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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (7/6/07)

Contact: Mitch Demick (708) 222-4542

Just A Con Man Rallies in Dunkster Trotting Final

Stickney, IL – Before He Cheats and Just a Con Man were supposed to trot as an entry for owner Sam Bowie, but just moments before post time, Before He Cheats was scratched, leaving Just A Con Man to pull off the caper alone; he did not fail.

Deftly driven by veteran Dan Shetler, Just A Con Man closed resolutely through the lane to draw off to a convincing four-length decision over Kan Wire in the $37,900 Dunkster Trotting Series Final. It was another length back to favored Kristy Kreme who finished a clear third.

The win was the third of the year for Just A Con Man, and pushed the four-year-old gelding’s yearly earnings to $35,445. The time for the mile was 1:56.1.

For Dan Shetler – who also trains Just A Con Man – the game plan may not have changed due to the scratch of Before He Cheats, but when they left the starter, Shetler’s original strategy went by the board. “I wanted to leave with him, but several other horses left on the inside and on the outside, and I was fortunate to find a spot on the first turn,” said Shetler.

One of those leaving was the winner of the first two legs of the series, Kristy Kreme. Unlike last week, when Kristy Kreme was able to get to the quarter in a relatively pokey 29.3, “Kreme” got parked to the quarter in a much swifter 28.3. Once on top, the five-year-old mare was almost immediately confronted by Bertorico and driver Homer Hochstetler as they approached the half mile mark.

Michael Oosting, driving Kristy Kreme, yielded to the hard trotting Bertorico, as they passed the half in 57.2. In the meantime, Kan Wire, driven by Brent Holland, moved boldly towards the leaders as they approached the far turn, and took the lead when they turned into the stretch.

The lead was very short lived.

“I was able to catch some cover around the last turn and we were loaded with trot turning for home,” said Shetler. “My horse likes the front end, but she showed she can close pretty well too. We had a lot of fun tonight.”

As the second choice in the wagering, Just A Con Man returned $6.00 to win.

Additional Quotes from Dunkster Final:

Jason Dillander (driver, Before He Cheats): “We scored him down and he just wasn’t 100 percent. He just didn’t feel right. Me and Dirk (trainer Dirk Simpson) talked it over and felt it was best to scratch him.”

Brent Holland (driver, Kan Wire): “My horse raced huge. I had a decision to make down the backstretch, whether to keep Shetler inside or to follow Homer. I chose to follow Homer. Looking back maybe I should have kept Shetler pinned, but my horse ran real well.”

Michael Oosting (driver, Kristy Kreme): “We had a rough first turn. When you’re on the outside here the whole turn, it’s pretty tough on them. I was three and four wide to get to the top. She trotted a good mile. She’s really overachieved.”

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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