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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (10/30/10)

Contact: Ron Uchman
(708) 780-3700

Solid Efforts Across the Board on Illinois Festival Day

STICKNEY, IL – The Illinois Festival of Racing often determines many of the Illinois Champions each year and this year looks to be no different as the six stakes races were contested Saturday at Hawthorne.

Showtime Deb Stakes – Third Chance Doesn’t Disappoint

The opening stakes race on the Festival card was the Showtime Deb stakes for two-year-old fillies at six furlongs. Entering the race, heavy favorite Third Chance was coming off a third place finish in the Grade III Arlington Washington Lassie two starts back. Making her state-bred return, the Ron Magers and Bob Marcocchio-owned runner did her part as she broke on top and never looked back.

Breaking on top under jockey Shane Sellers, Third Chance set the opening fractions of :21.95 and :45.60 while tracked by Joyce Marie. Turning for home, Third Chance opened up, drawing clear for a 6 ¾ length win, stopping the clock at 1:10.44. The Jim DiVito-trained runners ran one-two with Joyce Marie holding second while Sam’s Philly closed to run third.

Sent off at 2-5, Third Choice returned $2.60, $2.20, and $2.10. Joyce Marie came back $11.40 and $7.40 while Sam’s Philly returned $5.80 to show.

Showtime Deb Quotes:

Ron Magers, Co-Owner Third Chance, “We’re very happy. Her grandmother was Lemhi Gold who won the Arlington Matron. This is the third foal out of the mare that we have raced. That’s how she got her name. I just wanted to let you know that we have a yearling and a weanling out of the same mare and they’ll both go in the Illinois program.”

Shane Sellers, “She’s a very fast filly. You saw that the first time she ran. The first time I rode her the connections asked me to ease her back a bit. She had only the one start prior. She came up a little short that day but she was going a mile and showed that she was a real class filly. I didn’t want to be too far back in this one. I didn’t rush her. She was there on her own. This was her first time on dirt. She didn’t get a hold of it early but did show her class. I am so grateful for her connections to give me the chance to ride her. Nothing against Illinois-breds, but she can run against good open company and hold her own.”

Jim DiVito, “Third Chance is just real talented. The other filly, Joyce Marie, I bought for $7,000. She showed that she could run too. She also has very good speed. Ron Magers and Bob Marcocchio have been partners for a long time. They support the Illinois program to the fullest extent.  They foaled this filly in Illinois. The mare had three nice horses. She just had bad luck. One of her foals died and the other burned up in a fire. But, this is certainly a good one.”

Julio Felix, 2nd on Joyce Marie, “We had a good trip. My filly broke good. I think she’s a little better on the front end but the other filly got there first. So, I decided to bring her off the pace. My filly ran a good race, especially considering that she had been off a while, since Arlington, but she did get a little tired. She learned a little something today.”

Powerless Handicap – Kathleen L Continues Her Love for Hawthorne

In the running of the Powerless Handicap, last year’s winner Ripe Tomato was looking for a repeat performance. Her effort came up just a bit short as Kathleen L got the best of her on this day.

Tracking the leaders behind early fractions of :22.30 and :46.07, Kathleen L ranged up to engage the lead duo in the turn under jockey Florent Geroux then drew clear into the lane. She had to hold off the late charge of Ripe Tomato, but did so, winning by two lengths. Kathleen L recorded her sixth lifetime victory, all at Hawthorne, stopping the clock at 1:11.23.

Following Kathleen L was Ripe Tomato and Wild Hope. Trained by Doug Mathews and owned by Joseph O’Brien, Kathleen L returned $13.20, $5.80, and $3.60. Ripe Tomato came back $3.40 and $2.60 while Wild Hope returned $2.80 to show.

Powerless Handicap Quotes:

Florent Geroux, “She was good today. She was pressing more than usual but she was fine once I got her to relax. When we hit the lane, she really took off. I was waiting for Ripe Tomato after us late but she never came.”

Brandon Meier, 2nd on beaten favorite Ripe Tomato: "We had a good trip. She likes the outside, and we got out turning for home, she kicked for me. We just couldn't catch the winner."

Illini Princess Handicap – Dundalk Dust Shows her Dirt Form

One of the most competitive races on the Festival card was the Illini Princess Handicap as a field of 10 Handicap Females lined up. While favoritism went to Souper Miss and Lakeaway, it was a horse trying to dirt for the first time as Dundalk Dust rolled home for the victory.

Allowed to settle off the slow pace of :24.92, and :49.40, Dundalk Dust saved ground through the second turn as Souper Miss and Jitterbug Blues went after the pacesetters. Into the stretch in 1:13.95, Souper Miss held the lead but was challenged by Jitterbug Blues. Rolling in the stretch, jockey Pablo Morales guided Dundalk Dust to the outside, as she ran by those foes, winning by 2 ¾ lengths in 1:45.47.

Trained by Chris Block, Dundalk Dust returned $12.80, $6.20 and $4.40. Souper Miss held second, paying $3.60 and $3.20 while Jitterbug Blues returned $4.00 to show.

Illini Princess Quotes:

Pablo Morales, “The instructions before the race were very simple. She breaks really good. Just sit on her and whenever she gets room late, she’ll give everything she has. The whole way around she didn’t seem to mind the dirt in her face. She was just galloping around. I knew that as soon as I put her in the clear, she was going to give me a nice kick and she sure did. Against slower paces she was usually far back but she wasn’t this time. The fractions didn’t seem to matter. Her trainer gave me a lot of confidence in her. He told me that she had been training really well on dirt and that they had been putting her behind horses and letting dirt get kicked in her face. I knew that she was going to be very tough today.”

