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Hawthorne Racecourse (5/3/06)

Contact: DAK Productions
(708) 222-4540

Hawthorne Shows an Increase in Overall Handle

Sparked by a 16.62 percent increase in out of state handle on the live product -- $1,947,678 in 2006 compared to $1,670,121 in 2005 -- the 2006 spring Thoroughbred meet, run at Hawthorne Race Course from February 24 through May 2, concluded with an overall handle increase of 8.35 percent over the corresponding dates in 2005. An average of $2,400,138 was bet on the product per day in 2006, compared to $2,215,265 in 2005.

The dollars wagered on the live product in the state of Illinois were down from the previous year. The average daily wagering on the Hawthorne product on site was $160,188 per day, down 16.15% from the $191,050 per day handle in 2005, and in the state of Illinois, $292,272 was wagered on the live product each day, down 17.46% from $354,094 in 2005.

The average field size of 7.52 starters per race in 2006 was up slightly over the 7.45 average produced in 2005.

"We were in a transition phase this meet, but everything went very smoothly,” said Hawthorne’s assistant general manager Jim Miller. “I'm happy to see our average field size up from 2005. With the loss of Kentucky Derby weekend we were forced to open our turf course sooner than we ever had, but our crew had it ready, and our ability to run at least a couple of weeks on the grass helped boost our field size and handle figures. The numbers show our signal was very popular with the out of state bettors, and we look forward to carrying that momentum into the upcoming harness meet (six weeks beginning Saturday, May 6).”

On the racetrack, Chris Emigh won his fourth consecutive Hawthorne riding title, holding off the late charge of Eusebio Razo Jr. (56-49) in the final weeks to get it done. It was his sixth Hawthorne title overall (Fall of 2000, Fall of 2002, Fall of 2004, Spring of 2005, Fall of 2005 and Spring of 2006).

Tom Tomillo claimed his fourth Hawthorne trainer’s crown, posting a 28-20 margin of victory over his closest pursuer, Wayne Catalano. Tomillo also won Hawthorne titles in the Fall of 1988, the Fall of 2001 and the Spring of 2002.

Frank Calabrese, the perennial leader at both Hawthorne and Arlington, once again found himself atop the owner’s standings -- 20-11 over 2 Blondes, Inc.

Joseph J. Balsamo & Ted Theos’s Sweetnorthernsaint earned an emphatic 9 ¼-length victory in the 49th running of the Grade II Illinois Derby, the signature race of the National Jockey Club meeting at Hawthorne Race Course. Kent Desormeaux rode the Michael Trombetta-trained colt, who covered the mile and an eighth over a fast track in 1:49.82. Mister Triester finished second, and Cause to Believe checked in third. Both Sweetnorthernsaint and Cause to Believe are slated to compete in the Grade I Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 6.

In the spring meet’s two other graded events, Homewrecker Stable LLC’s Three Hour Nap captured the 51st running of the $$250,000 Grade III National Jockey Club Handicap for trainer Hugh Robertson, and Paul Saylor’s Fleet Indian scored a dominating 12 ½ length victory in the 30th running of the Grade III Sixty Sails Handicap for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Hawthorne’s spring 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, and opening day, Saturday May 6 (special early post).

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.

Hawthorne’s spring 2006 Thoroughbred meet ran February 24 through May 2.

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