Friday night at Hawthorne saw the return of the reigning Illinois-bred Horse of the Year as Fox Valley Gemini took to the track in leg three action of the Robert F. Carey Jr. Memorial. The Carey is for Illinois-bred 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers as each division went for $15,000.
Race eight was the first division of the Carey as Fox Valley Gemini was sent away as the heavy 2-5 favorite with Casey Leonard in the bike.
Leaving for the lead between horses was Backstreet Lawyer, but You’remyhearthrob moved up from the far outside to challenge through the quarter in :27.3. After a half in :55.1, You’remyhearthrob led the field into the far turn while Fox Valley Gemini settled in fourth. Through three quarters in 1:24, You’remyhearthrob held a length advantage into the lane as both Backstreet Lawyer and Dandy Dude tipped out to challenge.
Mid-stretch, Backstreet Lawyer grabbed a brief lead, but Leonard swung Fox Valley Gemini four wide as he rallied to win by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:52. Backstreet Lawyer finished second while You’remyhearthrob battled back to finish third.
Fox Valley Gemini has now won 16 straight races to open his career for owner Jim Ballinger and trainer Terry Leonard.
Race ten was the second division of the Carey as a full field of ten lined up behind the starting car. Sent away as the even money favorite was Frontier Frank.
Clearing the lead early was Frontier Frank as he was chased by Al’s Briefs through the opening quarter in :27.4 and the half in :55.4. On the turn, Al’s Briefs and Travis Seekman moved quickly to take over through three-quarters in 1:24. Into the lane, Al’s Briefs opened up a three length advantage as the field began to move behind him. All out to the wire, Al’s Briefs just held off the late move of Cool Casper and M T Gunslinger. The final time for the mile was 1:52.4.
The stewards reviewed the actions of second-place finisher Cool Casper and disqualified him for interference in the stretch, placing him ninth. The disqualification moved M T Gunslinger to second and moved longshot Herecomesmagotta up to third.
Al’s Briefs is owned by Anthony Somone, David McCaffrey, and trainer Clark Fairley. (Hawthorne)