STICKNEY/CICERO--Two Illinois-bred stakes races were contested on Saturday at Hawthorne Race Course. Both races saw the same winning owner, trainer, and jockey. Midwest Thoroughbreds owned both winners. Roger Brueggemann trained both victors. Florent Geroux piloted both winners.
Powerless Handicap: Favored MISSJEANLOUISE pounces
Claimed for $40,000 during the Churchill meet in June, MISSJEANLOUISE showed her affinity for the south side oval with her sixth win in ten career starts, the latest a victory in the Powerless Handicap for older female Illinois-bred sprinters.
From the break, SWEET LEMON CHELLO alertly went to the front, carving out opening splits of :22.69 and :46.01. Going in to the turn, ALGONQUIN POSSE (who broke slowly), grabbed the lead on the turn. MISSJEANLOUISE, up close all the way around but off a rail that may not have been the place to be on this autumnal afternoon. Turning for home, MISSJEANLOUISE got a short lead and extended it to a half full length under the wire. ALGONQUIN POSSE rushed up to second, had a brief lead, and finished second. FIRE TRICKS, active on the tote from when the windows opened to when the gate latch opened, closed from the back to be third. CAMPO JOTI rounded out the superfecta.
MISSJEANLOUISE gives Florent Geroux the first of two stakes victories.
MISSJEANLOUISE, a four-year-old daughter of Victory Gallop, was the first of two winners for the Midwest Thoroughbreds, Roger Brueggemann, and Florent Geroux owner/trainer/jockey team. She was the 2-1 favorite and rewarded her backers to the tune of $6.40 to win. She stopped the timer in 1:10.24 for six furlongs.
Trainer Brueggemann, in a post-race interview, remarked that this race was planned for after she was claimed in June, and was quite happy that the plan worked out. She's likely to finish out the Hawthorne meet with another start as "she has starter conditions left" (she could run in a starter allowance as she did two back at Arlington, where the claim price was capped at $10,000). She's also eligible for a two-other-than.
The $2 10-9 exacta of MISSJEANLOUISE and ALGONQUIN POSSE paid $21.40. The fifty cent 10-9-4 trifecta of MISSJEANLOUISE, ALGONQUIN POSSE, and FIRE TRICKS returned $25.20. Dime 10-9-4-5 superfectas with CAMPO JOTI in the fourth position netted $19.64 to punters.
Lightning Jet Handicap: SIGNSEALNDELIVER brings goods in mild upset
On paper, the Lightning Jet Handicap appeared to be a battle between RIVER BEAR and ST. MAXIMUS GATO. Both dominated the wagering, both appeared to hold a class edge, both looked like logical winners.
The old adage is they don't run races on paper, and SIGNSEALNDELIVER proved the adage true. He stamped out a mild upset in the Lightning Jet, the open complement to the Powerless.
ROARIN MISSILE was the expected speed of the speed and broke on top in the six-furlong dash, dictating terms through a :22.21 opening quarter. NAGYS PIGGY BANK was in close attendance throughout, even getting a short lead in the middle stages of the race, but giving it back to ROARIN MISSILE in the stretch, and finally finishing ahead of him at race's end. 2-1 favorite ST. MAXIMUS GATO was up close to the two leaders but went backward through the stretch, finishing off the board. 5-2 second choice RIVER BEAR was stuck along the rail (which may have worked against him).
That opened the door for SIGNSEALNDELIVER, who had been third in three straight dirt starts to RIVER BEAR, the chance to overpower his foe and win the Lightning Jet. Final margin under the wire was 1 3/4 lengths and the final time was 1:10.24 for six furlongs.
NAGYS PIGGY BANK was second and another Midwest Throughbreds/Brueggemann production, SACRED GIFT, was third. RIVER BEAR closed from the back to round out the superfecta, but still finished off the board. 2-1 favorite ST. MAXIMUS GATO was seventh.
SIGNSEALNDELIVER, a six-year-old Illinois-bred son of Private Terms, went off at between 5-1 and 6-1 as the fourth choice in the wagering. He returned $12.80 to win.
SIGNSEALNDELIVER with a mild upset victory in the Lightning Jet.
Trainer Brueggemann, after the last start at Prairie Meadows, put SIGNSEALNDELIVER away for the summer, noting his dislike for the polytrack at cross-town Arlington Park. About the winning trip, Brueggemann also said that "we were on the [perhaps more favorable] outside and we had no trouble staying there". With regards to the future, "as long as he's healthy, we'll keep him."
The $2 10-5 exacta of SIGNSEALNDELIVER and NAGYSPIGGY BANK yielded $85.20 to punters. The fifty-cent 10-5-11 trifecta of SIGNSEALNDELIVER, NAGYS PIGGY BANK, and SACRED GIFT netted bettors $240.95. Dime 10-5-11-3 superfectas with RIVER BEAR in the fourth position paid $251.72. The all stakes double of 10-10 paid $14.70 for every dollar invested.
Both photos courtesy of Four Footed Fotos. Special thanks to Asst. GM Jim Miller for considerations.