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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (10/6/10)

Contact: Ron Uchman
(708) 780-3700

Dean’s Kitten Heads Talented Field in Hawthorne Derby

STICKNEY, IL – While Saturday’s Grade III Hawthorne Derby doesn’t possess the long and storied history of last week’s Grade II Hawthorne Gold Cup, this will be the 46th edition of this race and it has drawn some interesting and talented runners.

First contested in 1965, the original Hawthorne Derby (then known as the Hawthorne Diamond Jubilee) was won by Bold Bidder. At that time, the Derby was run on the main dirt track, at a mile and a sixteenth, and continued at that distance for 10 years. In 1975, the distance changed to one mile and three sixteenths, for one year, and then shortened back up to the original mile and a sixteenth on dirt, until 1983. In 1984, the race was moved to the turf. Pass The Line won that first turf Derby. It’s been at the present distance of a mile and an eighth since 1989.

Last year, longshot Proceed Bee scored a two and a quarter-length victory, racing closer to the outside of the course than the inside, in an incredibly slow 1:57 for the one-mile distance. However, the course was super soft that day. We should have a firm course for this year’s edition.

As usual, this field is extremely competitive and every member has a legitimate chance to win. Dean’s Kitten, owned by Kenneth L and Sarah Ramsey, has been installed as the lukewarm 7-2 morning-line favorite. Dean’s Kitten is one of three in this race that chased Paddy O'Prado, undoubtedly the best 3-year-old turf runner in the country, in their last start, the Grade I Secretariat at Arlington Park. This Michael Maker charge won only once this year, the Grade II Lands End at Turfway, on Polytrack, but Hawthorne’s long stretch lends itself well to the late style of running that this colt possesses. Victor Lebron comes in to ride.

Morning-line maker Jim Miller pegged Mister Marti Gras, owned by Lothenbach Stables, Inc and trained by Chris Block, at 4-1. Last in the Secretariat, he had some fairly serious traffic problems in that race. He did however, finish second to Workin for Hops in the Grade II American Derby in his previous start. He’ll get regular rider Eddie Perez in the irons.

At 9-2, Call Shot is capable of pulling off a minor upset. Owned by Gary and Mary West, he’s a little light on turf experience, but he did finish third in his lone turf race, the $100,000 Dania Beach at Gulfstream this past January, in what turned out to be “key” race. He’s been racing mostly on Polytrack since his turf debut and he’s riding a two-race win streak coming into this race. Trainer Wayne Catalano is bringing Shane Sellers in to ride.

The complete field, from the inside: 1-Mister Marti Gras; 2-Asphalt, owned by Joseph Riccelli, trained by Eddie Kenneally, Corey Lanerie rides; 3-Call Shot; 4-Backtrack, Al and Bill Ulwelling owners, Gary Scherer trainer, Eddie Razo the pilot; 5-Dean’s Kitten; 6-Cherokee Lord, Millard R Seldin Revocable Trust, trained by Charlie Livesay, Julio Felix aboard; 7-Turf Melody, Earle I Mack owner, Graham Motion trainer, Jesse Campbell the rider; and 8-Yankee Fourtune, Harvey Clark and Andrew Albstein owners, Kiaran McLaughlin the trainer, Victor Santiago aboard.

Hawthorne Race Course is in its 101st year of racing under Carey family ownership. Hawthorne offers the only traditional dirt track for thoroughbred racing in Northern Illinois. Live racing at Hawthorne runs Wednesday – Saturday through December 31. Post time daily is 1:35 PM with late post on Fridays of 2:35 PM through November 19. Club Hawthorne membership is Free and available at Guest Services at Hawthorne Race Course. For more information, visit

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