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Horse slaughter in Illinois
HAWTHORNE RACE COURSE
|Hawthorne Racecourse (4/26/06)
Contact: DAK Productions
Illinois Champions Day is Wide Open!
Six $100,000 stakes events restricted to Prairie State performers will be presented at Hawthorne on Saturday’s Illinois Champions Day program. The stakes will be run consecutively (races four through nine), on what promises to be a challenging, and potentially very rewarding, ten-race betting card.
Peach of It Handicap
A field of eight older female routers is set to leave the starting gate in the Peach of It Handicap. Hawthorne’s morning-line maker Jim Miller has installed Asiel Stable’s Meadow Bride as the lukewarm 7-2 choice. The Richard Hazleton-trained 4-year-old defeated her elders in the Illini Princess Handicap as a sophomore here last fall, and swings back off a second place run behind Sunset Kisses in an open allowance at Hawthorne on April 2.
Patrick Walsh’s Toll Taker, the second choice in the program at 4-1, has campaigned outside of her home state for all but one of her 18 career starts. The Peach of It highweight at 122 pounds, this stakes winning 4-year-old has competed in several graded events throughout the course of her young career for trainer Tim Hills. In her only previous appearance at Hawthorne, during the fall of her 2-year-old season, Toll Taker stumbled out of the gate and lost her jockey as the overwhelming favorite in the Showtime Deb Stakes. Toll Taker returns to Chicago off an even seventh place effort in the seven furlong, Grade II Shirley Jones Handicap at Gulfstream Park.
4th race $100,000 Peach Of It Hcp.
Milwaukee Avenue Handicap
A field of eight older male routers is entered to compete in the Milwaukee Avenue Handicap, and Miller’s slight choice is Nancy A. Vanier’s Air Academy at 7-2. A turf horse most of his career, the 5-year-old Brian Williamson-trainee has really flourished on the dirt this meet, posting consecutive open company allowance wins, the most recent of which earned him a 100 Beyer Speed Figure on March 25.
William Pacella, Joseph Rizza and Ronald Schwed’s multiple stakes winning Wiggins, the highweight in the field at 123 pounds, is the 4-1 second choice in the program. The 6-year-old overwhelmed his Illinois competition over similar conditions in the High Alexander Handicap here last fall for trainer Dale Romans, defeating fellow Milwaukee Avenue contender High Expectations by nearly five lengths. The winner of 12 of his 29 lifetime starts, Wiggins has banked $628,742. He was last seen finishing third in a $250,000 claimer at Gulfstream on April 14.
5th race $100,000 Milwaukee Avenue Hcp.
Lady Hallie Stakes
A wide-open field of 13 sophomore fillies is slated to leave the starting gate for the Lady Hallie Stakes, and eight of them have won at least one race at this meet. Miller’s ever so slight program choice is Oxbow Racing’s Rich Fantasy at 4-1. She scored a game win in the Showtime Deb Stakes at Hawthorne on Nov. 12 for trainer Ronnie Werner, and just missed posting an open company stakes tally in her follow-up start in the Dixie Belle at Oaklawn. In her most recent run in Arkansas on Feb. 24, Rich Fantasy checked in an even fifth in the Martha Washington Stakes.
The Brian Williamson-trained entry of Nancy Vanier and Lyda Williamson’s Albata and Nancy Vanier and Cartwright Thoroughbred’s Lampoon are next in the odds pecking order at 9-2. The former cuts back off a trio of route races at the meet, two of which produced romping allowance scores. The latter swings back off an even seventh place performance in the open Meafara Stakes here on Illinois Derby Day (April 8). One start earlier, Lampoon smoked a field of first-level, Illinois allowance foes.
6th race $100,000 Lady Hallie Stakes
Land of Lincoln Stakes
A dozen sophomore colts and geldings, eight of which have posted at least one win at the meet, have been entered for the Land of Lincoln. Once again a lukewarm morning-line favorite has been tabbed in Centerfire 3’s Rochester Cat at 4-1, a sharp winner of the ITBOF Sales Stakes as the overwhelming 1-9 favorite for trainer Andy Hansen on April 9 at Hawthorne.
Scott E. Ricker and Richard S. Kaster’s Silver Titan, the runner-up the Sun Power Stakes at Hawthorne last November for conditioner Ronnie Werner, is the second choice at 5-1. He finished second in a second-level optional claiming allowance at Oaklawn on March 17 in his only appearance of the year.
7th race $100,000 Land of Lincoln Stakes
Governor’s Lady Handicap
A field of ten older female sprinters is slated to leave the starting gate in the Governor’s Lady Handicap, and another 4-1 shot, Robert Bockel and Dwight Espenschied’s Denoun N Deverb, the gate to wire victress in the Powerless Handicap at Hawthorne in her final start of 2005 for trainer Leroy Hellman, has emerged as the slight 4-1 program choice. She is unraced this year.
Bob and Nancy Bartels’ Bluesbdancing, the highweight at 120 pounds, is the second choice at 9-2. A two-time Illinois-bred stakes winner for trainer Terrell Gore, she swings back off an impressive conditioned allowance win over open foes here on March 18.
Last year’s Governor’s Lady Handicap winner, Jim Edgar’s Fighting Fever, is an early 20-1 shot for trainer Tom Dorris in this year’s edition, and the 2005 Illinois-bred 3-year-old filly champ, Arbaway Farm and Carson Springs Farm’s Pretty Jenny, the winner of the Lady Hallies Stakes on Illinois Champions Day last year for Christine Janks, is 5-1.
8th race $100,000 Governor’s Lady Hcp.
The Chicagoland Handicap’s 123-pound highweight, Ben Dover Stable’s defending race champ Take Achance On Me, has been pegged as the 7-2 morning-line choice to defend his title. Based in Maryland with Michael Trombetta, the trainer who captured the Illinois Derby earlier in the meet with Sweetnorthernsaint, the 8-year-old gelded son of American Chance has won eight of 45 career starts en route to banking $472,561. He recently returned from a nine-month layoff to finish second in a high-level optional claiming allowance dash at Laurel Park.
The second choice is Eugene Young’s multiple Illinois-bred stakes winner Silver Bid. Trained by Joel Berndt, the ageless 8-year-old gelding will eclipse $700,000 in career earnings with a top five finish on Saturday. In his only start of the meet, Silver Bid finished a gutsy second behind the classy Fifteen Rounds in an open allowance dash on March 10.
9th race $100,000 Chicagoland Hcp.
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.
Hawthorne’s summer 2006 Standardbred meet runs May 6 through June 17 with live racing six days per week: Tuesday through Sunday. Post time is 7:20 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. Opening day, Saturday, May 6, post time will be at 6:30 p.m.
Hawthorne’s fall 2006 Thoroughbred meet runs September 15 through December 31 with live racing five days per week: Wednesday through Sunday. Post time is 1:10 p.m.
For more information visit www.hawthorneracecourse.com.
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