Gillespie, J.D. Finn Big Winners At Wednesday's Effingham Co. Fair Harness Races


Published on August 7 2013 3:17 pm
Last Updated on August 8 2013 7:02 am
Written by Millie Lange

ALTAMONT -- Ronnie Gillespie went a long way towards sewing up the driver's championship at the Effingham County Fair harness races Wednesday.

Gillespie picked up three victories and won almost everything but the kitchen sink under the grandstand at the fair Wednesday. Gillespie won back-to-back races to start the card. In the opener, the Topline 2-Year-Old Pace, Division I, Gillespie took H-andnharleythejet to victory in 2:03 2/5.

H-andnharleythejet was first out and led by a length at the quarter mile marker. The pace slowed with a lazy second quarter. Big Matty was in second with Liberal moving to the outside at the three quarter mark. But H-andnharleythejet kept the lead and breezed home easily.

Then in the second race of the day, the second division of the Topline 2-Year-Old Pace, Gillespie was behind Lostintheshuffle and was first away. The horses were single file through the stretch with Lostintheshuffle holding the lead. Cody Shark came on to challenge down the homestretch but Lostintheshuffle responded to win in 2:03 1/5 giving Gillespie his second win in two races.

Then it was J.D. Finn's turn to pick up a win in the Topline 3-Year-old & Up Trot, Filly Division. With Skyline Happy, Finn came easing up on the outside to take the lead and the win in 2:02 3/5. In this race, Leroy Moore was driving Winsome Wyoming who finished third.

Winsome Wyoming was Leo Burns' horse. Last year, Burns, then 97 years old, drove Winsome Wyoming to two wins and became the oldest winning driver in the history of the sport. Burns passed away this summer and will have his racing silks and helmet along with video of his recent races enshrined in the Harness Racing Museum Hall of Fame in New York. Moore, a long time friend of Burns, inherited Winsome Wyoming.

Gillespie's third win of the day came in the Topline 2-Year-Old Trot behind Morgans Majestic. Morgans Majestic was first away and easily dominated the field, picking up the fifth win in five races this season, winning in 2:07 3/5.

J.D. Finn claimed the final race of the day, the Non-Winners $3,500 Lifetime Pace. With Allstar Gal, Finn trailed the field of seven horses in seventh place. T-r Chipper took the early lead and Call Me Elizabeth came from sixth to lead at the quarter mile mark. The pair then were neck and neck at the half. All Star Gal made a sweeping move and went four wide at the final turn. With a big rushing move, All Star Gal came from sixth at the three quarter pole to win in 2:02 2/5.

Trainer for Allstar Gal is Newton's Gary Gorrell who trains at the Jasper County Fairgrounds.

Another Finn, Randall Finn and his horse Madoff posted the fastest time of the week in 1:57 2/5. With Madoff entered in the Topline 3-Year-Old & Up Pace, Finn, the winningest driver ever at the Effingham County Fair, took the horse to the lead and opened up a fourth length lead at the half in :57 2/5.

Madoff was in command and was on track to set a new meet record at the half but slowed down in the third quarter to 1:28 and finished in 1:57 2/5.

In the Topline 3-Year-Old & Up Trot, Colt Division, Dennis Gardner drove Hong Kong Kwyne to victory in 2:02 2/5. Early Morning Star took the early lead and Hong Kong Kwyne was five lengths off the lead. Valbon Reve then gained the lead but the Illinois-bred horse went to the outside to take the lead and win.

Gillespie takes a commanding lead into the final day of harness racing at the fair Thursday. There will be nine races coming to the post starting at 1 p.m.

Effingham County Fair

Harness Racing Results


Race One

Topline 2-Year-Old Pace, Division I

1. H-andnharleythejet (Ronnie Gillespie), 2. Liberal (Cornelius Cavett), 3. Big Matty (Clay Simpson), 4. Shakemoff Cowboi (Jerome Daniels), 5. Whoopedemaginjosey (Cassidy Melloy)

Time -- :30 3/5, 1:04, 1:34 3/5, 2:03 2/5.

Race Two

Topline 2-Year-Old Pace, Division II

1. Lostintheshuffle (Ronnie Gillespie), 2. Codey Shark (Clay Simpson), 3. Indiana Jones T (Tom T. Tetrick), 4. Straight Red One (Issac Love), 5. Fancy Creek Mateo (Paul Cavett), 6. Call Me Muddy (Tom Simmons)

Time -- :30 3/5, 1:02 2/5, 1:32 3/5, 2:03 1/5.

Race Three

Topline 3-Year-Old & Up Trot, Filly Division

1. Skyline Happy (J.D. Finn), 2. Tometta Byrd (Darla Martin), 3. Winsome Wyoming (E. Leroy Moore), 4. Old Aunt George (Michael White)

Time -- :30 4/5, 1:00 1/5, 1:31 2/5, 2:02 3/5.

