has talent but needs to mind mannners.
1 - Illinimight - Scored a big upset over #5 in last. Will respect chances for another strong try.
$1 Exacta 5/1,7 and 1,7/5
Race 3 - Fox Valley Flan Championship - Purse $135,000
4-Maui Mama - Has dominated this class and trend should continue tonight.
10 - Trotting Grace - Having a nice season and poor post draw makes an upset a bigger challenge.
9 - Good Design - Has a breaking issue but if stays flat should hit the ticket at a square price.
$1 Exacta 4/9,10
Race 4 - Incredible Tillie Championship - Purse $175,000
9 - Fox Valley Jazzy - Poor post draw may make a diference but with a smooth journey can take a picture.
1 - The New Americana - 3-2 favorite looks the part and may parlay post advantage to gain a victory.
7 - Rollin Coal - Should be a square price and Leonard will likely keep in striking position.
0.50 Pick 3
Race 5 - Beulah Dygert Memorial Championship - Purse $120,000
5 - Annas Lucky Star - Has been a monster all season and desreves utmost respect.
1 - Lous Credit Report - Nice filly but should be competing for second honors.
4 - Daisy Low Duke - Has been racing well and can hit the ticket at double digit odds.
$1 Exacta 5/1,4
Total Bet=$ 2.00
Race 6-Erwin Dygert Memorial Championship - Purse $115,000
7 - Louscipher - This would be the fifth consecutive win and will string along.
4 - Bands Houdini - Lacks a finishing touch but with best effort can the hit ticket.
10 - Picky Picky Valor - Would rate higher with a better post drawn, but this is a tough spot.
$1 Exacta 7/4,10
Race 7 - Plesac Championship - Purse $60,000
8 - Tricky Nick - Impressive first local start and seems a cut above the rest.
4 - Ants Inner Pants - Doesn't win often but tries hard, should be in the mix.
2 - Fox Valley Veto - Recent form has been dull but knows how to win and leads field in earnings.
$1 Exacta 8/2,4
Race 8 - Incredible Finale Championship - Purse $195,000
9 - Fox Valley Gemini - Is a perfect 8 for 8 and can't see a strong reason it won't soon be 9 for 9.
1 - Fox Valley Hijinx - Should make the most of the rail and hit the ticket.
4 - Hart To Heart - Another who battles but it should be for a minor share.
$1 Exacta 9/1,4
Race 9-Robert Molaro Championship - Purse $60,000
2 - Gibbs - Last was a strong effort, looking for an upset and at 7-1 in the morning line will take a swing.
5 - Evergreen Elite - Luke warm program favorite should be in the hunt.
1 - Mystical Walter - Has lacked a closing punch but best to not overlook from this starting spot.
0.50 Pick 4
$1 Exacta Box 1-2-5
Race 10 - Robert Carey Memorial Championship - Purse $180,000
2 - Mississippi Rabbit - Big effort in last and could surprise toinght at a square price.
6 - Fox Valley Nemitz - Was hurt by a slow 1st half, pace should be quicker and ill respect chances.
8 - Fox Valley Herbie - Post draw may hurt chances but has been very sharp.
$1 Exacta Box 2-6-8 Total Bet=$6.00
$1 Trifecta Box 2-6-8 Total Bet=$6.00
Race 11 - Plum Peachy Championship - Purse $165,000
1 - Boogie On Down - Comes off an even effort but thinking could be sitting on a big try at a nice price.
6 - Fancy Creek Jolene - 2nd morning line chalk likes this oval and should make presence felt.
2 - San Antonio Rose - Using instead of #9 (2-1). Comes off 2 nice efforts and could be double digit odds.
$1 Exacta Box 1-2-6
Race 12 - Tony Maurello Championship - Purse $60,000
6 - Joyful Game - Even effort in 1st local start but looking for an aggressive try as Morgan steers tonight.
5 - Lk's Nancy Lee - Caught too far back in a slow pace, will toss last and look for a return to top form.
3 - Whiskersonkittens - Likes to compete and will use at bottom of the ticket.
$1 Exacta Box 5-6, $1 Exacta 5,6/3
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