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Harness Highlights: Wilfong Stars on Night of Champions

by Frank Carulli

October 3, 2017

Kyle Wilfong drove three Illinois-bred winners on Hawthorne's $1.4 million Night of Champions card recently.

Wilfong guided Good Design ($14) to victory in the Fox Valley Flan Stakes in 1:58, the fastest mile ever at the track by a 2-year-old filly trotter. Then he piloted Annas Lucky Star, last year's freshman champion, to an odds-on victory in the Beulah Dygert Memorial Trot. Wilfong capped the night when Bucklegirl Bobette ($7.40) held on to win by a nose in the Tony Maurello Championship in 1:53.3.

Kyle Husted had a driving double as 11 stakes were contested. Gibbs ($8.80) parlayed a perfect trip into a win in the Robert Molaro Championship and San Antonio Rose ($6.40) held off a furious late rush by Fox Valley Jolene to win the Plum Peachy Stakes.

Fox Valley Gemini (Casey Leonard, $2.20) remained unbeaten in nine starts with a win in the Incredible Finale, much to the delight of owner Jim Ballinger, who brought a busload of fans from his hometown.

Captain Rhett (Marcus Miller, $24.20) sprung the night's biggest upset in the Robert Carey Memorial, upstaging a string of recent runner-up finishes. "He had so many seconds because he's just learning," said trainer James Horvath Jr. "He figured it out at the right time."

Picky Picky Valor (Mike Oosting, $10.20) overcame post 10 to win the Erwin Dygert Memorial Trot by 3-1/4 lengths. 

Favored Tricky Nick (Jim Pantaleano) was hard-used to make the lead in the Pleasac but he stayed there to win by 3-1/2 lengths in 1:55.3.

Fox Valley Jazzy (Ridge Warren, $6.40) made it four consecutive wins in the Incredible Tillie.

Illinimight (Tony Morgan, $6.60) seized the moment when pace-setter True Detective went off stride in the Kadabra Stakes.