Hawthorne Racecourse (3/2/10)
Contact: Jim Miller
Hawthorne moves to four-day race weeks
A nice day here in Chicago as we kick off our four-day race weeks. We have overcast skies, but temperatures are expected to reach the upper 30s and we have a fast track again for our nine-race card. Make note that we will be racing live on Tuesday for the remainder of the meet and we also add Sundays beginning March 28, with Easter Sunday (April 4) being dark.
On Saturday, speed and the rail was the key. The track had played quite evenly all meet long, but admittedly, there was an inside speed bias and it showed in the race results and wagering on those inside horses as well. With a couple of days off, I expect that the track will have evened out once again and while many of the top runners today are speedy types, expect an unbiased surface.
On Saturday, I also got to see Lyndie Wade and he is progressing well. He was in good spirits and has a doctor’s appointment today. He said he expects to be back in the saddle before the spring meet is over, which is great to hear!
On the stats side, the change in the spring schedule is helping thus far. While the rest of the nation is struggling with handle and field size, wagering and field size are both up at Hawthorne this spring compared to last. For fields, through the first eight days last spring, average starters per race was 7.56. This year we are at 8.03 starters per race (a nice ½ a horse per race increase) and we expect things to continue to improve.
SCRATCH #3 – Trippers Cart
SCRATCH #8 – Tizzy’s Prospector
SCRATCH #1 – Pathway
Race 7 - #1 – Lui Luhuk – On paper, this looks like a two horse race to me with this one and Bold Days. I do worry that Bold Days may get loose on the lead and never look back, but Lui Luhuk get the hot riding Riggs in the saddle and drops to the bottom level, a place where he may out-class this bunch. The inside draw helps and I expect better value out of him today.
Race 9 - #2 – New Grange – I love this horse today! Last time out, he was sent off as the heavy choice in a race where Kirby had a pair entered. In that race, the longer price (ridden that day by Riggs), Palo Duro Canyon, was sent to the front and never looked back as New Grange chased the entire way. Today, New Grange gets Riggs in the saddle and catches a bunch that he should be able to handle. The only downside is that he is a three-year-old facing older runners, but he should be able to overcome that in this spot.