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Illinois County Fairs

(7/26/06)

Contact: Tammy Knox
(765) 643-1733
tammyk@hoosierpark.com

NINETY-ONE-YEAR-OLD HARNESS DRIVER SETS TRACK RECORD AT HOMETOWN COUNTY FAIR

Albion, Ill. (July 26, 2006) – Leo Burns has added another record to his already impressive summer. The 91-year-old harness driver and trainer from Albion, Ill. guided his two-year-old trotting filly, Winsome Wyoming, to a new track record victory Tuesday, July 25 at the Edwards County Fair. Burns completed a gate to wire performance, winning by 21 lengths in a time of 2:05.4.

Starting from post position six, Burns scooted Winsome Wyoming directly to the front of the six-horse field and was never challenged. The duo kept increasing their lead at every quarter-mile marker en route to their fifth win in five outings. The flashy chestnut daughter of Wilson Wyoming now has in excess of $6,800 in career earnings for Burns, who also owns her. The previous track record for two-year-old trotting fillies was established in 1997 by Illinois Hall of Fame driver Connel Willis. Willis guided Aunt Fernie to a win in a time of 2:06.1.

“As Burns and Winsome Wyoming were coming down the stretch, the capacity crowd stood up and gave him a standing ovation as he crossed the wire,” said Curt Becker, announcer at the Edwards County Fair. “When Burns returned in front of the grandstand to get his picture taken, the crowd gave him a second standing ovation. He was immediately swarmed by media with pads and pens and cameras. It was a very cool event to witness.”

Burns purchased Winsome Wyoming for $2,600 from the Illini Classic Yearling Sale last fall. Burns brought the filly home a month later and has done all of the training and preparation with the freshman filly for the Egyptian Colt Stakes circuit. Leroy Moore, a native of nearby Ellery, is stabled in the same barn with Burns at the Edwards County Fair. The 70-year-old horseman accompanies Burns to the races to add some assistance.

Burns is headed to the White County Fair in Carmi, Ill. for his next start. Winsome Wyoming will most likely start in the Egyptian Colt Stakes for two-year-old fillies Wednesday, Aug. 2. Post time for the event is 7 p.m.

The Egyptian Colt Stakes is held at seven different county fair locations in Southern Illinois. The series travels to Pinckneyville, Fairfield, Albion, Salem, Carmi, Marion, and Anna. The series moves to Carmi, Ill. for the 128th annual White County Fair beginning Sunday, July 30.

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