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Hawthorne Racecourse (5/1/06)

Contact: DAK Productions
(708) 222-4540

Hoppe Crowned Midwest Champion

Handicapper’s from all over the country converged on Hawthorne this past weekend for the lucrative $50,000 Midwest Championship, but when the dust settled, it was a very familiar face holding the $20,000 check.

Gordon Hoppe, who captured both the Horseshoe Open and the Cicero Open during the Spring Championship Series at Hawthorne to earn a pair of berths into the Midwest Championship, emerged on top in what was a very closely contested event from start to finish.

Angie Whaley, who earned $5,000 for emerging on top at the conclusion of day one, faded off the scene by tournament’s end (43rd), and the names in the top ten changed several times during the course of the 12-race competition.

Hoppe kept himself in striking position throughout, and used a late charge to solidify his position at the finish wire.

“The first day I just wanted to stay conservative, and keep myself in the game,” the resident of Westmont explained. “On Sunday, when the track came up sloppy, I knew it (the contest) was up for grabs. I made the right choices and it worked out. I was first or second with my last four picks, and it was good enough. I’m very pumped up right now. It was a great tournament.”

Hoppe has been handicapping horses for 25 years, and he deems “upswing horses, track surface, class and track bias” as the angles that he relies on most.

The top twenty finishers in the Midwest Championship received cash prizes, and the second, third and fourth place finishers were also rewarded with an entry into the $1 million Horseplayer World Series, to be held at Coast Casino’s Orleans in Las Vegas in January of 2007 (complete with air fare and hotel accommodations).

Midwest Championship, Final Standings (Top Five)

Rank Name Score Prize
1 Gordon Hoppe, IL 16,581 $20,000
2 Anthony Lavorato, IL 15,769 $5,000 & HPWS entry*
3 Kevin Perkins, IL 15,126 $4,000 & HPWS entry*
4 David Mahoney, IL 14,823 $3,000 & HPWS entry*
5 Randy Jespersen, IL 14,010 $2,000

* complete with air fare and hotel accommodations

For complete Midwest Championship entry results, click or cut and paste into your browser:

In the near future, Hawthorne will release tournament dates for its upcoming harness meet, so stay tuned!

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





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