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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (11/28/06)

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Campbell, Williams Join Hawthorne Jockey Colony

Top jocks slated to ride the remainder of the meet

The Hawthorne jockey’s room welcomes a pair of new tenants this week.

Joel Campbell, who began his career in Chicago in 1998 before eventually venturing away from home, and R. D. Williams, who has bagged well over 4,000 winners in his career, both intend to ride here for the remainder of the meet.

Campbell, whose twin brother Jesse has been a force on the local scene for more than ten years, returns to Chicago to ride regularly for the first time since 2001.

“Jesse is at the Fair Grounds, and with my dad (trainer Mike Campbell) having a good stable of 25 horses up there, the timing was right for me to come back home,” Campbell said. “When Jesse and I tried to both ride there at the same time, it never seemed to work out. I think I have a good opportunity to do well for the rest of this meet and hopefully next spring.”

Campbell has done the bulk of his best work at Turf Paradise in Arizona and at Prairie Meadows in Iowa. In his first year in Arizona he won nine stakes including their signature race, the $100,000 Phoenix Gold Cup. This fall he won with six of his 61 mounts at Turf Paradise, and earlier this season he finished in the top five at both Prairie Meadows meets. For the year, Campbell has 92 wins from 587 starts (16 percent).

Campbell is named to pilot two horses on Wednesday: Our Leading Man for Bobby Randwick Jr. in the third race, and Birdie Onthe Green in the eighth event for his father Mike.

Williams, who has plied his trade in Nebraska for a good portion of his career, was the leading rider at Fonner Park this winter/spring, and he finished second in the standings at both Columbus and Lincoln. For the year, Williams has 203 wins from 905 mounts (22 percent).

With Earlie Fires out with a shoulder injury and Larry Sterling Jr. on winter vacation, jockey agent Randy “Curly” Curran was in the market for a rider to finish out the meet.

“I worked with R.D. for ten years and we’ve won a couple thousand races together,” Curran explained. “He’s a solid veteran rider who is very smart and excellent out of the gate.”

Williams is slated to pilot a pair of horses on Wednesday: A. J.’s Conquest for Lon Wiggins in race two and Court Ruler for Michele Boyce in race four.

Carryover watch

Entering Wednesday’s action, Hawthorne’s Pick Six carryover pool stands at $48,768.

The 2006 fall Thoroughbred meet at Hawthorne Race Course runs September 15 through January 1 with live racing five days per week – Wednesday through Sunday (except Nov. 23 and Dec. 24). The dark days are Monday and Tuesday (except Oct. 9 and Jan. 1). Post time is 1:10 p.m. daily.

Hawthorne’s races can be seen live on Horse Racing Television (HRTV). HRTV provides full, in-depth coverage of the current Hawthorne Race Course meeting, with complete post parades, and expert analysis from the network's hosts.

Hawthorne’s spring 2007 Thoroughbred meet will run February 23 thru May 3. The summer 2007 Standardbred meet will be held June 22 thru August 5. The fall 2007 Thoroughbred meet will run September 17 thru December 31.

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