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Hawthorne Racecourse (11/11/04)

Contact: Jim Miller
(708) 780-3700

Competitive Fields Headline Illinois Festival of Racing

STICKNEY, IL -- An excellent 10-race card on Saturday will be highlighted by six $100,000 added events as the Illinois Festival of Racing takes place. A fixture on the local scene for some time, the Festival has often helped to determine the Illinois Champions every year. From this yearís events, there are a few standouts, but also many wide-open fields.

Powerless Handicap

The opener for the Festival races is the Powerless Handicap as older fillies and mares sprint three quarters of a mile. The field of seven is led by highweight Synco Peach as she looks for her sixth win of the year in only eight starts. Off since September 17, Synco Peach was a winner in state-bred handicap company in her last at Arlington. Larry Sterling Jr rides as Synco Peach is the morning line choice at 5-2.

Second choice in the field is Piano Tunner. Trained by Hugh Robertson, Piano Tunner was claimed for only $10,000 at Arlington earlier this summer. Since the claim, she has won three races, breaking her allowance conditions and most recently coming in off a 6Ĺ length romp against $25,000 claimers. Seth Martinez is aboard the 3-1 second choice as Piano Tunner carries 111 lbs. in the Powerless.

The remainder of the field for the Powerless: Texas Tree, Liz Morris, 12-1; Fighting Fever, Jesse Campbell, 5-1; Jaguar City, Eusebio Razo Jr., 7-2; Miss Outrageous, Miguel Mena, 8-1, Seven Brides, Carlos Silva, 10-1.

Lightning Jet Handicap

It's an extremely competitive field in the Lightning Jet Handicap as seven are all in with a shot. Highweight in the six furlong sprint is Silver Bid as he makes his eighth start of the year. A winner of five of his seven races, Silver Bid has been very good at this distance throughout his career. Trained by Joel Berndt, Silver Bid ran second in the state-bred Chicagoland Handicap at Hawthorne this spring. Carlos Montalvo rides as Silver Bid is the 3-1 morning line choice.

Second choice in the Lightning Jet is Storm The Beach as he takes on stakes runners for the first time. Claimed for $10,000 at Arlington in July, Storm the Beach has won his last tow starts, easily handling state-bred allowance runners in each start. Emanuel Cosme is up once again as Storm the Beach is the 7-2 second choice.

The remainder of the field for the Lightning Jet: Shandy, Silva, 6-1; Big Bold Sweep, Razo, 4-1; Freeway Ticket, C.H. Marquez Jr, 10-1; Crack the Vault, Sterling, 5-1; Manitowish, Chris Emigh, 9-2.

Showtime Deb Stakes

An East coast invader headlines the field of 11 in the Showtime Deb as Toll Taker makes her Illinois Debut in the six furlong event for two-year-old fillies. A winner of three of five starts, Toll Taker most recently won the Grade 3 Astarita at Belmont on October 17. Carrying 121 lbs. in the Showtime Deb, Toll Taker is the 5-2 morning line choice and is ridden by C.H. Marquez, Jr.

Second choice is locally based Spanning as she looks for her third win in four starts. Trained by Andy Hansen and ridden by Chris Emigh, Spanning most recently defeated state-bred allowance runners in her last. Spanning is the 7-2 second choice in the Showtime Deb.

The remainder of the field for the Showtime Deb: Denoun N Deverb, Luis Robletto, 20-1; Arizona Rose, Campbell, 6-1; Daisy Mountain, Greta Kuntzweiler, 30-1; Bluesbdancing, Montalvo, 9-2; Cartís Turn, Tommy Molina, 15-1; Mz. Winjum, Razo, 8-1; Meadow Bride, Silva, 10-1; Scarlett Wolf, Earlie Fires, 20-1; Discreet Gal, Cindy Noll, 30-1.

Sun Power Stakes

The heaviest favorite on the Festival day card comes in the Sun Power Stakes as the Hugh Robertson trained Stormy Afternoon has been installed as the 9-5 choice in the six furlong event for two-year-old colts and geldings. A winner only once, Stormy Afternoon easily handled maiden company in winning by sixth lengths on August 6 at Arlington. He came back to post a game second against open company in a $50,000 optional claimer at Hawthorne, beaten only a half-length by stakes placed Santana Strings in that start. Stormy Afternoon will be ridden once again by Seth Martinez in the Sun Power.

Humor At Last could be the strongest threat to Stormy Afternoon as he makes only his second career start. A winner by seven lengths in his debut on October 16, Humor at Last is the 9-2 second choice and is ridden by Larry Sterling Jr.

The remainder of the field for the Sun Power: Oak Forest, Cosme, 8-1; Win Me Over (e), Emigh, 12-1; Nezarb, Shane Laviolette, 30-1; Barken, Randy Meier, 15-1; Chateau, Silva, 5-1; Fear Of Secrets, Mena, 6-1; Yukonís Gambler, Campbell, 12-1; Army Blue (e), Razo, 12-1.

Illini Princess Handicap

After the Sun Power has the heaviest morning line choice, the most wide open field of the day comes in the Illini Princess as 14 runners go 1 1/16 miles. The lukewarm morning line choice at 4-1 in the Illini Princess is Keeping the Gold as she makes her first start of 2004. Highweight at 118 lbs., Keeping the Gold was a winner of four of six races in 2003, but has been away since her fifth-place finish in the Grade 3 Pucker Up last summer at Arlington. Trained by Chris Block, Keeping the Gold will be ridden by Eusebio Razo Jr.

The remainder of the field for the Illini Princess: Zitlaly (f), Eddie Perez, 10-1; Oggi, Martinez, 8-1; Slide to Glory, Jerry Lasala, 6-1; Ms. Lydonia, Kuntzweiler, 5-1; Lady Riss (f), Robletto, 10-1; Direct, Morris, 6-1; Lucky Gambler (f), Fires, 10-1; Cashmere Miss, Silva, 15-1; Samantha B. Sterling, 10-1; Expendable, Emigh, 20-1; Moon Shine Time, Laviolette, 15-1; Arsen Annie, Campbell, 8-1; Natural Image, Cosme, 20-1.

High Alexander Handicap

A very competitive field has been assembled for the 1 1/16 miles High Alexander Handicap as the winner of this race from 2003 returns to try to repeat that effort. Wiggins is the highweight in the High Alexander as he carries 123 lbs. for jockey Eusebio Razo Jr and trainer Anthony Granitz. A winner of three of eight starts on the year, Wiggins has missed the board only once and comes in off an impressive victory against open allowance company at Mountaineer in his last start. Wiggins is the 5-2 morning line choice in the High Alexander.

The remainder of the field for the High Alexander: Ivan Jay Perry, Emigh, 10-1; Scooter Roach, Campbell, 9-2; Tanner Terrific, Fires, 15-1; King Magic, Cosme, 30-1; Magic Doe, Noll, 8-1; Garesche, Mena, 6-1; Home of Stars, Sterling, 5-1; Colorful Tour, Meier, 20-1; Bold Caller, Uriel Lopez, 201; Persuaggle, Perez, 20-1; Road Town, Silva, 15-1.

Hawthorne races from September 24 through January 2. Racing is slated for five days a week, Wednesday through Sunday and four days a week in December, Thursday through Sunday with an option to run on Wednesdays. First post daily is 1:10 pm. Hawthorne can be contacted at 708-780-3700 or on the web at





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