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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (4/19/08)

Contact: Mitch Demick (708) 222-4542

Ryan’s For Real from start to finish In Bill Hartack Memorial Handicap

Ryan's For Real
Ryan's For Real
Stickney, IL – Exiting the seven furlong, Grade 1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct, you might have expected Ryan’s For Real to flash some speed stretching out to one-mile and one-eighth, but it was an even bigger stretch to think he would hold off the likes of graded winner Fairbanks at the prolonged distance. However, that was exactly the case, as Ryan’s for Real led them start to finish in the $200,000, Grade 3 Bill Hartack Memorial Handicap on Saturday at Hawthorne Race Course.

Breaking from post five in the five-horse field, Ryan’s For Real outsprinted both Fairbanks and Mister Triester into the first turn to seize command into a 23.61 opening quarter-mile. From there jockey Erick Rodriguez and Ryan’s For Real reached the half mile in 47.55. Always on his flank was favored Fairbanks ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith. Around the turn Fairbanks headed Ryan’s for Real, but the son of Sword Dance re-broke at the top of the stretch and was well clear at the wire, a 3 ˝ length winner.

“I was looking at the races earlier today and speed was pretty good,” said Rodriguez. “That was the instruction and it worked. When I saw Fairbanks coming after us on the turn, I didn’t want to move too early.”

The instructions worked perfectly and the fact that Ryan’s for Real stayed the distance was no surprise to his trainer Dale Capuano.

“He’s done very well in the morning. The farther he trains the better he seems to go so I thought he could get the mile and an eighth,” Capuano said.

That he did. As for Fairbanks, sent postward at 4-5, there weren’t any apparent excuses according to Smith. “No real excuses. I put a half length on him (Ryan’s For Real) going into the far turn, and I thought I’d open up at that point, but that horse came back and I couldn’t stay with him anymore.”

Fairbanks easily held the second spot as it was four lengths back to Mr. Champ who edged out Good and Lucky for third.

Despite intermittent rains throughout the day, the track was listed as fast and the final time was 1:51.18.

Ryan’s For Real returned $14.40 to win as the 6-1 fourth choice.

Hawthorne Race Course’s Thoroughbred meet concluded January 13, 2008 and will reopen Friday, March 12, 2008. 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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