• June 17, 2020 – Illini Classic Alumni Highlights

    (Mt. Sterling, IL)–Graduates of the Illini Classic Yearling Sale have continued an active late-spring campaign, combining to win 10 stakes races in the span of four days (June 13-16), including a sweep of both divisions of the opening leg of the Erwin Dygert Series for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings at Hawthorne Racecourse in Stickney.

    Desert Sheik and Fox Valley Kobe, both gelded sons of Pizzazzed and both bred and sold by Fox Valley Standardbreds, finished 1-2 in the opening division of the Dygert Sunday evening in 1:59, while Fox Valley Quest (Pizzazzed) won the second division over fellow sales graduate On Higher Ground (Cassis) in 1:57.4. Fox Valley Quest was also bred and sold by the Fox Valley crew, while On Higher Ground came from the consignment of K.E.M. Standardbreds. The four trotters have earned a combined $221,000 in their careers, after being purchased for a combined total of $53,000.

    Desert Sheik races for owners Mark Brown, Dean Biggs, and trainer Mike Brink, while Fox Valley Kobe is owned by trainer Jim Eaton, Michael Brown, and the Estate of F. Phillip Langley. Carl Lacy and Benita Simmons share ownership in Fox Valley Quest, who is trained by Tom Simmons, with All-Wright Racing and trainer Mike Brink the co-owners of On Higher Ground.

    On Saturday at Hawthorne, sales grads Fox Valley Ren and Fox Valley Exploit had gotten things started for breeder-consignor Fox Valley Standardbreds, winning legs of the Robert Carey Jr. Memorial and the Plum Peachy, respectively, in 1:53.3 and 1:55. Both are offspring of Sportsmaster, and the two have accumulated $186,000 in earnings, following a combined purchase price of $65,000. The former races for Megan Rogers Racing Stables Inc. and trainer Nelson Willis, while the latter campaigns for owners David Brigham and Kyle Husted, with Husted also the trainer-driver.

    Sign Her Up (Sagebrush), a $3000 sales alumnus bred and sold by Fair Meadow Farm, was runner-up to Fox Valley Exploit and now boasts career earnings of $70,000 for owners R.B. Roper and Fabian Johnson and trainer Charles Arthur.

    In other Saturday action, Amazon Princess nabbed a leg of the David Magee Series in 1:57.4 for owners Michael Anthony Stable, David and Joseph McCaffrey, and Clark Fairley. Trained by Fairley, the daughter of Party At Artsplace won for the first time in eight career starts, justifying her $10,000 purchase price from the consignment of Jeffers Farm and breeders Mary Lea Jeffers and Adele Jeffers Everett.

    Fox Valley Extacy and Fox Valley Lush capped a busy weekend for Fox Valley-breds at Hawthorne Sunday evening, finishing 1-2 in a leg of the Beulah Dygert Series for three-year-old trotting fillies, in 1:59.2. The two daughters of Pizzazzed, both graduates of the 2018 Illini Classic, have combined for more than $50,000 in earnings. Fox Valley Extacy races for owners Kevin Miller, Ryan and Bert Hochsprung, and David Falzone, while Fox Valley Lush is owned by Robert Silberberg, John R. Schwarz Jr., trainer Jim Eaton, and the F. Phillip Langley Estate.

    Illini Classic graduates added another four victories during Tuesday’s program of county fair stakes racing at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, led by Super Park with the fastest mile of the day, in 1:54.2. Trained by Nick Prather for owners Cole and Connor Prather and George Pollock, the gelded son of Duneside Perch was bred and sold by Fair Meadow Farm.

    BC’s Tufftiger, bred and sold by Larry (Brad) Price, upped his record to 3-for-3, taking a division of the two-year-old colt and gelding pace in 1:57.1 by 15 lengths. The gelded son of Walker Place is trained by Roshun Trigg for owner Jeremy Cavitt.

    Western Perch, owned by Douglas Bowen, Alan Bowen, and Troy Markert, copped a division of the three-year-old colt and gelding pace, as the altered son of Duneside Perch stopped the timer in 1:58. Alan Bowen serves as trainer, having purchased Western Perch from the consignment of breeder Fair Meadow Farm in 2018.

    Shady Maple Spirit added his name to the list of winning sales grads on the afternoon, as the son of Yankee Valor captured a division of the two-year-old colt and gelding trot in 2:05 by 14 lengths for owners Dennis Gardner and Dustin Fitch. Trained and driven by Gardner, Shady Maple Spirit sold at last year’s Illini Classic for $8,000 from the consignment of Farrier’s Acres as agent for Freeman Mast, with Kenneth Chupp as breeder.

  • June 24, 2020 – Illini Classic Alumni Highlights

    (Mt. Sterling, IL)–Graduates of the Illini Classic Yearling Sale dominated Illinois Conceived and Foaled stakes action at Hawthorne Racecourse in Stickney last weekend, led by a win in the $45,000 Violet Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies.

    Fox Valley Exploit, owned by David Brigham and Kyle Husted, upped her record to seven wins in 11 career starts by winning the Violet on June 20 in 1:55.2 as the 2-5 favorite. Trained and driven by Husted, who bought the daughter of Sportsmaster from the 2018 consignment of Dr. Kenneth and
    Patricia Walker’s Fox Valley Standardbreds, Fox Valley Exploit increased her lifetime bankroll to $122,000

    Ashlees Spur, trained by Darla Martin Lohman for owners Dean Debolt and Scott Durbin, finished third in the same event at 37-1 odds for driver Ridge Warren. Consigned to the Illini Classic as an unnamed filly by Flacco Family Farms, agent for breeder Orville Rursch, the daughter of Ashlee’s Big Guy has a win and two thirds in three starts this season.

