Jockey Larry Sterling Jr. won three of the six six stakes races for Illinois runners contested at Hawthorne on Saturday during the Illinois Festival.Sterling won aboard Syncho in the Powerless Handicap, Humor At Last in the Sun Power Stakes and Home of Stars in the featured High Alexander Handicap."The festival was very good to me," Sterlins said after his final win aboard Home of Stars. "I knew we were live coming into this race. Everything went our way and it all worked out." Powerless Handicap: Synco Peach Rolls Home
After dueling through quick early fractions of :22 3/5 for the first quarter and :46 2/5 for the half, Synco Peach pulled away from pace setting Jaguar City in the lane to win the $101,700 Powerless Handicap by 2 1/2 lengths, crossing the wire in 1:11. Owned by Lamont Nienast, LLC and trained by Percy Scherbenske, Synco Peach was ridden by Sterling, Jr. Holding on for second in the Powerless was Jaguar City while Fighting Fever finished third. The win was the seventh from 11 career starts for Synco Peach. The $67,020 winners share boosted here career earnings to $221,400. Synco Peach returned $6.60, $3.20 and $2.80 as the favorite. Jaguar City was $3.00 and $2.80 while Fighting Fever returned $4.20 to show. "She broke bad then she just ran off from there. End of story," said Sterling.
Lightning Jet Handicap: Silver Bid Tough Again
Silver Bid defeated a strong field of six male sprinters in the $100,875 Lightning Jet Handicap by 1 ¼ lengths over Big Bold Sweep while stopping the clock in 1:10 2/5. Sitting behind quick early fractions set by Storm the Beach of :21 3/5 and :45 3/5, Silver Bid took over turning for home under jockey Carlos Montalvo and notched his 15th career win from 40 career starts and his sixth win in eight starts in 2004. Owned by Terry Renfrow and Eugene Young and trained by Joel Berndt, the 6-year-old gelding earned $66,526 for his victory, boosting his career earnings to $586,302. Trained by Joel Berndt, Silver Bid returned $6.00, $3.20 and $2.40. Big Bold Sweep returned $4.20 and $2.80 while Shandy closed to run third, returning $3.60 to show.
(Chart, Equibase)Showtime Deb Stakes: Stumble Eliminates Toll Taker
It took less than a jump out of the gate to eliminate the 3-5 Toll Taker in the Showtime Deb Stakes when the 2-year-old filly stumbled horribly out of the gate, losing rider C.H. Marquez Jr. and opening up things for the rest of the field. Bluesbdancing and jockey Carlos Montalvo took over nearing the top of the stretch. After a half in :46 2/5, Bluesbdancing was in control, running away from the field to a 3 ¼-length win in the $97,400 event. Meadow Bride closed well to finish second while Cart's Turn was third. Bluesbdancing stopped the clock in 1:12 1/5.The winner's share of $55,440 boosted Bluesbdancing's earnings to $93,840. Owned by Bob and Nancy Bartels and trained by Terrel Gore, Bluesbdancing is three for three in her brief career. With the favorite out, prices were big. Bluesbdancing returned $10.80, $7.60 and $5.80. Meadow Bride came back $14.40 and $11.20 while Cart's Turn returned $24.80 to show. With back-to-back wins, jockey Carlos Montalvo had a big day, "I'm the happiest man on earth," he said.
(Chart, Equibase)Sun Power Stakes: Humor At Last Gets Job Done
The $90,225 Sun Power Stakes was a two horse affair and was but the longer priced of the two got the job done when Ron Armstong and John Wallace's Humor at Last got clear sailing and was able to outrun favored Stormy Afternoon to the wire. Setting a heated pace in the Sun Power was Yukon's Gambler. He and Chateau pressed the pace through a quick quarter in :22 1/5 and :46 2/5. As the field bunched turning for home, Humor at Last and jockey Larry Sterling. Jr. had the jump on Stormy Afternoon, who got caught in traffic. Drawing away in the stretch, Humor at Last held on for a 2 ¼-length win while Stormy Afternoon finished second and Win Me Over closed to finish third. Stopping the clock in 1:11 3/5, Humor At Last earned $54,135 for the win. Trained by Anthony Mitchell, Humor at Last returned $8, $3 and $2.40. Stormy Afternoon came back $2.20 and $2.10 while Win Me Over returned $2.40 to show. Mitchell was impressed with Humor At Last's effort, " I didn't expect Larry to go to the front but Larry has a great head on his shoulders. It just amazes me. He loves this horse. Larry was the one who wanted to go into this race."
(Chart, Equibase)Illini Princess Handicap: Cashmere Miss Pulls Upset
As the field bunched turning for home, Cashmere Miss grabbed the lead and went on to a 2 ¼-length win in the Illini Princess Handicap for fillies and mares.She stopped the clock in 1:46 for the 1 1/16 miles. Arsen Annie held well to finish second while Ms. Lydonia ran third. Lucky Gambler shook loose early in the 14-horse field, setting fractions of :23 3/5, :47 1/5 and 1:12 4/5. Sitting close to the pace was 7-5 favorite Keeping the Gold while Carlos Silva and Cashmere Miss weren't too far behind, rating in fourth. Owned by Richard Rudolph and Michael Vranich and trained by Spanky Broussard, Cashmere Miss returned, $29.20, $13.80, and 7.00. Arsen Annie came back $13.80 and $11.40 while Ms. Lydonia returned $5.60 to show. The win was the sixth of 28 on the career of Cashmere Miss. The $58,500 winner's share boosted her career earnings to $290,613.
(Chart, Equibase)High Alexander Handicap: Sterling Gets 3rd Win Home
In the $96,275 High Alexander Handicap, jockey Larry Sterling Jr. capped off a big day as he guided Home of Stars to the victory for his third stakes win. Setting the fractions was long shot King Magic as he went :24 1/5, :48, and 1:13 for three quarters. Turning for home, the field engulfed King Magic, led by Home of Stars. Favorites Wiggins and Scooter Roach sat behind, looking to make their move. While Wiggins kicked in a bit, Scooter Roach flattened out, and there was no catching Home of Stars as he went on to a 1 ¾-length win in 1:45 1/5. Owned by Russell L. Reineman Stable, Inc and trained by Frank Springer, Home of Stars notched his fifth career win from 15 starts, as the $56,115 winner's share in the High Alexander brought his career earnings to $192,126. Home of Stars returned $17.60, $8.20 and $4.00. Longtime Illinois favorite Magic Doe rallied to finish second, bringing in $10.60 and $6.00 while Wiggins held third, returning $2.60 to show.