Race Four

Topline 3-Year-Old & Up Trot, Colt Division

1. Hong Kong Kwyne (Dennis Gardner), 2. Valbon Reve (Gary Mills), 3. Skyline View (E. Leroy Moore), 4. Earli Morning Star (Darla Martin), 5. I Am The King (Randall Finn)

Time -- :30, 1:00 2/5, 1:31 2/5, 2:02 2/5.

Race Five

Topline 3-Year-Old & Up Pace

1. Madoff (Randall Finn), 2. Tj's April Angel (Ronnie Gillespie), 3. Long Term (Tom Simmons), 4. Evergreensduneside (Paul Cavett), 5. Bc's Bad Cat (Michael Johnson), 6. Tinkers Damn (Michael Knicley)

Scratched -- Towne'sbrightlight.

Time -- :28 3/5, :57 2/5, 1:28, 1:57 2/5.

Race Six

Topline 2-Year-Old Trot

1. Morgans Majestic (Ronnie Gillespie), 2. Missy's Misfit (Cornelius Cavett), 3. St. Elian's Fire (Ladarrius Whitaker), 4. Leasem For Less (J.D. Finn), 5. Huntingforpennies (Tom T. Tetrick), 6. Evolution Of Dance (Jared Finn), 7. Fancy Feet Ferge (Paul Cavett)

Time -- :32 3/5, 1:05 2/5, 1:37 1/5, 2:07 3/5.

Race Seven

Non-Winners $3,500 Lifetime Pace

1. Allstar Gal (J.D. Finn), 2. Keeping Me Alive (C. Alan Finn), 3. Call Me Elizabeth (Tom Simmons), 4. T-r Chipper (Ronnie Gillespie), 5. Sportsmaster Blue (Paul Cavett), 6. Fox Valley Venus (Matthew Avenatti), 7. Sportsmaster Blue (Paul Cavett)

Time -- :31 2/5, 1:00 2/5, 1:31 3/5, 2:02 2/5.

Thursday's Entries

Race One

Free For All Pace, Division I

1. Perfect Theo (Robert Bracey), 2. Bc's Golden Girl (Ladarrius Whitaker), 3. Willing Heart (Harold Finn. Jr.), 4. Annrenee (Jared Finn)

Race Two

Free For All Pace, Division II

1. Paradise Ragtime (Wm. Larry Binkley), 2. Viking Kolowatt (Harold Finn Jr.), 3. It'll  Do (Harold Mast), 4. Richard Traci (Jared Finn)

Race Three

Free For All Pace, Division III

1. Spill The Beans (Dillon Cox), 2. Gar (Douglas Graham), 3. Become Legendary (Jared Finn), 4. Fox Valley Blitzen (Jared Finn), 5. Ogs Worthy Anthony (no driver listed)

Race Four

Non-Winners $1,000 Lifetime Trot

Also Eligible 2-Year-Old Nonwinners Two Races

1. Mister Photo (Antonio Love), 2. So Photogenic (Jerome Daniels), 3. Muscle Trip (Dennis Tripp), 4. B Classical (Ladarrius Whitaker), 5. Cardinal Classy (Paul Cavett), 6. Teela Girl (Jack De Rousse)

Race Five

Non-Winners $1,000 Lifetime Pace

Also Eligible: 2-Year-Old Nonwinners Two Races, Division I

1. Ava Destruction (no driver listed), 2. Glissando (Clay Simpson), 3. Frontier Rose (Harold Finn Jr.), 4. Third Interlude (C. Alan Finn), 5. I'm All Track (Adam Knicley), 6. Witholding Terror (Philip Cotton)

Race Six

Non-Winners $1,000 Lifetime Pace

Also Eligible: 2-Year-Old Nonwinners Two Races, Division II

1. Wings (Merle Finn Jr.), 2. Do Not Point (Michael Johnson), 3. Frontier Kate (Harold Finn Jr.), 4. Ima Risk Taker (Michael Knicley), 5. Shifting Interlude (C. Alan Finn)

Race Seven

Non-Winners $1,000 Lifetime Pace

Also Eligible: 2-Year-Old Nonwinners Two Races, Division III

1. Constant Machine (Antonio Love), 2. Margie's Wildchild (Clark Fairley), 3. Shady Maple Cruier (Mike Titus), 4. Who Called Kellie (Ronnie Gillespie), 5. Millcrest Dynamite (Michele Morgan)

Race Eight

Non-Winners $1,000 Lifetime Pace

Also Eligible: 2-Year-Old Nonwinners Two Races, Division IIII

1. Quick Action (Michele  Morgan), 2. Go Run N Tellthat (David Fagan), 3. Major Mayhem (Michael Johnson), 4. American Desire (Ronnie Gillespie)

Race Nine

Amateur Driving Race

1. Dont Let Up (Dakota Birch), Chanel Daisymae (Jonathan Piperakis), 3. Ar Sissy (Raymond Morgan), 4. Leah's Hero (Jordan Knicley)