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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (4/26/08)

Contact: Mitch Demick (708) 222-4542

Juvenile winner Instill rebounds on Illinois Champions Day

The Windy City lives up to its Name

Stickney, IL – On a blustery spring afternoon, with the warm winds fiercely blowing, Hawthorne Race Course hosted its annual Illinois Champions Day, featuring six $100,000 stakes races. The stakes races were restricted to Thoroughbreds foaled and/or conceived in the state of Illinois.

Hawthorne's famous, or infamous, speed bias was missing today as the track played to a good mix of front-runners and closers. The track was listed as fast for all the races. Here is a recap of the featured stakes:

The Lady Hallie Stakes - 3-year-old fillies

The $106,700 Lady Hallie Stakes started the day, with odds-on favorite Big Lou quickly finding her usual position on the front-end, before willingly giving way in the stretch. Silver Stairs, stalking Big Lou most of the way, took over at the top of the lane, and fought the challenge of Carts Italian Rose through the stretch, to prevail by a nose at the wire. Big Lou easily held the third spot.

The winner was trained by Andy Hansen and ridden to victory by Tanner Riggs. The time for the six furlongs was 1:11.37. Maximum Six LLC owns and bred Silver Stairs.

Silver Stairs returned $19.80 to win.

Lady Hallie Quotes:

Tanner Riggs - jockey, Silver Stairs - “We wanted to have a good break. She’s had a tendency where she would kind of mess herself up at the break and fall back behind them. Today she broke pretty sharp. I didn’t want to be up too close. I just wanted her to run with the bit in her mouth because that’s the way she likes to do it. She’s one of those horses that likes to run down other horses. She likes to see them in front of her. On the backside, I was just sitting on her and she was running really comfortably. When we got to the top of the stretch, I knew T D’s horse (Big Lou) was starting to fall apart a little bit. But, I didn’t want to make the lead too soon. I thought that if we did, she would start looking around and hesitating. So, I tried to save as much as I could and she gave a game effort at the end.”

Andy Hanson - trainer, Silver Stairs - “She’s been training well all year. Tanner really fits her good and he can get this filly to run.”

The Milwaukee Avenue Handicap - 3-years-old and upward

The return to state-bred company did Instill a world of good, as the lone 3-year-old in the field of seven, wore down odd-on favorite Stonehouse through the stretch and put a neck in front at the wire to win the $86,475 Milwaukee Avenue Handicap. Stonehouse, carrying highweight of 119 pounds, cut all the fractions before eventually succumbing to the winner. It was 8 ¾ lengths back to Batten, who rallied for third.

Instill was trained by John Wainwright and ridden to victory by Jesse Campbell. The time for the mile and one-sixteenths race was 1:43.98. Instill is owned by Sharon R. Morgan.

Instill was sent off at odds of 10-1 and paid $22.00 to win.

Milwaukee Avenue quotes:

Jesse Campbell - jockey, Instill - “Chris Emigh and I were on the same page in the paddock. He had ridden Instill in the past. I was fortunate to have picked up the mount. The horse ran a tremendous race, let’s give the credit where it’s due. Stonehouse was on the lead, I had ridden him before and knew where he would be. I didn’t want to leave us with any excuses. It looked like I went into him too soon but I knew that to win the race, that was my only play. This horse ran a tremendous race. I thought the horse on our inside had a chance to come back and get us. But, I switched sticks and my horse gave me a little bit more.”

John Wainwright - trainer, Instill - “He’s a game colt. He really tries hard. I can’t say enough about him. I thought that if this horse stayed up close, he would run well. We had to eliminate getting stopped. We got stopped really bad in the Illinois Derby. I’m not saying we would have won it but we would have run better. We were a victim of circumstances there but I thought we would come back and run big.”

The Land of Lincoln Stakes - 3-year-old colts and geldings

Maggie Moss’ Classic R. J., claimed two starts ago for $25,000, made all of that back and then some, as the gelded son of Sky Classic went wire-to-wire in capturing the $98,275 Land of Lincoln Stakes. After rattling off fractions of 21.58 and 44.82, it would have seemed that the closers might engulf him, but Classic R. J. was drawing clear at the wire, an easy three-length winner over Brixton’s Conte. It was just another nose back to River Bear who was a clear third.

Classic R. J. was trained by Tom Amoss and ridden to victory by James Graham. The time for the six furlongs was completed in 1:10.77.

At 6-1 odds, Classic R.J. paid $14.40 to win.

