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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (6/28/08)

Contact: Mitch Demick (708) 222-4542

Driven to Succeed in “Chicago” Shocker

Stickney, IL – The Chicago and Lady Chicago stakes, while perhaps a tad short on quantity, surely did not lack for quality or excitement as the 3-year-old pacers demonstrated in the co-featured races on Saturday night at Hawthorne Race Course.

Driven to Succeed
Driven to Succeed holds off Hey Mister DJ in the Chicago Stakes.
Dismissed at odds of 70-1, Lawrence Gary’s Driven to Succeed, piloted by the young and talented Dan Noble, shocked seven unsuspecting colts and geldings, in route to a half-length tally in the $71,000 Chicago stakes. John Carver’s Hey Mister DJ closed from way back for second. 3-5 favorite Mucho Sleazy, uncovered through much of the mile, held gamely for third. The final time was a sharp 1:51.0.

For Noble it was his biggest victory as a driver and despite the long odds of his steed, the reinsman came into the race believing his colt had a real chance.

“I really thought he had a good shot at this stake,” Noble said. “The trainer (Todd La Fountaine) told me to leave with him. We ended up in a good spot and we’re fortunate it all worked out well.”

Sure did. Noble left the gate, and settled into third, as Dax Hanover (Magee) stormed to the front in a :27 flat opening quarter. As they approached the half-mile mark, Mucho Sleazy (Oosting) was on the move as the pace continued to be quick, the half reached in 55.3. At the three-quarter pole, Dax Hanover and Mucho Sleazy were on even terms, but the two had paced 1:22.4 in the process.

Waiting patiently for racing room, Driven to Succeed was able to tip out behind ‘Sleazy’ early in the stretch and then paced by late to spring the huge upset.

Driven to Succeed returned $144.00 to win and pushed his lifetime earnings to $58,192.

A few hours before The Chicago the girls were featured in the Lady Chicago, which was split into two divisions. The first division was well represented by leading trainer Erv Miller as he sent out 3-5 favorite Westside Gritty and the second choice Kelly’s Keepsake.

Kelly's Keepsake
Kelly's Keepsake all alone in the first division of the Lady Chicago.
Benefiting from a picture-perfect drive by Miller’s 19-year-old son Marcus, Kelly’s Keepsake rode the tail of Biding My Time into the lane, angled out and romped home. She was well within herself as she crossed the wire in a geared down 1:54 flat.

“She wasn’t all-out at the wire,” Marcus said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better trip. I was waiting and hoping the whole backside that Mike (Oosting, driver of Biding My Time) would pull. With the short field I thought he would have to come out and it worked out well.”

Westside Gritty (Holland) never really got a chance to strut her stuff in the $30,750 event. Content to sit behind front-running Wondrous Grace (Chupp) through an opening quarter of 27.3, she eventually got caught behind the tiring speed, tried to find some racing room before locking wheels with third-place finisher Blue Rae, and ultimately finished off-the-board.

Biding My Time held second, beaten six lengths by the dominating winner.

Kelly’s Keepsake returned $5.00 to win and extended her career earnings to $297,947

Lady Nectarine
Lady Nectarine winning the second division of the Lady Chicago.
The $31,250 second division offered some redemption for driver Brent Holland and also resulted in a sweep of the Lady Chicago for the Erv Miller stable, as Ideal Nectarine swept by a game Desirable Candy in deep stretch to win the faster of the two divisions. Ideal Nectarine crossed the wire in 1:53.1 in the blustery conditions and this time Holland worked out the trip although it wasn’t easy.

“I was in good position early, but at the end I had to fish-out and find some room,” said Holland. “Once I got out, she just paced strong to the wire.”

Ideal Nectarine was indeed in good position early, in fact was on the engine, getting the first quarter in a tepid 29.2. It was at that moment Cruzin Inya Jammys (Hiteman) brushed to the front, and they picked up the pace as the half was run in :57. Beachy Girl (Oosting) made the next move, powerfully attacking the leader as they reached the three-quarter mark in 1:25.2. Following behind the live cover was the lukewarm favorite Desirable Cindy, driven by young Travis Seekman. Tipping off cover, Desirable Cindy reached the top in mid-stretch before eventually yielding to the winner.

The final margin of victory for Ideal Nectarine was one-length. Desirable Cindy and Beachy Girl, both racing for trainer Joe Seekman finished second and third respectively.

Ideal Nectarine paid $5.40 as the second choice in the wagering. Her career earnings are now $85,317.

Invitational Handicap

Millionaire pacer My Boy David returned to his winning ways by just holding off 1-2 favorite Load The Dice by a nose in the $22,500 Invitational. Not a stranger to sub 1:50 miles, My Boy David crossed the wire in 1:49.4 and paid $14.00 to win.

Hawthorne Race Course’s Summer harness meet paces from Tuesday June 24 and continues through August 7. Live racing will be conducted Tuesday through Sunday, first post 7:20 pm, except Sunday, first post 6:30 pm. Thoroughbreds return on September 26, and race until the end of the year. The track is open year-round for simulcast wagering, day and night. Hawthorne Race Course is located at 3501 Laramie Avenue, Cicero, IL 60804. Call (708) 780-3700 or visit the Web site at www.hawthorneracecourse.com.

 

 

 

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