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Saturday, September 22: Hawthorne Night of Champions

by Al Cimaglia

September 22, 2018

The Night of Champions will be held at Hawthorne Race Course this evening and the first post is 6:55 CST. This is the biggest event in Chicago harness racing. The night will feature 11-championships mostly showcasing two and three-year-old pacers and trotters. The 13-race card will also include an Invitational Trot and Pace in Race 9 and Race 10 respectively. 

Comments and selections below are based on a fast track.  

Race 1-Incredible Finale-Purse $136,142

1-Maximus (7/2) - Good post draw and in fine form, looks to be poised for a minor upset. 

7-The Bucket (8/5) - Has been very good all meet and should be respected. 

3-Meyer On Fire (5/2) - Hasn't been touched on the lead in last 2 but it likely won't be so easy tonight.

Race 3-The Incredible Tillie-Purse $132,874

7-Valar Morghulis (9-1) - Was bet down hard last week and got the top and cruised, peaking at the right time.

3-Fox Valley Torrid (5/2) - Has been very consistent and should be in good striking range at the top of the lane.

10-Perch (7/2) - Loves to compete but post draw hurts, will likely be rolling late.

Race 4-The Kadabra-Purse $119,470

2-Big Garcia Vega (9/2) - Has best manners of the main competitors and starts inside, could pop at a square price. 

7-Louscardamon (4-1) - A major player if minds manners and that has been an iffy situation. 

10-Trixie's Turbo (3-1) - Likes to win and minds manners but this post draw makes it very difficult. 

Race 8-Beulah Dygert-Purse $99,032

2-Trotting Grace (3/2) - Looks to be a clean trip away from making it 5 straight wins.

4-White Pants Fever (7-1) - Has been chasing #2 all summer and that appears likely again.

1-Maui Mama (5/2) - Has had trouble finishing miles but can hit the ticket with Leonard from the wood.  

Race 11-Carey Memorial-Purse $160,080

3-Fox Valley Gemini (7/5) - Best 3-year-old on the grounds should make it 9 of 11 on the year.

1-Backstreet Lawyer (7/2) - Nice colt gets a favorable post draw and rates a slight edge over the rest. 

7-You'remyhearthrob (7/2) - High speed and having a fine season, with the right trip could challenge for a picture.

Race 12-The Plum Peachy-$125,140

1-Skeeter Machine (25-1) - Here's the longshot special, could be peaking and may take advantage of the rail. 

5-All Beast No Beauty (5/2) - Comes off an even effort but will be tough if returns to top form. 

10-Party Belle (10-1) - Would have rated higher with a better post, could get top honors if the pace is hot.

Race 13-Edwin Dygert - $83,696

3-Illinimight (7/5) - Rates an edge on consistency but at time gets complacent on the lead.

5-Majistic Caprice (7/2) - Knows how to win and drew well, should be a major player. 

10-Big Lou (9/2) - If Wilfong gets close enough and pace is hot can roll by down the lane. 

Check me out on Twitter, @AlCimaglia