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Hawthorne Racecourse (6/1/06)

Contact: DAK Productions
(708) 222-4540

It’s the Night of Champions!

The entries for Hawthorne’s second annual Night Of Champions have been released, and the 13-race program promises to provide memories that will last a lifetime.

Early post time for the night’s festivities is 7 p.m. and Racing Secretary Billy Perkins gets the card rolling in grand style with the $49,000 Silhouette Star Final for Illinois-bred 3-year-old trotting fillies.

With wins in each of the first two legs of the series, Go Go Gabby enters the finale as the horse to beat. The Roger Welch trainee is expected to get the most hassle from stablemate Tomato, who saw her unbeaten streak snapped at four after making an untimely break in last week’s leg two. Waiting in the wings if the top pair fails to fire is Fox Valley Shimmy who also captured a division of leg two in a lifetime best 1:59.2.

The $47,500 Plum Peachy Stake Final for ICF 3-year-old pacing fillies completes the Daily Double. In one of the night’s most competitive races, Street Dancer appears most likely to carry the public’s money off of a pair of tallies in both leg one and leg two of the series. However, both Bow Wow Wine and Free own victories in the series and were second in their other appearances and are primed for a supreme effort. Also putting pressure on the top trio will be Sherri On Ice.

Completing the opening Pick Three on the evening is the $47,500 Brandenburg Stake Final for sophomore ICF colt trotters. Trivoli has been a dominant winner in both legs of the stake series and most certainly will go to the gate as the public’s choice. He will have his work cut out for him as Litigator will be out to make amends following a costly miscue in leg two that spoiled his unbeaten streak in 2006. Both Trivoli and Litigator have tasted defeat only once this season.

Hot N Sporty is the horse to beat in the $45,000 Hothead Stake Final for state-bred 3 year-old pacing colts. The Jim Crebs trainee has been impressive in nabbing both legs of the series, and he brings a perfect six for six record at Hawthorne into tonight’s event (13 for 16 lifetime).

Fox Valley Tribal could make things interesting. After winning the Cubs Pacing Series Final three weeks ago, the Sportsmaster gelding took two weeks off and finished a nice fourth in last week’s leg two after being roughed up a bit from the nine hole.

My Boy David, who bankrolled $255,999 as a freshman, is the sleeper. Just when it looked like he was about to make a threatening move in leg two, he was getting whacked in the face with a whip and made an interference break.

One of the more wide-open events on the card will be the $48,500 Eddy Oakley Stake Final. Battleshoe Victor, a $5,500 supplemental entry into the series, looked sharp last week, grabbing the brass ring in leg two with a lifetime best victory in 1:55.

Victor’s Pursuit was an impressive winner in leg one, but made a rare break before the start in leg two. The Vicster has whacked out the mile in both leg one and two of the series, only to get caught just at the wire while holding second money. Certainly not out of the picture is the Homer Hochstetler entry of Lifes A Holiday, a former Dygert winner.

Live Out Loud will look to continue his opportunistic ways as a winner in both legs of the Jimmys Pilot Stake by the narrowest of margins. The $53,500 finale for older Illinois Bred male pacers will see the Dave McCaffrey trainee attempt to hold off another classy field of veteran ICF warriors.

Fox Valley Gallant has been the victim in both of Live Out Loud’s victories and this time the Jill Arnold pupil hopes to pose for the winner’s circle picture. Constant Change was another horse that was supplemented to a Night of Champion’s event, and he did not get a clean trip in either leg of the series.

The dark horse in here is King Johnnie. The lightly raced Kingston gelding was running up the back of Live Out Loud in leg one and he has a history of rising to the occasion.

The final stake on the program will be the $48,000 Loyal Opposition Stake Final which features none other than the Illinois queen Loyal Opposition. The winner of over $2.6 million during her illustrious career was a convincing winner in last week’s leg two and it will a monumental effort by one of her distaff combatants to deprive her of winning her own trophy.

Parklane Powerful, an earner of almost $800,000 in her illustrious career, and Lou Annie, who is approaching $500,000 in lifetime earnings, seek to spoil the party.

Perhaps the finest race on the program and maybe the best of the year on the Chicago Circuit is the $21,500 Free For All Pace. With several horses prepping for next week’s Robert F Carey eliminations, the ten-horse field is loaded with some of the best pacers in the Midwest.

Yukon Cornelius, a two-time FFA winner at Hawthorne, leads the field and Wherethemoneywent N invades from The Meadowlands after tackling their best older pacers. Armbro Billow vans up from Michigan with three consecutive victories in the Invitational Pace at Hazel Park under belt. Town Champion, Hawthorne’s track record holder, will make just his second start of the year, and Abouttolosecontrol and American Fury step up in class off big wins.

For the second consecutive year, Hawthorne’s “Night Of Champions” promises to be one of harness racing’s premier nights, not only in Illinois, but throughout the entire Midwest.

Hawthorne’s spring 2006 Standardbred meet runs May 6 through June 17 with live racing six days per week: Tuesday through Sunday. Post time is 7:20 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, and opening day, Saturday May 6 (special early post).

Hawthorne’s fall 2006 Thoroughbred meet runs September 15 through December 31 with live racing five days per week: Wednesday through Sunday. Post time is 1:10 p.m.

Hawthorne’s spring 2006 Thoroughbred meet ran February 24 through May 2.

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