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HAWTHORNE RACE COURSE

Hawthorne Racecourse (4/5/06)

Contact: DAK Productions
(708) 222-4540

Cause to Believe arrives at Hawthorne

Cause to Believe arrived safely at Hawthorne on Tuesday night, and is stabled in Tom Swearingen’s barn.

“He arrived in great shape, just perfect,” Swearingen said.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer plans on arriving in Chicago on Thursday night, and he will be on the backstretch on Friday morning.

Part-owner Peter Abruzzo, a Chicago native and resident of Long Grove, IL, will make himself available for potential interviews.

Cause to Believe -– trainer Jerry Hollendorfer (courtesy of NTRA, pulled from Tuesday afternoon’s teleconference)

“The post (number 7 of 10) should be fine. It would be hard for me to predict how the race is going to set up until I actually see the Racing Form and then sit down and spend some time with it, and decide where the speed is how it’s going to set up. My horse is pretty versatile, so you know, I can adjust, especially from that post. That’s a good post for me.

“(Running in the Illinois Derby) was mostly, it was a timing issue and I didn’t really particularly want to run in the Santa Anita Derby. So I chose either the Illinois Derby or I was, if I got behind on my schedule, then I was going to try the Toyota Bluegrass at Keeneland. But things have come up the way I wanted, so this race, time-wise, fits for me, and it’s been a proven path to the Derby before. So, it’s not like we’re trying to duck horses or find the easiest way, but it seems like a reasonable way for my horse to go.

“I’m not sure if he’s the best (3-year-old I’ve ever trained), but he’s certainly one of the best, and I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet. He does seem to be improving and I’m very happy with the progress that he’s made, and with a little more racing, he should be fine."

Cause to Believe defeated both A.P. Warrior and Wanna Runner in the El Camino Real, does that flatter the horse?

“Well, don’t know about that. You know, I would say that no one can say that he hasn’t beaten legitimate horses because I think it’s quite evident that he has. And, you know, that helps build up your confidence a little bit when you’re reaching out in trying to go for another race and then going to the big race. So, I’m going to say I’m happy that he’s beaten horses that are still being considered for the Derby.

“He seems to be filling out a little bit more with the spring coming on here, and he’s put on a little bit of weight even though we’ve trained relatively hard on him. He’s coming out of his races real well, so I’m happy with the way he is right now."

How has the rain affected your training schedule?

“I’ve been fortunate. Most of the times when I was scheduled to brief him, then the track was good or we were in between rain storms or whatever. And then when I worked him, when I worked him the other day, then I worked him before the races and the track was well groomed before the races, and he got a good work out over the race track."

Cause To Believe went through two sales rings, he brought 50,000 at Keeneland September in ’04, and then only 30,000 at the (Old Calis) Select Two-Year Old Sale. What did you see in him then, and why were you able to get him so cheaply (Eric Wing, NTRA)?

“I liked his video at the sale, and the reason I looked at the video is because I liked his page, and I like the stallion, Maria’s Mon, a lot. And Maria’s Mon has already produced one Kentucky Derby winner, so that’s what I liked about him. Why people passed him over? I have – I have no idea. All I know is what I see at the sales, and what I like, and I don’t – I don’t try to take from others what they’re doing at the sale – only what I like. And I liked, obviously, liked this horse enough to buy him.”

Thoroughbred Times profile

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 www.hawthorneracecourse.com.

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