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HAWTHORNE RACE COURSE
|Hawthorne Racecourse (5/19/06)
Contact: DAK Productions
Night Of Champions Right Around the Corner!
Night Of Champions Preview
On Saturday, June 3, Hawthorne will present their second annual “Night Of Champions.”
The Night Of Champions was a huge success last season at Hawthorne in its inaugural run which highlighted the top Illinois-Bred 2 and 3 year-old stars of both gaits. This season, because Hawthorne’s race dates were much earlier in the year than they were last year, the Night Of Champions undertook a slight alteration.
Of course, all four divisions of sophomore Prairie State performers, which includes the fillies and colts for both trotters and pacers, will be featured. However, the four divisions of 2 year olds had to be eliminated because of the early meet and they were replaced with three divisions of older Illinois-Bred Stars. This year’s Night Of Champions will feature the best aged trotters and pacers. There will be one division for trotters and two divisions, one for each sex, for the older pacers.
There will be two legs in each of the seven divisions that will determine the final fields for the Night Of Champions. For the four 3 year-old divisions, leg one will go for a purse of $8,000 and leg two will go for a purse of $12,000. In the three divisions for the older ICF performers, leg one will have a purse of $10,000 and leg two will carry a purse of $15,000. The top ten money winning totals from both of the legs will earn spots behind the starting gate in their respective division on the Night Of Champions. All seven finals will carry an estimated purse of $50,000.
The names of the Night Of Champion events were inspired by former and actually present Illinois-Bred greats. The 3-year-old filly trot is titled “The Silhouette Star” after the filly who was the only horse to win consecutive final events at Hawthorne the past two seasons. “The Brandenburg” is our 3-year-old colt trot. Brandenburg was an Illinois-Bred trotting star who won over a half million dollars in his career. As a 3-year-old, Brandenburg won 15 times and won over $360,000 and was third in the 1986 edition of The Hambletonian.
Our 3-year-old filly pace is called “The Plum Peachy.” Plum Peachy had a short but marvelous career, winning 15 of 18 lifetime starts as a 2 and 3 year old, including an undefeated freshman campaign under the reinmanship of Walt Paisley. “The Hothead” is our 3-year-old pace. A winner of over $900,000 in his seven season campaign, Hothead won 29 of 33 starts as a 3 year old.
The aged trot is titled “The Eddy Oakley” honoring Daryl Busse’s great Illinois-Bred trotter who campaigned 13 years from ages 2 through 14. The aged filly and mare pace is “The Loyal Opposition,” named after perhaps the greatest Illinois-Bred pacer of all time. Interestingly enough, Loyal Opposition is still campaigning and better yet, she is nominated to the race named after her. Finally, “The Jimmys Pilot” is our aged horse and gelding pace. Jimmys Pilot is the only three-time Illinois Horse of the Year, winning that award in 1965, 1966 and 1967.
Leg One of each of the seven stakes will run from Wednesday, May 17 through Sunday, May 21.
Leg Two for those stakes will go postward from Wednesday, May 24 through Sunday, May 28 and it all comes to a grand conclusion on the Night Of Champions, Saturday, June 3.
Let’s take an early look at Frog Dooley’s top three picks in the seven Night Of Champion races.
The Silhouette Star – 3-year-old ICF Filly Trot
Go Go Gabby
The Brandenburg – 3-year-old ICF Colt Trot
The Plum Peachy – 3-year-old ICF Filly Pace
The Hothead – 3-year-old ICF Colt Pace
Hot N Sporty
The Eddy Oakley – 4 & Up ICF Trot
The Loyal Opposition – 4 & Up Filly & Mare Pace
The Jimmys Pilot – 4 & Up Horse & Gelding Pace
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.
For more information visit www.hawthorneracecourse.com.
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