The Land of Lincoln quotes:

James Graham - jockey, Classic R. J. - “Tom Amoss told me to just go have some fun. He doesn’t give a lot of instruction. Unless there’s something that you need to know about his runners, he’ll tell you. But, other than that, he’ll just let you go and run your own race. I wasn’t worried about the fast fractions. I was wondering if, in the last four or five jumps, if anybody was going to come after us, but, if that happened, I believe he would have given me a little bit more.”

The Peach of It Handicap - Fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and upward

It looked like a two horse race on paper between Stop a Train and Copper State. When the $92,075 Peach of It Handicap had concluded, it surely was Stop a Train and Copper State running one-two, as Stop a Train earned the hard-fought ¾ of a length decision over her game rival. Stop a Train prompted the pace set by Denouncer’s Gal, and took over as they turned for home. >From there the classy 6-year-old daughter of Devil His Due held tenaciously through the lane to earn the victory. Home’s the Best was easily third best, but nearly four lengths behind the winner.

Stop a Train was trained by Christine Janks and ridden to victory by Chris Emigh. The time for the mile and one-sixteenths was 1:46.73. Stop a Train is owned by Carson Springs Farm, Arbaway Farm and Nancy and Vince Letto.

Stop a Train returned $4.80 to win as the 7-5 favorite.

The Peach Of It quotes:

Chris Emigh - jockey, Stop a Train - “I’ve ridden this horse off and on. I was glad to get the mount back on her. The race set up good for her and it worked out. It felt like we geared it down on the backside. Down the lane it was so windy that it felt like we were in slow motion. I wasn’t really sure if we were going fast or not. But we held on for the win. That’s all that counts.”

Christine Janks - trainer, Stop a Train - “I have her grandmother. We’ve had the family line for a long time. Last year she had a really tough–luck year. She cut her leg up and nothing seemed to go right for her. This year it seems like everything is going the right way. All these Illinois days are great. For all the people that even have horses in these races, it’s a thrill to be here.”

The Governor’s Lady Handicap - Fillies and mares 4-years-old and upward

Secret Kin
Secret Kin
Last year's Lady Hallie winner, Secret Kin, using similar winning tactics as a 4-year-old, won the $91,725 Governor's Lady with a closing rush, flying by heavy favorite Pretty Jenny, in deep stretch. Pretty Jenny had tracked early leaders Bluesbdancing and Precious Zeal before taking over, and was able to hang on for second, ¾ of a length ahead of Magnetic Miss.

Eddie Perez rode the winner for trainer Chris Block. The final time for the six furlong race was 1:10.87. The daughter Sea of Secrets is owned and bred by Team Block.

Secret Kin returned $15.20 as the fourth choice in the wagering.

Governor’s Lady quotes:

Eddie Perez - jockey, Secret Kin - “She broke good and she relaxed. Chris gave me confidence in this filly. I broke well, dropped inside and made one move. Everything worked out perfectly. She might have been too fresh in her last race but she ran big in this one.”

Chris Block - trainer, Secret Kin - “We had some trouble with her feet last summer so we immediately stopped on her and waited for her 4-year-old season. We brought her back this spring. We wanted to get one prep in her before today. It was a little short five and a half furlong race and probably wasn’t what we were looking for but we weren’t too concerned about that. We just wanted to get that in her and set her up for today. It worked out well. The track has been playing fair all today. I told Eddie in the paddock that there was plenty of speed ahead of her. I told him to just drop in and save ground. If she got stopped she got stopped. I’ll take that blame after the race. Look for the hole. When you find it, you’ll have plenty of horse.”

The Chicagoland Handicap - Four-year-olds and upward

The late-closing High Expectations repeated in the $90,300 Chicagoland Handicap, catching his stablemate, favored Mighty Rule, in deep stretch. The winner ran the last quarter in just over 23 seconds, making up more than 10 lengths in posting the 1 ¾ length victory. It was 2 ¼ lengths further back to Holy Thursday, who completed the trifecta.

Chris Emigh rode the winner for trainer Christine Janks, both teaming up for their second stakes win of the day. The final time for the six furlongs was 1:10.18. S.D. Brilie LP owns and bred the son of Peaks and Valleys.

High Expectations paid $9.40 to win at odds of 7-2.

Chicagoland quotes:

Chris Emigh - jockey, High Expectations - “He’s a come from behinder. Turning for home I was closer than usual and I was happy. He was still running easy. I knew there was no way they could outsprint him to the finish. I had plenty left. He put me in a great position and just came running.”

Christine Janks - trainer, High Expectations - “This has been a great old horse. I raised him for the Hollands too so he’s kind of like a homebred, part of the family. As a matter of fact, these two spent the winter together, playing, scratching each other on the neck. So, it’s kind of mixed emotions when they are coming down the stretch. They were both right there. I was just happy that they did so well.”

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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