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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (4/11/09)

Contact: Mitch Demick (708) 222-4542

Beyond the Illinois Derby…

Stickney, IL – Okay, so the Illinois Derby is behind us, as are the camels and the ostriches. And don’t expect celebrity barrel races or a jockey javelin toss to entertain you in the last two-plus weeks of Hawthorne’s spring meet either.

Nope, following Musket Man’s very impressive victory last Saturday, we’ll surely dangle a few exotic carrots to get the masses to the racetrack, but for the most part, it will be racing—contests involving racing, wagering on racing—that will be the dominant theme until the curtains close on April 27.

Next Saturday is the Grade III Sixty Sails Handicap where top class fillies and mares will try to emulate Golden Velvet’s powerful performance of one year ago. While there are plenty of interesting nominees for the race, one in particular, Apple Martini, may be the most compelling.

You see, Apple Martini is a full sister to Illinois Derby runner-up, Giant Oak, and their mom is a mare named Crafty Oak, winner of this very race ten years ago.

Maybe she can one-up her little brother…for at least a moment.

The following Saturday is Illinois Champion’s Day where, besides witnessing the best of the Illinois-breds, you are bound to get rewarded for picking winners. Last year the average win payout was more than $14.00, and that’s nothing compared to last fall when the Festival of Racing yielded an average win price of over $31.00!

Did I mention contests? Because we’ve got a doozy on the same Saturday as Champion’s Day, April 25. It’s the $10,000 Spring Handicapping Challenge, where the winner takes home five grand; not bad for wagering your own money. Your only obligation is purchasing a $200 betting voucher and to follow the rules of engagement (sorry, I like to be dramatic). You keep any profits from your wagers, folks. It’s a good contest.

The $100,000 Handicapping Challenges will also continue through the end of the meet…and beyond. Only a few more chances—in the spring, at least—to win a free entry into the finals, and a chance at a $50,000 first prize! Remember the contests days are both Thursdays and Sundays…so get cracking!

Finally a mention about the Survivor Contest, which still had 43 players dreaming big as of Thursday morning ($100,000 bonanza should someone go unscathed through the last racing day). You have a long way to go, and though there’s a short time to get there (who sang that song?), the road is paved with racing potholes, the kind you can never see in advance. The palms will soon become sweaty and the heart will invariably beat a little faster…then try making contest plays.

I sure hope you didn't fall for the scare tactics, did you?

Whether you hide the matzoh or search for the egg, may your holidays be filled with good health and endless joy. We’re closed Easter Sunday, but we’re back at it on Monday…with some simple good old racing.

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 or call 708-780-3700.




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