04/24/2010 11:00PM

Janks racks up a pair of stakes


The barn of trainer Christine Janks came into Saturday's action at Hawthorne having won six races from 47 starters. Early-season Hawthorne racing isn't Janks's forte; Illinois-bred stakes days are.

The Janks stable, often overseen at Hawthorne by assistant trainer Rob Dobbs, sent out two winners among the six Illinois-bred stakes contested Saturday at Hawthorne. Nicks won the $86,250 Governor's Lady by three-quarters of a length over Ripe Tomato, and Big Looie captured $89,625 Land of Lincoln by the same margin over Seguro. Janks-trained horses also took second in two other stakes, with Jitterbug Blues falling 1 1/4 lengths short of Souper Miss in the $90,725 Peach of It, and 24-1 High Expectations a head behind 43-1 winner River Bear in the $101,475 Robert S. Molaro.

Something stronger than Janks on Saturday at Hawthorne? Horses racing on or close to the early lead. Souper Miss ($4.20), making her 2010 debut for trainer Mickey Goldfine, was bet down to even-money favoritism in the Peach of It for older route females. She led or pressed moderate splits throughout and took over in the stretch to win going away. Tim Thornton rode the winner for owner Bob Ackerman et al.

That was the day's first stakes race, and race shape remained similar throughout the card. In the $85,725 Milwaukee Avenue for older male route horses, favored Stonehouse pressed pace-setting Racing Bran all the way, taking a brief lead at the stretch call, but Racing Bran ($6.60), hugging the rail, came back on late under Chris Emigh and won by a head for owner Bill Stiritz and trainer Scott Becker.

Nicks ($9.40) also pressed, then led on her way to victory in the six-furlong Governor's Lady. She was ridden by Lyndie Wade and is owned by Dobbs and Ken Meeker.

In the six-furlong Molaro, even-money Shrewd Operator hopped at the start, then rushed up to take an early lead, but he quickly was collared by River Bear, who took over in upper stretch and held off stretch-running High Expectations. River Bear ($88.60) was ridden by Danush Sukie and is trained for Dana Waier Thoroughbreds by Rusty Hellman,

Favored Wild Hope proved much the best in the $105,825 Pretty Jenny for 3-year-old fillies. Trained by Frank Kirby for Gary and Beth Leveton, Wild Hope ($5.60) took over in midstretch and powered to a 6 1/4-length win under Tanner Riggs.

In the stakes finale, it was pace-pressing Big Looie and Emigh holding off Seguro to win the Land of Lincoln. Big Looie, who paid $11.80 to win, is owned by the S.D. Brillie Limited Partnership.