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Horse slaughter in Illinois
Illinois County Fairs
Contact: Timothy M. Jones
Illinois Stallion Stakes - White County Fair
91-years-young Leo Burns kept the winning streak of his talented filly trotter alive with an impressive gate-to-wire win.
Burns hit the gas from post six with Winsome Wyoming as the wings on the starting gate folded and never looked back. The chestnut daughter of Wilson Wyoming raced unchallenged through fractions of 30.1, 1:01.1, 1:32.4, and ended the trip in 2:05 to erase the White County fairgrounds track record for freshman filly trotters, formerly 2:06.1.
With the win, Burns became the oldest driver to capture an Illinois Stallion Stakes event.
Burns plans to continue racing the undefeated youngster on the southern Illinois county fair circuit. When asked if he was headed to the Illinois State Fair Colt Stakes eliminations August 11, he replied, “No.” He will however be racing his talented miss at the Du Quoin State Fair, but has yet to decide if she will be in the county fair challenges, or conditioned contests.
The first division for colt trotters, raced in the memory of Wrex Vandecar, saw Oxford Brilliance, with driver/trainer Craig Banks aboard, turn in another brilliant performance. Banks shot the Brilliant Victory gelding to the top when starter Mike Titus said “go,” and like Winsome Wyoming’s previous trip, was never seriously challenged.
Oxford Brilliance has now won eight of eight starts. Those triumphs have varied from the county fair circuit, to Illinois-bred stakes at Balmoral Park in Chicago.
The 2:07.3 timed mile put the geldings 2006 earnings over the $15,000.00 mark for owners J.C. Hinshaw and K.L. Hinshaw.
Oxford Brilliance, according to Banks, will make one more start on the county fair circuit, just for tightening purposes, before heading to the Illinois Colt Stakes at Springfield during the Illinois State Fair.
Sweet Willie showed enough character to regain his trot and finished second, Bart Revrac, reined by Adrian Price Jr. scooted home third.
Red On The Head is a chestnut Valley Victory colt owned by father and son team Tom Graham Sr. and Tom Graham Jr. of Salem, Il. He has won two of eight starts, but has finished worse than third only twice. He has also earned over $6,000.00. Red On The Head is also being prepped for a trip to the Illinois State Fair.
Simmons describes the full sister to Illinois and Open champion Big Tom as, “a little bit small, but fiery. She’s been a little late developing, so we’ve had to manage her starts. Get them going too early and there’s nothing left for Super Night.”
Past The Evidence is owned by Hunt Harness Horses. She has now won three of five starts, with place and show finishes to round out her resume.
Simmons barreled El Hombre from post 4 when the starting gate wings folded, but the colt couldn’t maintain his gait into the first turn and broke stride. That left Hicktown and Mahdi to battle for bragging rights to who would be first going down the backstretch. Simmons had other notions in mind as he quickly settled his mount and swept past Hicktown and Mahdi to drop in front on the rail just before the quarter. Those three then played leap frog on the front end to the half, with none content to sit in the pocket.
El Hombre’s rough journey began to take a toll heading to three quarters. Mahdi had enough left in the tank to put away Hicktown midway through the final turn, then brushed for the wire to stop the timer in 2:01.1. Hicktown held down the fort for second, and El Hombre gamely finished third.
Owned and bred by Tanah Merah Farms, the Ft. Apache Hanover gelding has won two consecutive starts. Ervin Miller, the 2005 U.S. Harness Writers Association Trainer of the Year, conditions the youngster.
Racing continues at the White County Fair in Carmi, Il. on Monday and Tuesday evening. Post time for both cards is 7 p.m. (CDT).
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