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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (4/26/07)

Contact: Mitch Demick (708) 222-4542

Illinois Champions Day

A few times a year Illinois racing has a day that showcases the best of its breed. On Saturday, April 28, the penultimate racing day of the Hawthorne Spring meet, 45 of the stateís finest Thoroughbreds are entered to compete in six separate stake races each worth $100,000. Both sexes will be equally represented on Illinois Champions Day and races will be run at either the six furlong sprint distance or the two-turn route of 1 1/16 miles.

From top to bottom, the six stakes, the morning line favorite and a thought or two about each race:

Land of Lincoln Stakes

Asiel Stableís Caruso is the clear 2-1 morning line favorite. The 3-year-old gelding romped in the Lost Code Stakes on Illinois Derby Day and will clearly take some catching. Lightly raced returnee Chillin Villain figures to be the main competition in a field of five three-year-old colts and geldings.

Distance - 6 furlongs

Governorís Lady Handicap

The Christine Janks trained Pretty Jenny is the morning line favorite at odds of 3-1. Unraced since a powerful performance in the Powerhouse Handicap in November, Pretty Jenny will carry high weight of 124 pounds and will look to make it four straight wins. Should the favorite fall short, Bluesbdancing and Trout River Red appear the main danger to the likely odds on choice. This race is for fillies and mares four years old and upward.

Distance - 6 furlongs

Peach of It Handicap

The entry of Ms. Lydonia and Stop a Train has been installed the 3-1 morning line favorite in this 1 1/16th race for three year olds and upward. Once again, Christine Janks has the upper hand as she trains both of the aforementioned favorites. Stop a Train will enter this race following a disappointing effort in the Mary Colleen Stakes, but has been training well for this start and should effectively rebound. Turbulent Thinking, who upset Stop a Train in the Mary Colleen, and Dyna Slam figure to be the mares to beat.

Distance - 1 1/16th miles

Milwaukee Avenue Handicap

Dale Romanís trainee Wiggins will be back to defend his title of a year ago and has been installed the 9-5 favorite to do so. The seven year old has faced some of the best in the business in recent starts and faces few such challengers here. Tenpointfive will be upset minded again. In November, the five-year-old gelding upset Wiggins when nursed on an easy lead in the High Alexander Handicap. If similar tactics are employed, then another theft is within reason. This race is for three year olds and upward.

Distance - 1 /16th miles

Ladie Hallie Stakes

This might be the most competitive of the six stakes. The morning line 7-2 favorite for the three year old filly sprint is Nancy and Richard Kasterís Rich N Clever. Entered off four consecutive second place finishes, Rich N Clever will need to be a tad braver in order to prevail. Those looking elsewhere might consider Asiel Stableís Copper State, a game winner of the Debutante Stakes in December, or maybe the Joseph Broussard trained Magnetic Miss, who ran well at this track last year and seems primed for a peak effort.

Distance - 6 Furlongs

Chicagoland Handicap

Older horses and geldings get together for the stakes finale with Owen Rainwaterís Distorted Groom getting the slight morning line nod at odds of 3-1. The gelded son of Distorted Humor ran lights out as a close runner up to Star by Design in his last start. A repeat of that effort will make him dangerous. S.D. Brilleís High Expectations, another Janks trainee, also figures to be a factor and will be using his late running style to try and catch them all at the wire.

Distance - 6 furlongs

For a complete list of entries go to:

Hawthorne Race Course races five days a week, Thursday through Monday through April 29. Located at Cicero or Laramie Avenues at 35th Street, gates open daily at 7 am. Call (708) 780-3700 or visit the Web site at




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