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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (10/24/07)

Contact: Mitch Demick (708) 222-4542

New Breeders’ Cup Races Feature Local Talent

It is the 24th year for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, but it is year one for three races that have made their way into the starting lineup…and in the leadoff position.

For the first time in its history, the Breeders’ Cup will be contested over a two-day period, with today’s races marking the debut of the Filly and Mare Sprint, the Juvenile Turf, and the Dirt Mile. Each of the three races will be worth $1,000,000.

In two of those races, trainers based at Hawthorne Race Course will bring legitimate contenders to the starting gate in Miss Macy Sue and Lewis Michael.

Kelly Von Hemel will saddle Miss Macy Sue in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. A winner of five of her six starts in 2007, her earnings of $433,717 are exceeded only by probable favorites Dream Rush and La Traviata, while her five wins on the season is the most in the elite field.

Drawing a favorable post position is important in every race, but for a sprint with this caliber of race horse, it can be critical.

“Unfortunately we drew the one hole so I guess Eddie’s (Razo) going to have to maneuver a little, but on the upside, the rail’s been good here (Monmouth Park) all summer and we have a real nice mare,” said Von Hemel.

“There’s a real buzz in the air here the last couple of days, and it’s exciting to be a part of it. I don’t plan on giving Razo any instructions, so we’ll just hope things work out.”

Miss Macy Sue will probably offer some betting value at around 10-1, and may only need to work out a trip to spring the mild upset. Dream Rush, unraced since August; Hysterical Lady, cutting back in distance but a winner over the track; and La Traviata, an undefeated three year old, all figure strongly in the six furlong event.

In the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Mile, Hawthorne leading trainer Wayne Catalano will start Lewis Michael, the older brother to Filly Juvenile ’06 winner Dreaming of Anna.

Much like his kid sister, Lewis Michael has shown the ability to handle turf or dirt, but will try the conventional dirt for the first time since November, 2006. Catalano, however, isn’t showing up for the big day just to be a part of the festivities.

“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think we had a real chance,” offered Catalano. “We drew the two post, which I’m happy with and I think we’ll be in a good position behind all the other speed in the race.”

Catalano has enlisted kid jockey sensation Joe Talamo for the ride and has all the confidence that Talamo will handle the limelight of a Breeders’ Cup afternoon.

“Hey, we got Broadway Joe Talamo to ride our colt. The kid’s already ridden many graded races so we think he’ll handle himself fine.”

Lewis Michael will also probably be around 10-1 or higher but will have his work cut out trying two turns on the dirt for the first time in over a year.

The one mile and seventy yards race will feature Grade One winners Discreet Cat and Corinthian.

The third Friday Breeder’s Cup race is the one mile Juvenile Turf and appears to be a wide-open race where many European based horses will battle it out with the Americans.

The European entries would appear to hold the upper hand in this spot since the majority of more meaningful prep races seem to have taken place across the pond.

Still, Prussian and Gio Ponte, America’s leading contenders in this race, are undefeated and will get plenty of pari-mutuel action as they try to beat a Euro-contingent that includes Strike the Deal, Domestic Fund and Achill Island.

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 www.hawthorneracecourse.com.

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