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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Hawthorne Racecourse (4/9/09)
Contact: Mitch Demick (708) 222-4542
Streaking Hurta Seeks Fifth Straight
Stickney, IL – Much has been written about the similarities between Hurta and a former Tom Tomillo-trained reformed-claimer, Lord of the Game. Sure, both were claimed for $10,000, and Hurta has been impressive in his last four starts, winning each by open lengths. But Lord of the Game won multiple stakes, two of them graded, while Hurta will try stakes company for the first time on Saturday, in the Bonasera Stakes at Hawthorne.
The overnight stake will be contested on the main track at 1 1/16 miles and will have a field of seven vying for the lion’s share of $50,000.
In the fall, Hurta reeled off three straight wins, all at the distance of Saturday’s event, but perhaps his most impressive win came on March 27. Returning from a layoff and at a distance probably less than ideal, the son of Silver Deputy surprised even his own connections by rolling to a five-length win in a six-furlong allowance race. Tim Thornton, aboard for that victory, will get the call.
While today’s race might not exactly be the “acid test,” the field has attracted some quality opposition that might make Hurta work for his fifth consecutive triumph.
The main threat, and possible favorite in the race, is Louie Roussel’s Brothers Nicholas. The 5-year-old gelding exits three straight graded stakes, hardly embarrassing himself in any of them. His latest attempt in the Grade III Mineshaft Handicap resulted in a third-place finish, and three races back he was fourth in the Grade II Hawthorne Gold Cup. Eddie Perez was the rider on Gold Cup day and will ride again on Saturday.
Also figuring to get some consideration are Frank Calabrese’s It’s Never to Late, a dangerous front-runner who wintered at Gulfstream; Unbridled Vicar, part of a coupled entry from the Greg Geier barn; and Alcomo, an interesting Brazilian-bred, who once raced against 2008 Dubai World Cup runner up, Asiatic Boy.
The Estate of Thomas Carey has owned and operated Hawthorne Race Course for 100 years, distinguishing it as the oldest continuously family-owned and operated race track in the nation. As the oldest sports venue in Illinois, Hawthorne Race Course has been an integral player in the legendary heritage of Chicago sports entertainment. Hawthorne Race Course begins its Spring Thoroughbred meet on Friday, March 6, 2009 and will continue through April 27, 2009. Post time is 1:25 pm central time for all live racing. Dark days will be Tuesday and Wednesdays. We are located at 3501 S. Laramie Avenue, Cicero, IL 60804. For more information on Hawthorne Race Course visit www.hawthorneracecourse.com or call 708-780-3700.
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