Hawthorne Racecourse (4/21/10)
Contact: Jim Miller
Illinois Champions Day Saturday
Six State-bred Stakes Races Provide Very Competitive Fields
STICKNEY, IL – Saturday will mark the running of Illinois Champions Day at Hawthorne as six stakes races, all featuring Illinois-bred runners, will take place, each carrying purses of $100,000 added. The races look to be extremely competitive as they showcase some Illinois Champions from last year. The six stakes races will be part of an 11-race Saturday card with a first post of 1:35 pm.
Peach of It Handicap – A pair of tough Block runners
The Peach of It Handicap is the first of the Illinois Champions Day Stakes for fillies and mares, three-year-olds and upward, to be run at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
Trainer Chris Block has a pair of tough five-year-old mares entered in the race with Lakeaway and Apple Martini. Owned by Team Block, Lakeaway comes into the Peach of It with a two-race win streak and a solid record over this track at this distance. Eddie Perez will ride the 5-2 morning line choice. Virginia H Tarra Trust’s Apple Martini is the second choice at 3-1. Apple Martini’s last victory came last fall at Hawthorne over Lakeaway in the Illini Princess Handicap at Hawthorne. After a pair of stakes tries at Fair Grounds this winter, Apple Martini returns to Hawthorne looking for a victory with Inez Karlsson in the saddle.
The field for the Peach of It Handicap: 1. Lakeaway – E. Perez; 2. Sassy Buck – F. Salgado; 3. Jitterbug Blues – M. Baze; 4; Home’s the Best – L. Wade; 5. Souper Miss – T. Thornton; 6. Missy Biscuit – T. Riggs; 7. Apple Martini – I. Karlsson; 8. Lica’s Bluff – J. Alvarado.
Milwaukee Avenue Handicap – Stonehouse leads solid bunch
A field of six is set to line up in the Milwaukee Avenue Handicap to go 1 1/16 miles for three-year-olds and up.
Trainer Spanky Broussard sends out Grade III winner Stonehouse in the Milwaukee Avenue as this six-year-old horse makes his Hawthorne return. A runaway winner in this event last year, Stonehouse was victorious in the Grade III Mineshaft Handicap at Fairgrounds on February 20. James Graham is slated to ride the 5-2 morning line choice.
Essex winner Racing Bran looks to give Stonehouse a run for his money as the probable pacesetter gets Chris Emigh back in the saddle. Trained by Scott Becker, Racing Bran is the 3-1 second choice in the Milwaukee Avenue Handicap.
The field for the Milwaukee Avenue Handicap: 1. Instill – I. Diego; 2. Stonehouse – J. Graham; 3. Racing Bran – C. Emigh; 4. P D Q Kiddo – I. Karlsson, 5. He’s Bonafide – E. Perez, 6. Navy Wings – M. Baze.
Governor’s Lady Handicap – Janks in with a tough duo
Filly and mare sprinters will battle in the running of the Governor’s Lady Handicap to kick off a special All Stakes Pick 4 Wager covering races 7-10.
Trainer Christine Janks has a very tough duo in the Governor’s Lady with Cruise and Nicks. Cruise is the most lightly raced of the field, making only 10 starts in her career, but she has won half of those races and posted a near miss behind Nicks in her last start. Cruise is the 3-1 morning line choice as she adds blinkers and gets Chris Emigh in the saddle. Nicks looks to defend her 2009 Governor’s Lady title as she gets Lyndie Wade back in the saddle once again.
The Governor’s Lady field: 1. Marikitten – F. Salgado; 2. Cruise – C. Emigh; Big Lou – R. Hernandez; 4. Secret Kin – E. Perez; 5. Nicks – L. Wade; 6. Kathleen L. – F. Geroux; 7. Ripe Tomato - B. Meier.
Robert S. Molaro Handicap – Speedy Shrewd Operator makes his return
Older handicap male sprinters line up in the Robert S. Molaro Handicap as six foes will try to catch Shrewd Operator.
Trained by Chris Block, Shrewd Operator makes his 2010 debut as he has been working up a storm. Coming off a pair of strong optional claiming victories to close out 2009, he will be the likely shortest favorite on the Illinois Champions Day card. To be ridden by Eddie Perez, Shrewd Operator is 8-5 in the morning line.
The field for the Robert S. Molaro Handicap: 1. Wildeydsouthernboy – M. Baze; 2. Blyde River Boy – J. Alvarado; 3. Shrewd Operator – E. Perez; 4. Big Rushlet – I. Karlsson; 5. River Bear – T. Thornton; 6. High Expectations – C. Emigh; 7. Wild Expectations – T. Thornton.
Pretty Jenny Stakes – Wide open bunch for young fillies
Three-year-old filly sprinters will line up in the Pretty Jenny Stakes with a very competitive field set to battle.
The lukewarm morning line choice at 7-2 is Shake N Quake. Trained by Jimmy DiVito, Shake N Quake has only a maiden score to her credit, but posted a near miss in the Showtime Deb last fall. She makes her 2010 return in the Pretty Jenny with good works as Julio Felix gets the call.
Leading trainer Frank Kirby has Wild Hope in the Pretty Jenny as she makes her stakes debut. Following a solid maiden score, Wild Hope defeated older runners in a first level Illinois allowance then had a near-miss in the second level allowance. Leading rider Tanner Riggs will be aboard Wild Hope as the 4-1 second choice.
The field for the Pretty Jenny: 1. Pi Bella – U. Lopez; 2. Ain’t No Saint – L. Wade; 3. Skippa Sweep – J. Alvarado; 4. Rusty Spinner – I. Karlsson; 5. Niccet – Q. Hamilton; 6. Shake N Quake – J. Felix; 7. Wild Hope – T. Riggs; 8. Little Wicked – B. Meier; 9. Inscript – C. Emigh; 10. Kel’s Dreamer – T. Thornton.
Land of Lincoln Stakes – Royal Express looks to get back on track
The final of the Illinois Champions Day Stakes races takes place as three-year-old boys sprint in the Land of Lincoln Stakes.
Spanky Broussard has another likely favorite on the card with Royal Express. Shortening back to a sprint, Royal Express nearly defeated Kentucky Derby possibility Backtalk in the Sportsman’s Paradise at Delta two races back before setting the pace in the Grade II Rebel, a race won by Lookin at Lucky that also included Noble’s Promise and Dublin. James Graham gets the call aboard the 7-2 morning line choice in the Land of Lincoln.
The Field for the Land of Lincoln: 1. Cap’n Nick – D. Sukie; 2. Royal Express – J. Graham; 3. Windy City Cat – M. Baze; 4. Seguro – D. Sanchez; 5. Devient Behavior – T. Thronton; 6. Officer McNeal – I. Karlsson; 7. Big Looie – C. Emigh; 8. A J’s Mountain – E. Perez; 9. Star of Paradise – B. Meier.
Hawthorne Race Course is in its 101st year of racing under Carey family ownership. Hawthorne races Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday – Sunday with a first post of 1:35 pm daily through April 25. For more information on racing at Hawthorne, visit our website at www.Hawthorneracecourse.com.