On a gusty evening in Chicago, a field of nine Illinois-bred pacers lined up for the $25,000 Carl Becker Pace final at Hawthorne on Friday (Jan. 26). The morning line favorite was Zone Blitz, but Fox Valley Reggie was sent away as the off-time choice.
Off stride at the start was Sleazy Joe as the rest of the field got away in good order. Leaving for the lead was a trio of pacers as Daddy Let Me Drive and Zone Blitz passed the opening quarter together in :28.4. On the backside, Zone Blitz took over for driver Mike Oosting through the half in :58.1.
Into the turn, Fox Valley Reggie swung up to challenge Zone Blitz as they passed three quarters in 1:26.2. In the lane, Zone Blitz dug in and battled Fox Valley Reggie as the two battled the length of the lane. At the wire, Fox Valley Reggie just got up, nabbing Zone Blitz by a head, stopping the clock in 1:54.3. Daddy Let Me Drive held on for third.
Fox Valley Reggie is owned by Ronald Phillips and Sharry Boledovich and trained by Jamaica Patton.
Fox Valley Reggie returned $5.00, $2.80, and $2.20. Zone Blitz came back $2.80 and $2.40 while Daddy Let Me Drive returned $2.80 to show.
The winter harness meet at Hawthorne continues through Feb. 19. Thoroughbred racing resumes at the end of March and continues through April.
Summer harness action takes place May through September. Fall Thoroughbreds close out the year October through December. For more information, visit www.Hawthorneracecourse.com.