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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (4/4/08)

Contact: Mitch Demick (708) 222-4542

Two Stakes Sprints on Illinois Derby Undercard

Stickney, IL Ė The supporting undercard on Illinois Derby Day will feature two six furlong stakes, one comprising seven geldings, and the other, restricted to three-year-old fillies. The former is the inaugural running of the $75,000 James M. Levitch Illinois Owners Handicap, and the latter is the $50,000 Meafara Stakes, run this year as an overnight stake.

The races will be carded as the fifth and sixth, respectively, and will directly precede the 51st running of the Grade 2, $500,000 Illinois Derby.

In the Levitch, a race restricted to Illinos horse owners who hold a majority interest in their steed, Coach Jimi Lee makes his first start as an 8 year old, and will face a couple of salty runners, including the Christine Janks duo of High Expectations and Mighty Rule. Distorted Groom, Riverson, Heís Hot Sauce, and Out for a Spin complete the field.

Coach Jimi Lee still holds the record for the fastest six furlongs (1:07.27), set in December, 2003, and has a perfect 4-4 record at Hawthorne, but has won just once since August, 2006. Eddie Perez, aboard for many of Coach Jimi Lees triumphs, gets the mount.

The Meafara Stakes will showcase Paddy Wak Wakie, an impressive winner in her only career start on March 14. Paddy Wak Wakie blitzed a field of unsuspecting maidens, earning a huge debut Beyer Figure (89), at dismissed odds of 36-1. In addition, the daughter of Menifee reportedly bled in that race and will be equipped with the diuretic, Lasix, for this start. Tanner Riggs, aboard for the maiden win, will once again be in the saddle.

Her main challengers figure to be J Z Warrior, a two-time winner from the Billy Mott barn, and Miss Red Delicious, an impressive allowance winner, at Hawthorne, on March 13.

Le Wildcat, an overnite stakes winner at Hawthorne in the fall, almost must be given some consideration.

Optimistic Sreva, Janís Trophy, and Bambina complete the lineup.

Hawthorne Race Courseís Spring Thoroughbred meet begins on Friday, March 7 and will continue through Monday, April 28. Live racing will be conducted Thursday through Monday, 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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