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Hawthorne Racecourse (4/4/06)

Contact: DAK Productions
(708) 222-4540

These Races Are For the Birds!

As an added attraction on Illinois Derby Day (Saturday, April 8), Hawthorne Race Course will present a pair of Ostrich races in which fans in attendance will have a rooting interest.

The races will be orchestrated by Hedrick’s Promotions Inc., an entertainment affiliate of Hedrick Exotic Animal Farm, Inc., based out of Kansas. The birds will be ridden by Hawthorne’s regular Thoroughbred jockeys.

Upon entering the gates, the first 8,000 patrons will receive a game piece with a numbered Ostrich, and if their fair feathered friend happens to cross the finish wire first in the "Early Bird Stakes” (run between Thoroughbred races three and four) they will receive an Illinois Derby commemorate t-shirt.

Later on in the day, between races nine and ten, Ostriches will again take to the track. Co-sponsored by Air Jamaica and Corona, the "Big Bird Sweepstakes" will give five lucky fans (drawn at random) a chance to win an excursion to Jamaica, or a trip to the 2006 Kentucky Derby. Each of the chosen fans will wear the number of a corresponding Ostrich, and the winner will be given the opportunity to choose between the two, co-grand prizes. The fan linked to the second place Ostrich will receive the second trip.

“Illinois Derby Day continues to grow as a racing and entertainment event,” said Hawthorne’s director of marketing Joe Scurto. “The Illinois Derby speaks for itself, especially with this year’s line up, but we want to continue to expand the entertainment offered between the races. These ostriches are wild and I think our jockeys are in for the ride of their lives,” Scurto said with a grin.

The Early Bird Stakes*

#1 Queen Lorene Christian Pilares
#2 Walshie Uriel Lopez
#3 Jonesy Tim Thornton
#4 Lou Slips Denis Rojas
#5 Slimmy Duane Salvino

The Big Bird Sweepstakes*

#1 Queen Lorene Nicolas Meza
#2 Walshie Tommy Molina
#3 Jonesy Miguel Mena
#4 Lou Slips Israel Ocampo
#5 Slimmy Eduardo Perez

* Ostrich names created by Hawthorne marketing staff.

The Grade II $500,000 Illinois Derby, a prestigious prep for the world famous Kentucky Derby, will be run at Hawthorne on Saturday, April 8. Other promotions for that day include:

  • Meet Harry Teinowitz of ESPN 1000 Radio & the Corona Girls who can give you their picks for the day!!
  • Greet the Daily Racing Form Gals on the Way in the Gates!!
  • Check out the South Shore Drill Team in two live performances on the Hawthorne Green!!
  • Watch a live ESPN 1000 broadcast with Jonathan Hood -- sponsored by Corona!!
  • Make Your Reservations early for the Gold Cup Dining Room and Drink Corona and Corona Light - only $3.50 a bottle all day long!!

Hawthorne’s spring 2006 Thoroughbred meet runs February 24 through May 4 with live racing five days per week: Friday through Tuesday. Post time is 1:10 p.m. Saturday through Tuesday and 3 p.m. on Friday. Hawthorne is dark Wednesdays and Thursdays and Easter Sunday April 16, but full card simulcasting from racetracks across the country is offered every day.

The Grade II $500,000 Illinois Derby, a prestigious prep for the world famous Kentucky Derby, will be run at Hawthorne on Saturday, April 8.

For more information visit





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