    In a $21,650 division of the Violet Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies, Bee See went the distance in 2:01.1 to win for the sixth time in 12 career outings for owners Molly Baldes, Steve Searle, and Michael and Chris Paloma. Bred and sold by Glenn R. Jess, and trained by Searle, the Cassis filly now boasts $70,000 in lifetime earnings.

    Princess Poprocks was third in the same race for owners Toni and Keli Bell and Freddie Patton Jr. Trained and driven by Patton, the Yankee Valor lass was consigned and sold as “DNL Princess Girl” by breeder David Chupp.

    In the first of a pair of $21,450 divisions of the Cardinal Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, R G’s Tracer stopped the timer in 1:54.1 to prevail as the 3-5 favorite for trainer Desirae Seekman and driver Travis Seekman. Owned by Robert Grismore and Charles Knipp, the gelded son of
    Psychic Spirit upped his career bankroll to $40,000 while knocking a full second off his lifetime record.

    Bred by Ron Phillips, R G’s Tracer sold at the Illini Classic as “Spirit of Demaster” and was represented by Hamm Family Trust as agent.
    Bagman, owned by Angie, Nori, and Ivy Nessa, finished third in the same race, as the gelded son of Sagebrush has now hit the board four times in eight career outings. He was consigned to the Illini Classic by Fair Meadow Farm as agent for breeder Kurt Becker.

    In the second bracket of the Cardinal, Fox Valley Ren continued to justify his sale-topping price of $43,000 by winning for the 10th time in 13 career starts, tripping the wire in 1:53 for owner Megan Rogers Racing Stables Inc., trainer Nelson Willis, and driver Kyle Wilfong. Bred and sold by Fox Valley
    Standardbreds, the gelded son of Sportsmaster pushed his career earnings to $98,000.

    Chick Magnet, a 19-1 longshot, finished third behind Fox Valley Ren for trainer Tim Roach, as the son of Ashlee’s Big Guy hit the board for the second time in three starts this year. Owned by OB Stables, Chick
    Magnet sold as an unnamed colt in 2018 from the Flacco Family Farms consignment on behalf of breeder Orville Rursch.

  • June 30, 2020 – Illini Classic Alumni Highlights

    (Mt. Sterling, IL)—Graduates of the Illini Classic Yearling Sale continued to make an impact on earlysummer stakes action across the Midwest, combining to win five pari-mutuel and three fair stakes events from June 25-29.

    Fox Valley Quest, bred and sold by Fox Valley Standardbreds of Sherman, led the way by cruising to a four-length triumph in a $12,500 leg of the Erwin F. Dygert Memorial at Hawthorne Racecourse, as the gelded son of Pizzazzed won for the 12th time in 17 starts and pushed his career bankroll past $100,000. Owned by Carl Lacy and Benita Simmons, and trained by Tom Simmons, Fox Valley Quest triumphed in 1:58 for driver Casey Leonard at odds of 1-9.

    Illini Classic alums Desert Sheik and Mr. Red Thunder completed the trifecta in the race for three-yearold trotting colts and geldings.

    Bee See, owned by Molly Baldes, Michael and Chris Paloma, and trainer Steve Searle, also posted a fourlength margin of victory at Hawthorne in winning a $12,500 leg of the Beulah Dygert Memorial for three-year-old trotting fillies. Kyle Husted had the winning drive, as the daughter of Cassis scored in 1:59. She was bred and sold by Glenn Jess.

    Another Fox Valley-bred went to the Hawthorne winner’s circle in a $12,500 leg of the Plum Peachy, as Fox Valley Exploit made it eight wins in 12 starts for owner-trainer-driver Husted and co-owner David Brigham. The daughter of Sportsmaster took a new lifetime record of 1:54.2 in upping her career earnings to $128,000. Fellow sales graduate Sign Her Up completed the exacta.

    Coco D’Lascito captured a $17,500 leg of the Kadabra for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings, justifying owner-breeder Sam Daddono’s faith in the colt last fall when he took him home after bidding failed to reach the reserve price. Leading all the way to win on debut by five lengths in 2:01.4 for trainer Jenna Lubeck and driver Casey Leonard, the son of Lou’s Legacy was followed across the line by Illini Classic graduate Shady Maple Spirit.

    Elsewhere, sales graduate Kickin Up My Heels, owned and trained by Tom T. Tetrick, and driven by his brother Trace, pulled a 16-1 upset at Hoosier Park in Anderson, Indiana, in winning the $20,000 final of the Rick Dalton Pace on June 25. Bred by Rita and Rod Williams and sold in the name of their Double RW Farm, the daughter of Tellitlikeitis took a new lifetime record of 1:52.1 and increased her career bankroll to $83,000.

    In fair stakes action at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield on June 29, B C’s Tufftiger kept his record unblemished at 5-for-5 with a score in 1:58 .4 in the two-year-old colt and gelding pace. Bred and sold by Larry (Brad) Price, the gelded son of Walker Place is owned by Jeremy Cavitt, trained by Roshun Trigg, and driven by Cordarius Stewart.

    In the two-year-old filly pace, Kandi’s Fortune led all the way to notch a first career victory not only for herself but also for owners Brian and Kandi Herzog. Purchased from the consignment of breeder Flacco Family Farms, LLC, the daughter of Ryan N Hanover went the distance in 2:02.3 with trainer Freddie Patton Jr. in the sulky.

    Grand Ole Party made it eight stakes winners in five days for sales gradates, as the son of Party At Artsplace triumphed by four lengths in a personal best 1:57.2 in the three-year-old colt and gelding pace for Trigg and co-owner D And J Stables. Trained by Trigg and driven by Stewart, the colt was bred and sold by Mary Lea Jeffers and Adele Jeffers Everett.

  • Rock N Republic