Hawthorne Racecourse (4/24/10)
Contact: Ron Uchman
Janks, Emigh win two on Illinois Champions Day
Illinois Champions Day featured six races, restricted to runners registered, conceived and/or foaled in Illinois.
The 16th Running of “The Peach Of It Handicap”
Souper Miss, owned by Bob Ackerman, et al, trained by Mickey Goldfine, fought hard for the victory in Saturday’s first Illinois-bred stakes race at Hawthorne Race Course, The Peach of It Handicap, but in the end, she pulled away to a length and a quarter victory to the delight of the many fans that sent her off as the post-time favorite.
"She's a nice filly,” said rider Tim Thornton. “I rode her last year and thought she was something special. We've been working with her a lot getting her ready to go, trying to get her to relax a little bit. Today she was on the lead; nobody really wanted the lead so I let her run her own race.
"We thought maybe she'd get a little tired, nothing's ever like a race. We felt she was pretty fit going in but we weren't too sure. But when that other horse came up to her in the middle of the lane and looked her in the eye, she dug in and went on again like a good horse. She ran really good today."
Trainer Mickey Goldfine was elated, "She was a nice filly at 3 years old, but then she got hurt. Cut herself up bad after a fall in the morning in 2008. She returned in May of last year running short a few times. I realized longer distances better suited her. Tim had full rein of her. I knew she would be aggressive returning from a layoff, but she finally relaxed."
Jitterbug Blues got up for second. Her rider. Michael Baze, was pleased with the effort "I thought she rode great. I tried to keep the lead, but the trainer said she prefers to wait so I let Souper Miss go. Thought I had enough down the stretch, but the 5 was rebreaking."
Jockey Lyndie Wade, who finished third on Home's the Best: "This filly ran a great race considering how slow they were going. She closed a ton of ground. She showed like a nice filly, closing ground into a slow pace."
Lakeaway, Missy Biscuit, Lica’s Bluff, Sassy Buck, and Apple Martini completed the field.
They went the mile and a sixteenth in 1:46.51 after fractions of :25.47, :50.56, 1:15.60, and 1:40.07.
Souper Miss paid $4.20, $3.00, $2.80
Jitterbug Blues returned $5.80, $4.20
Home’s The Best brought back $5.20
Souper Miss earned $51,201 for the victory, boosting her career earnings to $180,913.
William Stiritz’s Racing Bran takes The 20th Running of The Milwaukee Avenue Handicap
The Milwaukee Avenue Handicap, a mile and a sixteenth race on the dirt, is always one of the better races in these Illinois Day series and the 2010 will go down as one of the best yet.
Stonehouse was the morning-line and post time favorite and expected to go right for the lead but second-choice Racing Bran had something to prove.
Chris Emigh rode hard to get the win, “Me and Stonehouse both wanted the lead but I just got a better break. I beat him to the first turn and then we hooked up. This horse never gets tired. When he gets hooked, he just keeps digging in. It was an exciting race. You couldn’t ask for a better race for $100,000.
“I planned on being near the lead. I thought that there were a couple on the outside that could go for the lead and I could sit behind them. But, if they were going to give me the lead in :24 fractions, I’m going to take it.
“He’s gotten so much better with age. He used to be lazy. He liked to sit in back and come flying at the end. Now, he’s got more life to him.”
Trainer Scott Becker of winner Racing Bran added: "The horse just seems to get better with age, he hit a prime at four and just keeps going on."
Racing Bran edged out favored Stonehouse, winning by only a head. He lost the lead briefly but dug in to get back up late.
James Graham, rider of beaten favorite and second-place finisher Stonehouse, “I don’t know if I have ever ridden a horse that tries as hard as he does. He gave me 100 percent and then some.”
Inez Karlsson was aboard third-place runner P D Q Kiddo: "He just keeps getting better. He's a very, very nice horse. He wants to do it. He's got the right attitude and Roger (Brueggemann) does a great job with him."
Racing Bran earned $50,475 for the win. He currently has lifetime earnings of $291,294.
Racing Bran returned $6.60, $3.40, and $2.20
Stonehouse paid $3.20 and $2.10
P D Q Kiddo brought back $2.40
After fractions of :24.44, :48.38, 1:12.87, 1:37.29, they covered the mile and a sixteenth in 1:43.74.
The 34th running of the Governor’s Lady Handicap
Robert Dobbs and Ken Meeker’s Nicks, topped $400,000 in career earnings ($400,333 to be exact) when she displayed unexpected speed and her usual tenacity in winning Saturday’s Governor’s Lady Handicap at Hawthorne. This game 6-year-old mare, trained by Christine Janks, held on to score by three-quarters of a length. While she never opened a clear lead, she was able to stay on the front end while putting away numerous challengers.
“It’s even hard to talk about her,” said winning rider Lyndie Wade. She’s such a tremendous filly. She made the lead a little early but she gave me a kick in the lane like she was closing.
“She had a tough race, with a win, in her last start but I knew she would be much sharper for this one.
“The Janks barn does a fabulous job with their runners. They put things together well.
Brandon Meier, aboard beaten favorite Ripe Tomato, made a bold move late but had to settle for second place: "Ripe Tomato ran a huge race, she just couldn't get by at the end."
