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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (4/17/09)

Contact: Mitch Demick (708) 222-4542


Catch the "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" at the Nation’s Oldest Family-Owned and Operated Race Track

Stickney, IL – On May 2, Hawthorne Race Course, 3501 S. Laramie, will feature a weekend of festivities to celebrate the most prestigious horse race of the year. In celebration of 100 years of family-owned racing, Hawthorne is hosting Chicago’s biggest Kentucky Derby Party featuring live music, an outdoor barbecue and beer fest, a charity chili cook-off, and tent lounges with dozens of high-definition flat screen TVs so fans can watch and wager on the “Run for the Roses” in style.

For a mere $4.00 admission, Kentucky Derby fans can experience Hawthorne Race Course’s expansive grounds and exciting line-up of events offering the next best thing to being on the infield at Churchill Downs. Guests can also opt for a $50 VIP Pass for two which includes admission, program and a barbecue and beer package and a commemorative Mint Julep glass. Gates will open at 8:00 am for those hoping to catch the first race at 9:30 am, while the outdoor party will kick off at 11:00 am.

Leading up to the main event, which will simulcast at 5:15 pm, several of Chicagoland’s best known barbecue vendors will be offering hungry fans a smorgasbord of ribs, chicken, burgers, brats and a full pig roast. To help wash it down, Hawthorne will feature craft beers all afternoon on the apron.

Throughout the day, dozens of Chicago and suburban firehouses will also be competing on site for the best Derby Day Chili. Patrons can sample from over 100 gallons of chili and vote for their favorite recipe in exchange for a suggested donation, benefiting the charity of the winning team’s choice. Voting will take place between 11:00 am and 3 pm and the Derby Chili Cook-Off champions will be announced at 4:00 pm on the band stage. The winners will receive a $500 cash voucher and a suite party at Hawthorne Race Course for 20 people.

Between licking barbecue sauce off fingers and sipping Hawthorne’s signature Mint Juleps, guests can win cash and prizes all day, from flat screen televisions to concert tickets to see Elton John and Billy Joel at Wrigley Field. A live broadcast hosted by Big Doug from 670 The Score will take place on one stage while live bands will be playing from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm on the other, with a line up featuring Bifunkal, SunFallen and Safe Haven—all local rock, funk and cover bands.

For indoor reservations in the Gold Cup Dining Room (which are expected to sell out), call 708-780-3770 or to reach guest services for more details on Hawthorne’s Kentucky Derby Party, please call 708-780-3736 or visit

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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