Hawthorne Racecourse (3/20/10)
Contact: Jim Miller
Illinois Derby nears
When dealing with a racing surface, snow is so much easier to deal with than rain. The track was in tremendous shape for training and we closed it early to seal it up and let the remaining snow fall on top. Depending on how much precipitation we get, the track will either be fast or good for the races. Looking at the weather, it will not get cold enough for the snow to stick and the winds are supposed to subside as well.
We are only two weeks away from the running of the Grade III $500,000 Illinois Derby, as we are expecting a tremendous field for this year’s race. TVG will be onsite at Hawthorne on Saturday, April 3 as Mike Joyce will be covering all of the racing action from Hawthorne. Today is the running of the Florida Derby. One of my Derby favorites, Rule, will be running at Gulfstream on a surface that seems to suit him perfectly as speed has held there all meet long. We will be extending the post times for our races slightly to make sure we do not overlap with the Florida Derby as that race will be run between our 8th and 9th races.
On Friday, Inez Karlsson, Tanner Riggs and Frank Kirby all had doubles on the card. Riggs continues to hold his lead atop the riding standings and has been as consistent as they come in the saddle throughout the meet. Riggs is full of live mounts once again for the Saturday card.
Main Track – Good
Race 1 – No Trifecta Wagering
Scratch #3 – Your in For Half
Scratch #5 – Hart of a Cowboy
Scratch #6 – Wintertime
Scratch #4 – Alabama Clay
Scratch #3 – Foxtrot Oscar
Race 3 - #2 – Silver Wilbur – I am taking a bit of a stab on a horse that is taking a class hike as Silver Wilbur doesn’t appear as fast on paper, but he appears to be the only speed in this race. His recent form has been good and he is 5-5 on the board at Hawthorne. He may be a sleeper at a price today.
Race 4- #1 – Spruce Lake – The old warrior may provide some value in this spot. This race has a possible heavy favorite that is very vulnerable as Brixton’s Conte could be pressed and toss in the towel. Spruce Lake will get a perfect inside trip and should be closing from off the pace.