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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (10/11/08)

Contact: Mitch Demick (708) 222-4542

Blanket Finish in Grade III Hawthorne Derby goes to Strait of Mewsina

Strait of Mewsina
Strait of Mewsina rolls home in Grade 3 Hawthorne Derby. Photo courtesty Four Footed Fotos
Far back early and seemingly out of contention, Richard Ravin’s Irish-bred Strait of Mewsina rallied from last to first to win a blanket finish in the 44th running of the Grade III $250,000 Hawthorne Derby by a neck over Cherokee Triangle. It was only a head back to Snoose Goose in third. The overwhelming favorite Adriano finished fourth, beaten about a half-length for the top prize. Mr. Mischief was a head further back in fifth.

Trained by Larry Rivelli and ridden to victory by E.T. Baird, the son of Spartacus had to overcome a jockey’s objection before the 19-1 longshot was declared the official winner. The mile and one-eighth race for 3-year-olds was timed in 1:49.98 on a turf listed as firm.

“I was feeling pretty good after the fast fractions,” Baird said, commenting on what many expected to be a slow early pace. “When you ride a lot of races sometimes it happens. When you look at a race like this, in a race that doesn’t figure to have a lot of pace, sometimes the riders might be told keep their runners forwardly placed. It just set up nicely for us.”

That “set up” came in the form of a 23.37 opening quarter and a 47.72 half-mile as Robscarvic and Mr. Mischief battled early. Cherokee Triangle and surprisingly, Adriano, were not far behind at any point of the race, but nobody could hold off Strait of Mewsina through the lane, as he recorded his third lifetime win, but his first triumph in 2008.

“That was a pretty big win for us,” said Rivelli. “We bought this horse in Ireland so we obviously figured we could run him in these types of races, being a 3-year-old race this late in the year. I really think this horse wants to run about a mile and a half. E. T. did

a great job. We’ll probably just put him away for the rest of the year. This was a good way to finish out the year. We obviously put him in a Grade 1 at Arlington. I’m not the kind of guy that will put a horse in a race where I don’t think he has a shot but we were looking a little silly before today.”

Kent Desormeaux, aboard beaten favorite Adriano said, “I was quite comfortable until the 3/8ths, then I asked him to run and that was it.”

Strait of Mewsina returned $41.40 $14.20 and $13.60. Cherokee Triangle paid $7.00 and $7.40 and Snoose Goose returned $12.80 to show.

Additional Quotes:

“It didn't look like we had any huge excuses," said Bill Mott of his trainee Adriano. The horse will head off to a planned rest."

“It was a real good race between all four who finished on the board,” said Cherokee Triangle’s jockey Victor Lebron. “It was a tough race, my horse ran a really good race. No excuses, no complaints."

Mary D. Keim Owners Handicap to Longshot Labar

Following in the footsteps of Strait of Mewsina, George Bates’ Labar moved powerfully from the back of the pack early, to in front at the wire and registered a victory in the first running of the $75,000 Mary D. Keim Owners Handicap. Run at one mile on the turf course, the third longest price on the board paid $63.40 to win as he stopped the clock in 1:36.60.

The margin of victory for Labar was three-quarters of a length ahead of Royal Leah, who also closed well down the lane, and it was another head back to Love Handles, yet another late finisher, in the race for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up.

The win marked the first career turf win for the 6-year-old mare after ten previous tries. She is trained by Rick Lindsey and was ridden to victory by Junior Alvarado.

Illinois residents with at least a 51 percent ownership-interest were eligible for the race.

Hawthorne Race Course began its Fall/Winter Thoroughbred meet on Friday, September 26, 2008 and will continue through January 11, 2009. Post time on Fridays through November 28 will be at 2:35 pm central time. Post time on all other cards will be 1:35 pm central time. Dark days will be Mondays and Tuesdays. We are located at 3501 S. Laramie Avenue, Cicero, IL 60804. Call (708) 780-3700 or visit the Web site at




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