Tim Thornton, 2nd on beaten favorite Souper Miss: "We were outrun by a better horse today. She ran good, she ran her race, dug down, came back and fought for second. She just got out finished today, got a little tired." 

Sun Power Stakes – Luck With a Kiss Impressive Once Again

Two year old males were on display in the Sun Power Stakes as trainer Wayne Catalano had a pair of contenders in favorite Uncle Wayne and Ghetto Cat. Both would be players in the race, but the victory went to Earl Trostrud and Greco Racing Stable’s Luck With a Kiss. Trained by Mike Reavis, Luck With a Kiss tracked the early leaders through an opening quarter of :21.85.

Favored Uncle Wayne grabbed the lead on the turn, covering the half in :45.96 as jockey Tim Thornton guided Luck With a Kiss to his flank. In the stretch, Luck With a Kiss was asked and responded, drawing away to a 4 ¼ length triumph in 1:10.61. Uncle Wayne held place while Thewayitusedtobe rallied late for third.

Luck With a Kiss returned $7.00, $3.40 and $3.00. Uncle Wayne came back $2.60 and $2.40 while Thewayitusedtobe returned $7.40 to show.

Sun Power Quotes:

Tim Thornton, “He might have run only two times but they have been training him for awhile and he was far more seasoned than you would expect from a second-time starter. Mike and the whole crew over there put a lot of work in their 2-year-olds. He’s a nice horse. In his maiden he never switched leads and I just kind of left him alone because he did it so easily. Today, when I tapped him left-handed, he switched leads and really took off.”

Shane Sellers, second aboard Uncle Wayne, “We had a great trip. He broke sharp and he was placed the only place I could really have him. He’s a little keen. The winner was right on my hip the whole way and just went by me.”

Lightning Jet Handicap – River Bear Rises to the Occasion Again

A horse that makes the most of Illinois-bred stakes days, Dana Waier Thoroughbreds’ River Bear did so once again, sneaking through to a victory in the Lightning Jet Handicap.

Caught in traffic down the backstretch, River Bear and jockey Danush Sukie sat five lengths of the pace of Royal Express through the opening fractions of :21.68 and :45.09. Ad the field sorted out into the stretch, River Bear went to the rail and slid through along the inside of favored Mighty Rule, getting up for a ¾ length victory in 1:10.15.

Trained by Rusty Hellman, River Bear returned $19.40, $10.00 and $5.40. Longshot Last Wompus closed for second, paying $30.60 and $14.60 while Mighty Rule held third for a $3.40 return.

Lightning Jet Quotes:

Danush Sukie, “He loves a challenge. I put him in the right spot. I was waiting for a spot along the fence. I just hoped that I didn’t wait too long. I made the right decision. It’s great to have owners like Dana Waier. Very loyal and supports the Illinois program.

Rusty Hellman, “He’s been training great. He loves it when he’s in tight. And, if he can come up the fence, he just gets better. His heart gets bigger. It’s even better for him if he can lay back a little bit, he’s better. That’s been a problem for him. If he lays too close, he doesn’t finish. Danush rode a beautiful race. I didn’t know where he was going to go but he got there.”

Quincy Hamilton, 3rd on beaten favorite Mighty Rule: "My horse ran his heart out, just like he does every time. He's a nice horse and a pleasure to ride. He was just outrun the last part of the race. He broke out a little bit at the start, but then he gathered himself and went on quite well."

Buck’s Boy Handicap – He’s Bonafide Repeats for New Connections

In 2009, He’s Bonafide was an upset winner of the Buck’s Boy Handicap for Hugh Robertson. This year He’s Bonafide was back in the winner’s circle, this time for owner Richard Ravin and trainer Larry Rivelli. Claimed for $40,000 in August, He’s Bonafide closed well late to get up by a neck on the wire.

Early in the race, Racing Bran set the pace, tracked by even money favorite St. Maximus Gato, setting fractions of :24.40 and :48.08. Jockey Quincy Hamilton allowed He’s Bonafide to settle off the pace and began his move into the turn. In the stretch, St. Maximus Gato and He’s Bonafide battled the length of the stretch, but in the end He’s Bonafide prevailed by a neck.

Sent off at odds of 10-1, He’s Bonafide returned $22.20, $7.20 and $5.20. St. Maximus Gato came back $3.00 and $2.60 while Color Me Blue closed to finish third, playing $3.60 to show.

Buck’s Boy Quotes:

Quincy Hamilton, “I was very comfortable with the stalking position. When we got to really running, he responded well and came home strong. Both Larry Rivelli and I expected to get the trip that we got. Larry told me that whenever I called on Bonafide, to make sure that he knew we were racing and he did. He responded really well. I tried to point my horse to the inside and he seemed to give me another gear after that.”

Larry Rivelli, “At least we got off the duck with a 100 grander. We are off to a slow start this meet but He’s Bonafide is a pretty nice horse. We claimed him with this race in mind. He fired for us so it was good. We’ll probably give him the rest of the year off. Mr. Raven usually lets me do what we think is best. We collaborate together. He was happy with the claim. We got beat an inch at Arlington and then sent him up to Woodbine. We didn’t really want to but couldn’t find another race for him. He ran a respectable third but today was the day we were hoping for and we’re glad it worked out.”

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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