It's Time For Fun brings joy to Wilfongs
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It’s Time For Fun has brought plenty of pleasure to the Wilfong family over the years and trainer Brett Wilfong hopes the 6-year-old mare pacer will add to the enjoyment in 2021.
Lynn Wilfong, Brett’s dad, bred and owns It’s Time For Fun, who was an Indiana Sires Stakes champion at age 3. She has earned $312,395 during her career, winning 17 of 71 races and cashing a paycheck 55 times.
After a brief bout with sickness, It’s Time For Fun makes her seasonal debut in Friday’s $22,500 open for fillies-and-mares at Miami Valley Raceway. Kyle Wilfong, Brett’s son, will be in the sulky, leaving from post five in a field of nine. It’s Time For Fun is 8-1 on the morning line. Miss You N is the 3-1 favorite.
“I think if she stays healthy, she could have her best year this year,” Brett Wilfong said. “She’s going to have to battle the open mares or the class below that all year, but if we can keep her healthy, she can have a good year. She tries hard that last quarter, and that’s worth a lot. She has a real good closing kick.
“She’s pretty competitive in that top class. If you can go for $15,000 to $25,000 every week, you can have a pretty good year.”
It’s Time For Fun closed last season with five consecutive on-the-board finishes, including one victory. Earlier in the campaign, she finished second in the Indiana Sires Stakes championship for older female pacers.
In 2018, It’s Time For Fun won the Indiana Sires Stakes championship at odds of 11-1 with Kyle Wilfong at the lines at Hoosier Park.
“That sure was a nice evening,” Brett said. “There are a lot of good memories.”
It’s Time For Fun is a daughter of Skydancer Hanover out of Irwin’s Character. She was limited to six starts at age 2 because of a foot infection, but Brett liked the horse all along.
“We thought she had a lot of potential,” Brett said. “She was a beautiful animal. She could pace free-legged, didn’t really need the hobbles too much. She just had an effortless gait. Once she got over her foot infection, she had a lot more opportunity to show what she really was.”
The Wilfongs owned It’s Time For Fun’s sire and dam. The family, which has farms in Indiana and Illinois, has bred hundreds of horses over the years.
“It’s very family oriented,” Brett said about the Wilfongs’ involvement in harness racing. “Everyone is active, everyone enjoys the races, enjoys the horses. My mom (Barbara) and dad enjoy watching the races and they raise the yearlings and take care of some of the broodmares. Dad needs to be occupied. When you’ve been a self-employed horseperson your whole life it’s hard to sit down and not do anything.”
Lynn Wilfong was inducted into the Indiana Standardbred Hall of Fame last year. In addition to breeding and racing, he helped lobby for pari-mutuel racing in Indiana and spent a dozen years as president of the Indiana Trotting & Pacing Association. In 1993, he received the very first Breeders Award given by the Standardbred Owners and Breeders of Indiana, now known as the Indiana Standardbred Association.
“It’s a night we won’t forget,” Brett said. “My dad and uncle Ralph were part of the grassroots effort in Indiana to get pari-mutuel betting passed in the state legislature. My dad has a lot of ties other than owning a lot of horses over the years. I know my dad was very proud of it. It was pretty special for our whole family.
“We have a lot of good memories.”
With It’s Time For Fun aiming to create more. (Ken Weingartner/USTA)