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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (6/23/07)

Contact: Mitch Demick (708) 222-4542

Dunkster Series kicks off Hawthorne harness meet

Hawthorne Race Course’s opening night featured the first leg of the Dunkster Series for trotters. It was split in two divisions with a $10,000 purse for each.

The first division also happened to be the first race of Hawthorne’s six-week meet, and showcased the talented three-year-old gelding, Before He Cheats. Sent off as the 1-5 prohibitive favorite, and driven by Jason Dillander, the son of Valley Victor brushed to the lead down the backstretch and professionally held off the late charge of Rockome Vicky to post a one-length victory, stopping the clock in 1:59 flat.

“He did it pretty handily tonight. I wanted to race him as easy as I could and the fractions allowed me to do that,” said Dillander. Through the stretch Dillander went to the whip a few times, but just to keep his mind on business. “He gets to looking around when he’s out by himself, so I just wanted to keep him focused.” Before He Cheats was the lone three year old in the race and improved his seasonal record to nine wins from 13 starts.

Rockome Vicky got a good trip from driver Sam Widger and trotted powerfully late to be a clear second. Crown Vic completed the trifecta.

The winner paid $2.60 $2.20 and $2.10.

The second division was won by the only mare in the race, five year old Kristy Kreme. Benefiting from a ground-saving trip for Michael Oosting, the Bob McCabe daughter of Goop Hanover angled out in mid-stretch to catch a game but tiring Barkley And Jake in the final 100 yards. Officially the margin of victory was a ¼ of a length, the time for the mile in 1:57.0, a full two seconds quicker than the first division. “It opened up pretty good in the stretch,” said Oosting. “I didn’t have too much driving to do. She was fresh all the way around and I didn’t have to get after her much.”

Runner-up Barkley and Jake, with Hall of Famer Dave Magee in the sulky, left sharply from post seven but never found a hole and was forced into a 29.1 opening quarter. “I was hoping something would open up,” said Magee. “Nothing was available so I had to move to the front. I used her pretty hard to the half but she was game to the end.”

Third place went to a fast closing Just A Con Man, who fell only a half length shy of the winner and just a head out of second.

The winner paid $5.40 $3.80 and $2.60.

The Dunkster Series resumes next Friday June 29, with the second leg. The top ten money earners from both legs will meet in the $25,000 final slated for July 5.

Hawthorne Race Course presents live harness beginning on June 22 and concluding on August 4. During this time only Mondays will be a dark day for our live program. As always, Hawthorne will be open for simulcasting 7 days a week. We are located at 3501 S. Laramie Avenue, Cicero, IL, 60804. Call (708) 780-3700 or visit the Web site at




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