Springfield — Four harness horses with area connections reached the winner’s circle on Tuesday afternoon at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, as part of a $50,000 racing program presented by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
Leading the way was He Gone Jack, a seven-year-old pacer trained by Altamont’s Ray Hanna for owners Hugh and Susan Lacey of Joplin, Missouri. Driven by Michael Oosting, He Gone Jack notched his 19th career victory and pushed his career earnings to $167,000 with a triumph in 1:56.
Earlier in the day, BBR Lady won in 2:03.4 in her career debut for owners Elizabeth Roedl of Edgewood and Freddie Patton Jr. of Clinton, Mississippi. The time for the mile was the fastest in North America this year by a two-year-old trotting filly, as BBR Lady won by five lengths with Patton at the reins.
Patton scored two more victories later in the program by winning with Princess Poprocks, whom he co-owns with Toni and Keli Bell of Windsor, and Frontier Manard, in whom he shares ownership with Toni Bell. Princess Poprocks led all the way to score in 2:00.4 in a division of the three-year-old filly trot, while Frontier Manard stopped the timer in 1:57.2 in a division for older trotters. Both horses were coming off a seven-month layoff.
Trainers Darla Martin Lohman of Effingham and Jacob Roedl of Edgewood had a combined five starters on the card, with Lohman recording a pair of top-three finishes with three-year-old pacing fillies Ashlee’s Spur and Miller Girl, and Roedl notching a fourth-place effort with older pacing mare Little Adaline. High Queen Anne, trained by Lohman for owners Lacy Longnecker-Motch of Effingham and Larry Longnecker of Sumner, broke stride and finished off the board in a division of the three-year-old filly trot, while Flying Marvin was sixth for Roedl behind He Gone Jack.
Tuesday’s races were contested under prevailing COVID-19 guidelines, with the grounds closed to the public.