by Al Cimaglia
June 27, 2021
Hawthorne Racecourse has a 14 race card ready to roll tonight. The headliners are two and three-year-old Illinois breds battling in the Night of Champions Series action. The 0.50 Late Pick 4 has a $25,000 guaranteed pool. The sequence will start in Race 11, and it will be my focus.
Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.
1-Ryans Ambassador (3-1)-This race is a real taffy pull. The lifetime starts for this field is 288 with a total of only 23 wins. So, a case can be made to stretch out and this guy has 4 of the wins. Ships back from HoP where he was in tough and started in the 2nd tier. Last race here on 6-6 was good, using but should be a short price.
2-Escape (30-1)-Longshot improved in the 2nd start at Haw and could pop at a price. Will take a swing as the driver change to Buford should help and this is the 3rd start back for the Trigg barn.
6-Shark Snare (7/2)-Went off as the betting favorite in last starting from post 10. Todd Warren steers again and he should work a better trip. Raced wide throughout the mile but kept pacing to the wire. Using and hoping the program odds hold true.
8-Beat the Devil (4-1)-Team Leonard 4-year-old comes out of the same race as #6. Also started outside and raced wide but passed horses down the lane. Figures to be in the hunt but like the one above is only 1-20 lifetime.
1-Fox Valley Eliza (9/2)-This is the 1st start for the Husted barn after Erv Miller qualified and raced this 2-year-old once at Haw. The chalk looks like the one to beat but has gait issues. Could get a fair price on this filly and should be forwardly placed throughout.
4-Asah Da Pacea (8-1)-There are reasons to dismiss, 0-13 and now steps-up. But the last start was the best so far, paced home in 57.2 and now Todd Warren takes a spin. Can't completely trust the chalk and this pilot is an improvement over the trainer so that should help.
5-Esther's Delight (9/5)-This looks like a winning spot if minds its manners and gets a decent steer. This is only a 6 horse field but this pilot doesn't drive often. This 3-year-old filly hasn't won in 5 starts, all in Stickney, and doesn't seem to pass foes down the lane. So there is cause for some doubt but has been facing better.
3-Fox Valley Kizzy (3-1)-Tried to get on the engine and not look back in the last start. That strategy worked 2 back but faded down the lane when bumped up to this class. This field doesn't appear as tough, so best to respect tonight.
4-Buffalo Heart (9/2)-Took the long way around from post 10 and couldn't catch the top 3 despite a 26.3 final quarter. Has missed a start but Stewart should have in striking range at the top of the stretch and the fractions could be more lively this time.
10-Illini Loretta (25-1)-This gal is worth a play at long odds and Bender taking the lines shouldn't hurt. There could be 2 or 3 looking to get on the point and if the fractions are lively Loretta should be rolling late.
7-Rock This Town (7/2)-Won twice this year versus top 3-year-olds. Then raced against stakes company at HoP and that was tall cotton. Back to a spot to shine and is 2-2 at Haw.
8-Fox Valley Sampson (6-1)-Went off at 6-1 at HoP in last and was knocked out with an interference break. But fits well with this crew and won 2 in a row here before the Hoosier start. Should be a threat, has won 3 of 4 at Haw and will hope for a solid price. But does start outside for the 1st time and has had breaking issues in the past.
Race 11) 1,2,6,8
Race 12) 1,4,5
Race 13) 3,4,10
Race 14) 7,8
Total Ticket Cost) $36 for $0.50
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