10/20/2012 7:43PM

Hawthorne: Signsealndeliver completes rich Illinois-bred stakes sweep for connections

Four-Footed Fotos
Signsealndeliver produces the second major stakes win of the day for jockey Florent Geroux , trainer Roger Brueggemann, and owner Midwest Thoroughbreds.

STICKNEY, Ill. – Roger Brueggemann is not the animated type. A stranger watching him trundle away from a television monitor in Hawthorne’s underground paddock wouldn’t have guessed Brueggemann was going to greet Signsealndeliver, who just had given him, owner Midwest Thoroughbreds, and jockey Florent Geroux a sweep of two six-figure Illinois-bred stakes races here Saturday.

“I guess that one didn’t need a prep race, either,” Brueggemann said, about a close to a celebratory statement as the trainer was going to come.

Signsealndeliver won the $124,050 Lightning Jet Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths over Nagys Piggy Bank while making his first start since May 25. One race earlier, Missjeanlouise had won the $114,300 Powerless Stakes over Algonquin Posse in her first race since June 24. No prep race needed, indeed.

The Midwest operation of Richard and Karen Papiese leased stall space on the Hawthorne backstretch this summer and their horses had been training for months on the main track here while most of the Chicago equine population exercised at Arlington. That situation offered little benefit during opening week, when Brueggemann’s horses were strangely ineffective, but Hawthorne’s best-stocked trainer has come alive this racing week.

Midwest claimed 4-year-old Missjeanlouise, a horse Brueggemann had trained at 2, for $40,000 from her most recent start four months ago at Churchill. She showed a series of solid-to-fast Hawthorne drills for the six-furlong Powerless and ran to those works, stalking the pace of Sweet Lemon Chello and winning a prolonged stretch battle with Algonquin Posse, with Fire Tricks a well-beaten third. Winning time on a fast track was 1:10.82.

Missjeanlouise ($6.40) was the 2-1 favorite, but Signsealndeliver was less obvious, paying $12.80 as the fourth choice in an 11-horse field. Winning for the fifth time in nine Hawthorne starts, he rallied relentlessly from his preferred spot on the outside, getting into winning position on the far turn and finishing the job with a straight-and-true stretch run.

“I knew he was a winner at the top of the stretch,” Geroux said. “He was passing horses like nothing.”

Nagy’s Piggy Bank held the place by 1 ¼ lengths over Sacred Gift, who flattened out in the final furlong. River Bear, the second choice, made a mild bid for fourth closing on the inside. Winning time was 1:10.24 for six furlongs.

While Midwest, Brueggemann, and Geroux got the hardware, the day was a slightly bitter success for the team of owner-breeder William Stiritz, trainer Scott Becker, and jockey Chris Emigh, the human connections associated with the runner-up in both stakes.