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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (12/13/07)

Contact: Mitch Demick (708) 222-4542

Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity: A ‘Bear’ of a Race

Assistant General Manager and odds maker Jim Miller installed River Bear the 7-2 morning line favorite in the $100,000 Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity for two-year old Illinois bred colts and geldings. The event will be run on Saturday, December 15.

The reasoning being the gelded son of Unreal Zeal has already shown a distance of ground will not thwart his chances, as he has already won at today’s stakes distance of one mile and one sixteenth.

The full brother to the talented Illinois-bred Lady Riss won a non-other-than allowance on November 25, and confirmed what his trainer Rusty Hellman already suspected.

“I couldn’t wait to stretch him (River Bear) out,” acknowledged Hellman. “Knowing what his sister accomplished and watching him train, I was pretty confident he would like the added distance.”

In that race on November 25, River Bear beat Instill, one of two that trainer John Wainwright has entered for the 29th running of the Futurity, by more than four lengths.

“I feel good about my chances, but John’s got a couple in here that will be tough,” Hellman continued. “Instill went straight from a maiden win into that allowance race against us, and he’ll probably be tougher with that trip under his belt.”

In fact, Wainwright himself is cautiously optimistic that both Instill and Dakota Rebel, winner of the Sun Power Stakes, will give a good account of themselves on race day.

“I think he’ll handle the route,” said Wainwright speaking of Dakota Rebel. “His full brother was General Darby and he sure was better going long.”

As for Instill, his trainer thinks he’ll be an even better three-year-old. “I think he’ll mature more next year, but I think he has a chance here. Either way, they’ll both have to outrun River Bear to win.”

Lest you think this is a three-horse race, a field of ten will assemble at post time, and trainer Hector Magana also believes his rapidly improving P D Q Kiddo should be left in the mix.

“I think he’ll be competitive,” said Magana. “I’m a little worried about the two-week turnaround from such a fast race, but he’s eating and training well so we’ll give it our best.”

At least the strategy for P D Q Kiddo won’t be complicated. “We’re gonna go. Well, at least that’s the plan.”

But as mentioned by Wainwright, all roads to the winner’s circle go through River Bear.

“River Bear’s as tough as they come,” said Hellman. “It seems like he gets in a lot of trouble and still finds a way.”

PP Horse Trainer Jockey Odds
1 Holy Vesper Brown Houghton 10-1
2 FrostyBDancing Gore Ocampo 15-1
3 Flyabovetherest Richard Razo Jr. 12-1
4 Best Buddy Williamson Riggs 8-1
5. Creole’s Affair Bettis Betancourt 20-1
6 P D Q Kiddo Magana Thornton 8-1
7 Dakota Rebel Wainwright Sanchez 5-1
8 River Bear Hellman Lagunes 7-2
9 Instill Wainwright Emigh 4-1
10 Iron Vow Rivelli Perez 6-1

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 1:35 pm 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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