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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (9/14/07)

Contact: Mitch Demick (708) 222-4542

Live Racing Returns to Hawthorne

Live Thoroughbred racing returns to Hawthorne Race Course on Friday, September 21 and continues through the end of the year. Racing will be conducted on a Wednesday through Sunday schedule with first post commencing at 1:35 pm central time.

The stakes schedule hits hard early when on September 29, Hawthorne will host the 71st running of the Grade II, $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup, a yearly event that has attracted a who’s who of racing champions and legends, long before the Breeders' Cup was even a thought.

The mile and one quarter race has seen Dr. Fager (1967), Round Table (1957, 1958), and the mighty Kelso (1960) take home the “gold” trophy, and in more recent times, Awesome Again (1998), Bucks Boy (1997) and Black Tie Affair (1990) were Gold Cup winners who went on to greater triumphs in the Breeders' Cup.

This year’s Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense remains a possible starter, as trainer Carl Nafzger continues to ponder a final prep race for the Breeders' Cup . . . stay tuned.

The other graded event during the fall meet will be run on October 13 when three year olds compete in the Grade III, $250,000 Hawthorne Derby. Run over the turf course at a distance of a mile and an eighth, the winner’s circle has greeted Bill Mott-trained horses in two of the last three years; Gun Salute in 2005 and Cool Conductor in 2004. Last year's winner was the Michele Boyce-conditioned, Illinois-bred, Best of Buddies.

On Saturday, November 3, Hawthorne will host the Phil Georgeff Festival of Racing, where the spotlight will fall solely on Illinois bred horses. There will be six stakes races for the Prairie State equines, slated to be worth $100,000 each.

The fall stakes schedule:

Date Race Age / Sex Distance Purse
Sat, Sep 29 Hawthorne Gold Cup (Grade II) 3 yo & up 1 1/4 Mile 500,000
Sat, Sep 29 Indian Maid Handicap 3 yo & up F&M 1 1/16 Mile Turf $100,000
Sat, Sep 29 Robert F. Carey Memorial Handicap (Grade III) 3 yo & up 1 Mile Turf $150,000
Sat, Oct 13 Hawthorne Derby (Grade III) 3 yo 1 1/8 Mile Turf $250,000
Sat, Nov 3 Powerless Handicap 3 yo & up F&M (IL Bred) 6f $100,000
  Lightning Jet Handicap 3 yo & up (IL Bred) 6f $100,000
  Illini Princess Handicap 3 yo & up F&M (IL Bred) 1 1/16 Mile $100,000
  Buck's Boy Handicap 3 yo & up (IL Bred) 1 1/16 Mile $100,000
  Showtime Deb Stakes 2 yo F (IL Bred) 6f $100,000
  Sun Power Stakes 2 yo C&G (IL Bred) 6f $100,000
Sat, Dec 8 Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante 2 yo F (IL Bred) 1 1/16 Mile $100,000
Sat, Dec 15 Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity 2 yo C&G (IL Bred) 1 1/16 Mile $100,000

There will be a few new faces around the backstretch for the fall meet as Jamie Ness and Justin Evans, second and third, respectively, at the recently concluded Canterbury Park meeting, will bring their trade to Hawthorne. Both trainers are known for being aggressive around the claiming box so it could make for some interesting competition. Ron Werner will also have horses stabled at Hawthorne for the first time.

The new additions will be competing with the likes of Chicago mainstays Wayne Catalano, Frank Kirby, Mike Reavis, et al, in addition to defending training champion Roger Brueggemann, who won his first training title during the Hawthorne Spring meet.

Jockey Israel Ocampo will be back to defend his spring riding title despite a horrific accident at Arlington Park on August 17, which resulted in multiple facial injuries requiring surgery. Ocampo’s agent Jodie Sinclair says that his client is “really anxious and excited to defend his crown,” and added “he worked a couple horses for Ness on the Hawthorne dirt course and thought the track was in great shape.”

Chris Emigh will attempt to regain his jockey title and will be part of a riding colony expected to include, among others, veteran jockeys Randy Meier, Eduardo Perez and Eddie Razo Jr.

Sebastian Madrid, a fixture in southern Florida, will bring his tack to Chicago and Kerwin John, who spent the summer at Arlington Park, will also bring his skills to the Stickney oval for the first time.

Hawthorne Race Course’s Thoroughbred meet begins on Friday, September 21 and will continue through the end of the year. Live racing will be conducted Wednesday through Sunday, regular first post 1:35pm central time. Hawthorne Race Course is located at 3501 Laramie Avenue, Cicero, IL 60804, gates open daily at 7 am. Call (708) 780-3700 or visit the Web site at




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