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Looking Back to '75 Midwest Derby (06/13/13)
Posted Thursday, June 13, 2013
By Mike Paradise
1975 Midwest Derby
While Sportsman’s Park was one of the elite harness racing tracks in the country last century for several decades the Cicero, IL facility didn’t have a winner’s circle for its first 30-plus years of racing.
This ceremony from August 30, 1975 of the Midwest Derby took place on a rain-soaked muddy race track (no wonder the track had a shoe-shine stand on the ground floor of its Grandstand).
In this picture, standing third from the right is a young Sportsman’s Park Harness Racing President Billy Johnston Jr., alongside driver Del Pletcher who drove Renee’s Boy to a 2:04 winning mile on a very sloppy racing surface in the $50,000 closing night feature.
In 1975 Walter Paisley was Sportsman’s leading driver with 63 victories. The other Top Ten drivers in wins that summer were Jim Dennis, Daryl Busse, Joe March Jr., Jerry Graham, Stanley Banks, Jim Dolbee, Carmen Alessi, Jim Curran and Dwayne Pletcher, in that order.
Attendance for that 60-night meeting averaged 14,381, highest in the State of Illinois and, at that time, and a new mark for Sportsman’s Park. The on-track handle averaged over $1.4 million per night.
To view Archived Notes and Quotes click here
County Fair Report
PINCKNEYVILLE COUNTY FAIR
Tuesday Afternoon June 11 Results
FIRST: ECS, 2-Year-Old Filly Pace, 1st div, Purse $3,872:
Horse (Driver) Time (Track Fast)
Syd’s Lollipop (Freddie Patton Jr.) 2:10.3
Trainer: Freddie Patton Jr. Owners: Perry Tillman Jr.
SECOND: ECS, 2-Year-Old Filly Pace, 2nd div, Purse $3,872:
Fox Valley Shiver (Freddie Patton Jr.) 2:05.1
Trainer: Freddie Patton Jr. Owner: Willie Scott.
THIRD: ECS, 2-Year-Old Colt Pace, 1st div, Purse $3,972:
Tower Power (Freddie Patton Jr.) 2:09.3
Trainer: Freddie Patton Jr. Owner: Marvin Kendrick.
FOURTH: ECS, 2-Year-Old Colt Pace, 2nd div, Purse $3,972:
Sheriff Joe (Freddie Patton Jr.) 2:06.4
Trainer: Freddie Patton Jr. Owner: Fair Meadow Farm.
FIFTH ECS, 2-Year-Old Trot, Purse $6,549:
Grey And Cloudy (Ronnie Gillespie) 2:08.4
Trainer: Ronnie Gillespie. Owner: Ronald Knupp.
SIXTH: Pace, Maidens, Purse $800:
Moonlite Yankee (Dakota Birch) 2:05
Trainer: Darry Birch. Owner: Darry Birch.
SEVENTH: Trot, Maidens/NW $1,000, Purse $800:
Heisperfection (Frank Fisher) 2:25
Trainer: Frank Fisher. Owner: Melissa Fisher.
EIGHTH: ECS, 3-Year-Old Filly Trot, Purse $3,546:
Sherrys Band (Freddie Patton Jr.) 2:07.3
Trainer: Freddie Patton Jr. Owner: Freddie Patton Sr.
NINTH: ECS, 3-Year-Old Colt Trot, Purse $3,417:
Powerful Anthony (Douglas Graham) 2:09
Trainer: Douglas Graham. Owner: Douglas Graham.
TENTH: ECS, 3-Year-Old Filly Pace, Purse $6,380:
Romantic Legacy (Antonio Love) 2:04.4
Trainer: Antonio Love. Owner: Fabien West.