Finns Have Big Day, But Gillespie Wins Driving Award at Effingham County Fair

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Published on August 8 2013 7:51 pm
Last Updated on August 8 2013 7:51 pm
Written by Millie Lange

ALTAMONT -- The Finns picked up accolades at the final day of harness racing at the Effingham County Fair Thursday but it was Ronnie Gillespie who ruled on the day by taking the driver's championship.

Jared Finn came in trailing Gillespie by 17 points in the driver's standings. Gillespie had 42 points while Jared Finn had 25 and J.D. Finn was third with 23.

Jared Finn made a big run at Gillespie by capturing the first two races of the day on the nine-race card. Finn was behind Annrenee in the Free For All Pace, Division I. Annrenee was first out and the field traveled to a lazy front quarter of :32 1/5. Annrenee maintained advantage with Perfect Theo rolling to the outside. But Annrenee went wire-to-wire to win by a length and a half in 2:03 3/5.

In the second race, the second division of the Free For All Pace, Finn took a Newton-owned horse to victory. Finn was behind Richard Traci. Viking Kilowatt took the early lead with a leisurely pace. Paradise Ragtime went to the front after the half and started to draw away taking a three length lead. But Richard Traci and Finn moved to the outside and went past to win with a sizzling last half in :58 4/5 for a final 2:02 time. Dane May of Newton, owns Richard Traci and also owns Annrenee.

Those two victories had Finn trailing by only seven points.

Although Finn didn't take the next race, he finished second with Become Legendary and garnered three more points to pull within four points of Gillespie.

Dillon Cox guided Spill The Beans to the win in the Free For All Pace, Division Three. Spill The Beans took a commanding lead past the quarter mile marker and finished with a two length win in 2:01 3/5, going that last quarter in :28 1/5. Spill The Beans picked up the fifth win in the last six starts and had a 1:55 at DuQuoin.

There were two more Finns who won on the day. In the Non-Winners $1,000 Lifetime Pace, Division I, Harold Finn Jr. took Frontier Rose to the win in a wire-to-wire victory in 2:06 2/5. Frontier Rose led by three lengths at the quarter mile marker. Glissando and Ava Destruction challenged down the homestretch but Frontier Rose claimed the win for owner and trainer Phillip Finn Jr. of Wheeler.

The second division of the pace went to driver and trainer Merle Finn Jr. Wings, took the lead down the backside and found herself alone for a while until the field caught up after Frontier Kate went offstride and bottled up the rest of the field. The pace slowed before Wings went wire-to-wire to win in 2:06 3/5.

Gillespie then came on to take the spotlight in the next two races. Gillespie won behind Who Called Kellie in the third division of the pace. Who Called Kellie took the lead. Marie's Wildchild came on the outside and alongside the leader at the three quarter mile marker. But Who Called Kellie fought down the homestretch to win in 2:05 3/5. That pushed Gillespie's points up to 47 and it was impossible for Finn, who had no rides left, to catch up.

Gillespie then finished out the week with a victory in the fourth division of the pace behind American Desire. American Desire, who was making his racing debut, gunned his way to the front and led by a length and a half. Gillespie had American Design at the lead at the turn for home and he shifted into high gear leaving the field behind and cruising to the win in 2:03.

Gillespie finished with 52 points while Finn took second with 38.

In the other two races of the day, Jerome Daniels drove So Photogenic to a win in the Non- Winners $1,000 Lifetime Trot, in 2:05 4/5 and in the Amateur Driving Race, Raymond Morgan won behind Ar Sissy in 2:02 2/5.

Now it's thoroughbred and quarterhorses taking the field Friday for the final day of racing. Post time will be noon.

EFFINGHAM COUNTY FAIR

Harness Racing

Thursday's Results

Race One

Free For All Pace, Division I

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

Time -- :32 1/5, 1:03 4/5, 1:34 2/5, 2:03 3/5.

Race Two

Free For All Pace, Division II

1. Richard Traci (Jared Finn), 2. Paradise Ragtime (Wm. Larry Binkley), 3. Viking Kilowatt (Harold Finn Jr.)

Scratched -- It'll Do.

Time -- :32 3/5, 1;03 1/5, 1:32 4/5, 2:02.

Race Three

Free For All Pace, Division III

1. Spill The Beans (Dillon Cox), 2. Become Legendary (Jared Finn), 3. Ogs Worthy Anthony (Paul Cavett), 4. Fox Valley Blitzen (Harold Finn Jr.), 5. Gar (Douglas Graham)

Time -- :31, 1:02 3/5, 1:33 1/5, 2:01 3/5.

Race Four

Non-Winners $1,000 Lifetime Trot

Also Eligible: 2-Year-Old Nonwinners 2 Races

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

Time -- :32 1/5, 1:02 3/5, 1:34 4/5, 2:05 4/5.

Race Five

Non-Winners $1,000 Lifetime Trot

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

1. Frontier Rose (Harold Finn Jr.), 2. Ava Destruction (Dakota Birch), 3. Glissando (Clay Simpson), 4. I'm All Track (Adam Knicley), 5. Third Interlude (C. Alan Finn)

Scratched -- Withholding Terror.

Time -- :32 1/5, 1:04, 1:35 4/5, 2:06 2/5.

Race Six

Non-Winners $1,000 Lifetime Trot

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

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

Time -- :31 1/5, 1:04 2/5, 1:36, 2:06 3/5.

Race Seven

Non-Winners $1,000 Lifetime Trot

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

1. Who Called Kellie (Ronnie Gillespie), 2. Hillcrest Dynamite (Michele Morgan), 3. Margie's Wildchild (Clark Fairley), 4. Constant Machine (Antonio Love)

Scratched -- Shady Maple Cruier.

Time -- :31 2/5, 1:02, 1:34 3/5, 2:05 3/5.

Race Eight

Non-Winners $1,000 Lifetime Trot

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

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

Time -- :32 2/5, 1:04 4/5, 1:34.3, 2:03.

Race Nine

Amateur Driving Race Pace

1. Ar Sissy (Raymond Morgan), 2. Don't Let Up (Phillip Finn Jr.), 3. Chanel Daisymae (Jonathan Piperakis), 4. Leah's Hero (Jordan Knicley)

Time -- :31 2/5, 1:02, 1:32 4/5, 2:02 3/5.