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Fields Shaping Up for Big Weekend

With six stakes to take place for the Phil Georgeff Illinois Festival of Racing this weekend, the fields for the two main events are rounding into form.

Fillies and mares will be taking to the track for the $60,000 added Illini Princess Handicap to be contested at 1 1/16 miles over the main track. The highweight in the list of probables is Nancy and Harvey Vanier's Wade for Me.

Starting out the 2000 season in top form, Wade for Me was a winner in three of her first six races, capped off by a nose victory in the Grade 3 Modesty Handicap at Arlington. Since that victory her form has tapered of a bit as she ran seventh in the Grade 1 Beverly D and had a pair of sixth-place finishes in the Reluctant Guest and the Due Bill. With improvement in this, her second race following a layoff, she could run much better than those recent efforts. Wade for Me is listed to carry 123 lbs.

One that has been gradually improving is Lu Keel. Trained by Jim Gulick, this four-year-old filly comes off of a hard fought victory on the front-end in the Unique Type at Arlington. Lu Keel is slated for 116 lbs.

Faccia Bella has been winless in 2000, but has been in the money in five of ten starts. Trained by Danny Miller, she looks to improve off a fifth-place finish in the Due Bill here on October 28. She's in at 115 lbs.

Looking to jump from allowance conditions into the stakes ranks in Doc's Better Chop. Trained by Eugene Brajczewski, she comes into the Illini Princess with a nice victory in an optional claiming allowance here on October 8. She'll carry 114 lbs.

Lady Louwane may be the one to surprise in this field. After a nice 1999 season, she's only been to the track once in 2000, that being a close-up fourth-place finish in an optional claiming allowance on October 25. She is also listed to carry 114 lbs.

Rounding out the list of possibles for the Illini Princess are Prairie Spring, 114; and Royal Bandita, 114.

The other $60,000 added stakes of the day is the Illinois Coronet Handicap. Also the be contested at 1 1/16 miles on the main track, this field has some strong competitors set to head post-ward.

The listed highweight, carrying 122 lbs., is Richard Trebat's Chicago Six. Trained by Jere Smith Sr., Chicago Six has had a very nice 2000 campaign, winning five of ten starts. Most recently, he won the $50,000 Western Playboy at Arlington on September 27. He followed that effort up with a nice second-place effort over the turf in the Know Your Aces, here on October 21. A five-year-old by Wild Again, Chicago Six has nine career wins from 25 starts for over $265,000 in earnings.

The veteran of this bunch is seven-year-old Beboppin Baby. Entering this race with over $700,000 in earnings, he has shown he still knows how to get the job done. Posting victories in a pair of $50,000 claiming tests in 2000, he comes off a head defeat in an optional claiming allowance on September 24 at Arlington. Beboppin Baby is set to carry 120 lbs.

The possible speed threat in this field is The Bold Bruiser. Trained by Mike Dini, the four-year-old colt has been on the board in eight of 12 starts in 2000, most recently winning a stakes race at Great Lakes Downs. The Bold Bruiser is in at 118 lbs.

Another one that promises to be up close in this field is Mr. High Tops. Trained by Hugh Robertson, he has shown he can take on state-bred competition with his nice second-place finish in the Western Playboy. He's hit the board in four of nine starts in 2000 and is listed to carry 114 lbs.

Rounding out the list of probables for the Illinois Coronet is Treat me Doc, 115; Spanish Hall, 114; and Zennamatic, 114.

Four More Stakes Round out Big Day

In addition to the Illini Princess and Illinois Coronet, a pair of $40,000 added and $50,000 added stakes are slated to be run on Saturday. The Powerless Stakes, a six-furlong race for Illinois-bred fillies and mares, three and up, closed with 16 nominations. The Lightning Jet Stakes, for Illinois-bred runners, three and up, closed with 12 nominations. Both carry purses of $40,000 added.

A pair of six-furlong sprints for two-year-olds will be contested for $50,000 added. The Showtime Deb, for Illinois-bred two-year-old fillies, closed with 14 nominations and the Sun Power, for Illinois-bred two-year-old colts and geldings, closed with 17 nominations.






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