Nicks paid $9.40, $3.80, $3.00
Post-time favorite Ripe Tomato returned $3.20 and $2.80
Secret Kin got up for third and paid $3.80
They went the six furlongs in brisk 1:10.44 following fractions of :22.47, :46.45, :58.28.
River Bear Pulls Major Upset in The Robert S. Molaro Handicap
Dane Weier Thoroughbreds, LLC’s River Bear, trained by Rusty Hellman, hadn’t won since he took the state-bred White Oak Handicap at Arlington at 25-1 last summer but he made up for lost time with another exciting victory in Saturday’s Robert S. Molaro Handicap. He seems to be at his best when his odds are high.
Rider Danush Sukie was understandable happy, “We had a good break. He broke sharply and he was tugging on me the whole way. I just tried to save him as much as I could and it turned out good.
“He worked so well last time. He was feeling good in the paddock. He needed that last one.”
“I tried to not let any get past me. River Bear did it all by himself. He was tugging on me; I just had to wait for the last minute to let him go. He’s always more competitive when runners come to him.
High Expectations did come to him. The winning margin was only a head.
Chris Emigh, aboard High Expectations, finished second. "It was a better trip than I thought, Christine Janks told me to save ground, and we got the perfect trip. The 3 (Shrewd Operator) got left in the gate and rushed up."
Trainer Chris Block queried about the poor showing of heavy favorite Shrewd Operator: "Bad start, it's pretty simple."
Shrewd Operator got off to a poor start but rushed up to take a clear early lead. However, the effort of getting there obviously cost him and he ran out of gas by the time they turned for home.
River Bear seems to be at his best in these Illinois stakes races. The $65,847 he earned for the victory in the Molaro brought him up to $344,435 for career earnings.
After honest fractions of :22.72, :46.31, and :57.99, River Bear got the six-furlong distance in 1: 10.34.
River Bear pair a whopping $88.60, $25.40, and $21.60
High Expectations returned $14.60 and $14.60
Big Rushlet paid $5.80 to show
Favored Wild Hope takes The Pretty Jenny Stakes
Gary and Beth Leverton’s Wild Hope, conditioned by leading trainer Frank Kirby and ridden by leading rider Tanner Riggs, blew by the field on her way to a six and a quarter length victory in Saturday’s Pretty Jenny Stakes.
Tanner Riggs, “She has progressed little by little in every race. During the past two weeks we have been working her in company. She showed improvement with every work. The last one set the tone for this one.
“Today we had a perfect trip. We were three wide but no dirt was hitting her in the face and she was running comfortably. Her problem has been the gate. She used to get nervous. She hopped out of the gate last time and lost a lot of ground and took a lot of dirt in her face. She’ll run through it but she’s better when she doesn’t have to deal with it.”
Junior Alvarado finished second on Skippa Sweep: "She's a really great filly, she broke her maiden last year and was off for six months. She got a little tired at the end; she's still a little green. She's going to be a really nice filly for Arlington, she's going to be tough."
Julio Felix, the rider of third-place finisher Shake N Quake, thought his filly might have needed the race. "The outside horse (Kel's Dreamer) came down pretty fast and when I grabbed my filly it made her more aggressive. We went too fast the second quarter, a little faster than I wanted, and she got tired. She'd been off awhile. I was hoping to have a good trip. It wasn't that bad, but it could have been better. She's a nice filly, I think she'll win next time."
They went the six furlongs in 1:11.05 following fractions of :22.69, :46.69, and :58.83.
Wild Hope more than doubled her previous bankroll with the $66,770 she earned in this race. Her current earning sit at $106,480.
Wild Hope paid $5.60, $3.60, and $2.80
Skippa Sweep paid $20.40 and $6.80
Shake N Quake returned $3.60
Big Looie Gives Janks, Emigh Their Second Stakes win of the day in Land of Lincoln Stakes
S. D. Brille, LP’s Big Looie, gave the team of trainer Christine Janks and rider Chris Emigh their second stakes victory of the day. They started from the seven hole and raced wide throughout. Rider Chris Emigh thought that could have been a factor in the victory.
Chris Emigh, “He has a lot of speed and being on the outside really helped me today. It let my horse run free. Let the inside horses worry about getting out. I think the outside draw helped me a lot.
“He drifted a little in the final sixteenth. He was getting a little tired. But, he keeps running. He held it together.
“He’s eager to go out there and perform. I just let him run freely.”
Diego Sanchez, 2nd on Seguro: "He ran great, came from behind. Second is good. He's been working easy in he mornings, watch out next start."
Eddie Perez, 3rd on A J's Mountain: "He ran good."
James Graham, 5th on beaten favorite Royal Express: "He didn't run his race today. He broke good and sharp, but never got into a good rhythm."
Danush Sukie, Cap'N Nick: "He's inexperienced. He hopped coming out and was intimidated. He did not like the one hole."
In the final stakes race of the day, they went :22.17, :45.68, :58.09 and 1:11.20.
Big Looie earned $51,624 for the win. His earnings stand at $96,804.
Big Looie paid $11.80, $5.60, and $4.20
Seguro returned $17.40 and $9.60
A J’s Mountain brought back $14.40 to show
Hawthorne Race Course is in its 101st year of racing under Carey family ownership. Hawthorne races Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday – Sunday with a first post of 1:35 pm daily through April 25. For more information on racing at Hawthorne, visit our website at www.Hawthorneracecourse.com.