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|Hawthorne Racecourse (9/30/09)
Contact: Ron Uchman (708) 780-3700
Jonesboro Heads Big Field for Wide Open Hawthorne Gold Cup
STICKNEY, IL – Multiple graded stakes winner Jonesboro leads a field of eleven horses set to run Saturday in the Grade II $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup. The Gold Cup will be contested at 1 ¼ miles on the dirt main track and has attracted horses from East to West.
Trained by Randy Morse, Jonesboro will be making his second Gold Cup start. He finished second in the 2007 running of the Gold Cup, finishing behind Student Council. This year, Jonesboro has a pair of wins; the Grade III Texas Mile at Lone Star and the Grade II Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows. Add four second-place efforts on the year and the 14-time winner will be looking to eclipse the $1.5 million mark in career earnings in the Gold Cup. Jonesboro will be ridden by regular rider Cliff Berry and carries a co-highweight of 116 lbs.
West Coast invaders have traditionally done well in the Gold Cup. Awesome Gem looks to follow in the steps of Student Council. He also carries 116 lbs. in the Gold Cup. Trained by Craig Dollase, Awesome Gem will also be looking to surpass the $1.5 million mark in career earnings as he has faced some of the top older horses in recent starts. Following a near miss in the Grade I Eddie Read at Del Mar on the turf, Awesome Gem closed late to run second in the Grade III Longacres Mile at Emerald in his following start before finishing seventh, beaten less than four lengths, in the Grade I Pacific Classic in his last race. David Flores will be reunited with Awesome Gem in the Gold Cup.
The field for the Grade II $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup:
$100,000 Indian Maid, Grade III Carey Highlight Saturday Undercard
In addition to the Gold Cup, a pair of $100,000 stakes races will be contested on Saturday as part of the 10-race card. The Indian Maid Handicap, for fillies and mares, and Grade III Robert F. Carey Memorial will both be run on the turf.
Starting highweight in the Robert F. Carey Memorial is Don L. Benge’s Wise River. Last year’s longshot hero of the Carey Memorial could be poised to repeat. This Clark Hanna-trained runner tired late in his last two races but both were contested on yielding turf and both were against Grade II company. With the drop into Grade III company and firm footing beneath him, he could carry his good natural speed all the way.
Public Speaker, owned by Peter J Karahalios and trained by Dale Bennett, could offer the main competition. This 5-2 morning-line favorite has already been victorious in five of his nine races this year, including a victory in Arlington Park’s $100,000 Sea O Erin in his last start. Like Wise River, he owns a good turn of early foot but he’s also more than capable from off the pace, the way he won his last.
The complete field for the Grade III Robert F. Carey Memorial:
Saturday’s sixth race, the 37th running of the Indian Maid Handicap, features a well-matched group of fillies and mares, including last year’s winner Ciao. Although she hasn’t visited the winner’s circle since that race, this talented mare, owned by Iron County Farms Inc. and trained by Frank Kirby, seems to be back on top of her game. With narrow losses in her last three starts, and a record of three wins and a second, from only four starts over Hawthorne’s turf course, she could figure prominently in the outcome of this race. Pegged as the 4-1 second choice in a wide-open field, she could be the one to beat.
Vegso Racing Stable’s Happiness Is could try to take this from flag fall to finish. She never fired as the favorite in a recent start at Kentucky Downs but she had been on a terrific roll prior to that start and took the $100,000 Lady Canterbury in late July.
The field of the Indian Maid is as follows:
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 www.hawthorneracecourse.com or call 708-780-3700.
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