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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (9/29/09)

Contact: Ron Uchman (708) 780-3700

Hawthorne Fall Meet Kicks off with a Bang!

STICKNEY, IL – The fall Hawthorne Thoroughbred season kicks off on Thursday, October 1 with a 1:20 pm first post as the historic meet kicks off with great racing action.

The Hawthorne fall meet marks the 100th year of Carey family ownership of Hawthorne, making the track one of the longest-run family businesses in North America. Hawthorne President, Tim Carey, is the fourth-generation of the Carey family at the helm of Hawthorne.

“It has been a true honor to continue my family’s legacy and I’m pleased that the tradition my great-grandparents began at the turn of the century continues to thrive today,” said Carey. “Hawthorne has been home to many of my own family’s memories and we want the community to share in that experience; to come together and celebrate the success and thank those who have helped get us to this triumphant point in Hawthorne’s history.”

The Illinois Racing Board has marked 2009 as “The Year of Hawthorne” and we look to celebrate this season with many excellent events.

America’s Top Runners Vie for $700,000 in Purses on Saturday, October 3

Opening weekend kicks off with three terrific stakes races, highlighted by the 73rd running of the $500,000 Grade II Hawthorne Gold Cup on Saturday. The $100,000 Grade III Carey Memorial and $100,000 Indian Maid Handicap on the turf, for fillies and mares, join the Gold Cup and will be part of a $50,000 Guaranteed Late Pick 4 on Saturday.

NFL Sunday Ticket

Every Sunday watch all of your favorite football teams and enjoy food and beverage specials in Hawthorne’s Gold Cup Dining Room. Plus, you can win a few bucks on the ponies.

Night Thoroughbred Racing and a Free $250,000 Survivor Contest Too

The following weekend, Hawthorne will host the first of two Friday twilight cards, with a first post of 5:30 pm. On each of those evenings, we will run our turf races early and prepare for big cards under the lights. Our $1 Fan Friendly Specials will be enhanced by even more food and entertainment options as we look to showcase our racing at Hawthorne!

Also, on the first of our twilight cards, October 9, we will kick off our online Survivor Contest. The contest is free to enter and you have a chance to win $250,000 if you can survive to the end. Go to our website,, for all of the details and to follow our celebrities’ selections.


The following weekend, our version of Rocktoberfest takes place. Many local brewers will be promoting their products onsite during our final Friday evening racing of the meet, on the 16th, and specials will be featured all weekend long.

Bring Out the Family

October at Hawthorne will close out with two big weekends of events. “Chicago’s Biggest Family Reunion” will take place on October 24. That afternoon will be full of family activities, including music and games, a face painter, a moon jump for the kids, hayrides and a jockey autograph session.

On Halloween Day, the top Illinois-bred runners will take to the track for the Illinois Festival of Racing. Six stakes, all for Illinois runners, will help determine the champions for the Illinois-bred categories as this day always produces big fields and large payouts.

Breeders’ Cup Action

Hawthorne is the place to be on Breeders’ Cup weekend as fans will be able to watch all of the racing action from Santa Anita on one of our 1,000 big screen televisions. Hawthorne’s live races will be run in between the Breeders’ Cup events. Food and drink specials will be offered as well.

On the racing end of things, many familiar faces return to Hawthorne. Our last two leading riders, Inez Karlsson and Tim Thornton, head the Hawthorne riding colony and will be joined by recent Arlington Park champ Junior Alvarado, as well as Perry Compton, Israel Ocampo, and Eddie Perez.

Full Backstretch Means Big Fields

The Hawthorne backstretch is full for the fall meet headed by trainers Frank Kirby, Moises Yanez, Chris Richard, Roger Brueggemann, Tom and Chris Dorris, and Wayne Catalano.

Fields are expected to be full once again and Racing Secretary Gary Duch has offered a wide array of races for the fall meet, a meet that always fills races well. Duch expects much of the same. “We have many more horses stabled on track, much earlier than with previous meetings. I realize that having a real dirt racetrack has been a positive for us at Hawthorne. Our barn area is full and I am expecting a great meet, as long as the weather cooperates. My job is to provide the most competitive racing possible and I will strive to accomplish this.”

Hawthorne Assistant General Manager, Jim Miller, sees this meet to be a turning point for racing in Illinois. “This year has been tough on everyone in the Thoroughbred industry. I feel that we are now in a place where we can turn the corner and start to bring Illinois racing back to prominence. The two-year dates commitment between Hawthorne and Arlington Park will allow us to produce the best racing product possible. The shortened winter dark period following this fall meet (ending January 2 and returning February 12) will help us retain more horses for the spring and allow horsemen more of a chance to make money as well. I expect full fields and solid handle numbers this fall.”

Hawthorne will be racing live every Wednesday – Sunday this fall with a first post of 1:20 pm. Racing will be conducted Wednesday through Sunday with first post of 1:20 pm. On Fridays through November 20, post time will be 2:30 pm with two special twilight cards on the evenings of October 9 and 16 with a first post of 5:30 pm.

For more information on Hawthorne Race Course visit or call 708-780-3700.




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