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Harness racing this week on the State Fair's 'Magic Mile'

By Fred Huff
Special to the Du Quoin Call
updated: 8/29/2017 10:10 AM

It will be without the hoopla and excitement of the Hambletonian from many years ago or even the more recent World Trotting Derby, but the Du Quoin State Fair's brief two-day harness racing schedule next week will definitely not be without stimulating moments.

The daytime events, scheduled to start at noon both Tuesday and Wednesday on the fair's famed "Magic Mile" track, will again offer part-mutuel betting windows for those taking advantage of the free admission policy and wanting to add personal thrills as well.

Oblivious to such details, many of the finest 2- and 3-year-old pacers and trotters, as well as a few aged entries, are expected to put on a class day of racing while bidding for winner's shares of almost $300,000.

All of the entries here competed just two weeks ago at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield and will be hoping to add to their lifetime winnings as well as possibly improving personal time records that determine their breeding value.

It will be a big day for the ladies. Of the five featured races, four are restricted to fillies.

Both the 2-year-old trot (The Shawnee) and 2-year-old pace (The Director's Award) are for fillies and offer projected purses of $31,000. The Windy Skeeter and The Time Dancer events are for 3-year-old filly trotters and pacers, respectively, while same-aged colt trotters are entered in The Pronto Don. All carry estimated purses of $27,000.

All five events had extremely competitive fields at Springfield, and entrants are expected to renew rivalries at Du Quoin.

The most exciting of the five was the race involving the 2-year-old filly pacers. It was won in wire-to-wire fashion by The New Americana in 1:53.1, while Fox Valley Jazzy was clocked in 1:53.2 and Rollin Coal in 1:53.3.

It was hardly the only photo needed at the finish line, however.

Louiscipher won the Pronto Don in 1:58.1 in a photo with Pickey Pickey Valor (1:58.2), who was also struggling to finish ahead of Trixie'e Jethro and Band's Houdini. And it will be more of the same in the Windy Skeeter, a race for 3-year-old trotters. At Springfield the winner was Amos Lucky Star in 1:53.3, just a split second ahead of Daisy Lou Luke (1:53.4) and Lous Credit Report (1:54).

lt'll be an exciting day of racing Tuesday followed by another Wednesday.

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