Pop-Up series favorites prevail at Hawthorne

Hinsdale, IL – Two-year-old ICF pacing Pop-Up Series betting favorites, Mazin Blazin and Super Shark, rewarded their many supporters Saturday night (Nov. 18) to set up next Sunday’s (Nov. 26) awaited $20,000 showdown.

Mazin Blazin (outside #6, Casey Leonard) edged Doctor Cruise (Kyle Husted) in Saturday’s third leg of Hawthorne’ Pop-Up series for freshman pacers. Four Footed Fotos.

After trading victories in the first two rounds of the Hawthorne series, Donald Laufenberg’s Mazin Blazin got the best of his ICF rival Doctor Cruise in Saturday’s third leg contest for series for state-bred 2-year-old pacers, but just barely.

Well handled by Casey Leonard, the 3-5 favorite Mazin Blazin ($3.40) took advantage of a second over journey behind Doctor Cruise (Kyle Husted) and beat the Amy Husted trainee in the final strides by a head with a 1:55.3 clocking.

Both Leonard and Husted were content to take their respective horses back at the start as the 50-1 longshot Downtownleroybrown (Bobby Smolin) hurried out to a quick lead from the pole position with a :28.2 first quarter with Doctor Cruise racing fourth and Mazin Blazin in fifth.

Hezarengade (Juan Franco) made a quarter move to take over command and slowed things down a bit with a :30 flat second quarter.

On the backside, Doctor Cruise was first to pull with Mazin Blazin doing the same, right behind him. These two battled side-by-side down Hawthorne’s long stretch with Mazin Blazin’s better trip likely contributing to his narrow victory.

It was a much easier victory for Super Shark ($4.80) in his Pop-Up division. Driver Travis Seekman gave the Nick Prather-trained freshman a flawless pocket-trip behind the pacesetting Who’zzz This Sky (Brandon Bates) and the son of Revenge Shark did the rest, holding off the late charges of Fox Valley Carlos (Kyle Husted) and Fox Valley Bruin (Todd Warren), the second- and third-place finishers, in that order, to win by three-quarters of a length.

Lous Amazon (Casey Leonard) made it back-to-back wins in the third leg of the Pop-Up series for Illinois freshman trotters, this time in 2:00 flat.

The Steve Searle trained winner showed early speed to get the lead and gave it up to Change The Tune (Seekman) after a modest :31 first panel. Casey waited for the stretch drive to get the big filly out and rolling and she was a length-and-a-quarter the best at the finish. Moppie Mooss (Gary Rath) came on strong to pass Change the Tune late for runner-up honors.

Round Three Coming Up: The third and last leg of the Pop-Up series for state-bred freshman filly pacers will go as the eighth and final race on Sunday’s (Nov. 19) card.

First-leg winner Adalecia (Travis Seekman) and second-round conqueror Time To Ryde (Kyle Wilfong) will tangle for a second straight week. Adalecia drew the better of the two with the four post, but Time To Ryde got away nicely a week ago from the nine-hole and turned the pocket trip into a 1:56.1 victory. While it’s no sure-thing, it’s likely the Jim Eaton trained two-year-old will be asked by Wilfong to sprint out in a hurry once more.

The Jamaica Patton-trained Adalecia was a 1:56 flat front-end winner two weeks ago and probably will be the one to catch again. The home-bred will open as the 5-2 favorite. Time To Ryde is listed at 4-1 in the morning line.

Dandy’s Ms Swifty should also get plenty of play with the pole position for driver Casey Leonard. The Terry Leonard-trained juvenile has been showing good late speed in recent races and no doubt was hurt last week when the front-stepping Adalecia strolled to a soft :59 flat half.

Delight Moon (Brandon Bates), Karatop Mooss (Robert Smolin). Mattie Shark (Juan Franco), Carli Bay (Wyatt Avenatti), and Peaceloverocknroll (Bobby Crivokapich Jr., a first-time starter, are the other series aspirants.

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