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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (4/19/08)

Contact: Mitch Demick (708) 222-4542

Golden Velvet in Powerful Performance

Beats Tessa Blue in Sixty Sails Handicap

Golden Velvet (22K)
Golden Velvet
Stickney, IL – On paper it looked like it might be a two-horse race despite the presence of six other fillies and mares in the $200,000 Grade 3 Sixty Sails Handicap at Hawthorne Race Course Saturday afternoon. Golden Velvet and Tessa Blue were both coming out of the Grade 2 Rampart Handicap at Gulfstream Park, making them the only two runners exiting a graded event, and in the end, they indeed proved too tough for the others, with Golden Velvet grinding past front running Tessa Blue and eventually drawing clear for a 3 ˝ length score.

Tessa Blue, under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, set the pace after breaking sharply from the seven post and reached the quarter in a leisurely 23.97. After getting to the half in an unpressured 48.31 it looked like the even-money favorite might be long gone. But Golden Velvet and jockey Eibar Coa, never more than a few lengths back, hooked Tessa Blue on the far turn and despite lugging through the stretch, Golden Velvet proved to be much the best, in the mile and one-eighth event restricted to fillies and mares 3-years-old and up. The final time was 1:51.30.

“I thought she had an excuse last time (The Rampart Handicap) and she really didn’t run her race,” said winning jockey Eibar Coa. “I was very confident today and I thought she was the horse to beat. My horse was sharp and I would say my horse was much the best even though she was playing around in the stretch.”

The winner was trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and saddled at Hawthorne by his brother Neil McLaughlin.

Mike Smith, having to settle for his second Grade 3 placing on the afternoon, (his mount Fairbanks finished second in the Bill Hartack Memorial Handicap earlier on the card) commented on Tessa Blue immediately following the Sixty Sails, saying “I wanted the lead and I thought I could hold her, but she just wouldn’t go on.”

Kathleens Reel checked in third beaten more than six lengths by the winner, but more than eight lengths clear of fourth.

Golden Velvet paid $5.80 as the second choice in the wagering.

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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