Hawthorne Racecourse (11/19/10)
Contact: Jim Miller
Watch for Illinois-bred shippers
What does FE stand for in the past performance lines? Why are we asking this question for the Hawthorne Stable Notes? A good reason came for this after the races were run on Thursday at Hawthorne. In yesterday’s third race, the #8 horse – Fashion N’ Fun was in an Illinois Maiden Claimer for trainer Joel Berndt with all previous running lines coming from FE. While I knew the answer, many others didn’t as people asked me what FE stood for. I said it was Fort Erie. Then they asked, “Where is Fort Erie?” I responded with a track in Canada, not far from Buffalo. In fact, Fort Erie is described on their website as ”Fort Erie Race Track, located in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, just across the Peace Bridge from Buffalo, New York and a 90-minute drive from Toronto. Fort Erie Race Track is immediately accessible from the Queen Elizabeth Highway. Approximately 5 minutes from the Peace Bridge, at Buffalo, New York take Concession Road North exit, 20 minutes from Niagara Falls or 90 minutes from Toronto, Ontario take Bertie exit.”
So now we know where Fashion N’ Fun had been racing. The interesting thing was that she is an Illinois-bred who had been racing there against open company. Switch to yesterday at Hawthorne. Fashion N’ Fun is now in the barn of Joel Berndt and is one of only two horses in the third race, aside from first timers Winner All Right and Kalahari Girl, that had never faced state-bred runners. In the bottom-level Illinois maiden claimer, much of the action went to state-bred class droppers Brown Biscuit and Half Moon Beauty, along with Kalahari Girl. The open company, Fort Erie shipper was given zero respect as she was sent off at 36-1 odds, third longest choice in the field. While the three favorites were no factor, Fashion N’ Fun made the lead and easily won the third race by 3 ¾ lengths, returning $74.40 to win. The other horse moving to state-bred company for the first time, #10 – Cyberphobe, ran third at 6-1, paying $4.20 to show.
This is a handicapping angle to watch for in Illinois-bred races, and especially in the barn of trainer Joel Berndt. Horses running in open company races that make the move to state-breds often step up substantially. Don’t believe it? Flip to yesterday’s finale, another Illinois-bred $15,000 maiden claimer. This time the 12-horse field had one first time starter, #9 – Doug Junior, and 10 horses that had all faced state-bred runners. The newcomer was #5 – Right is Right, owned by Hal Snowden, Jr. (the breeder of third race winner Fashion N’ Fun) and trained by none other than Joel Berndt. All of Right is Right’s races had come at either Calder in Florida or Philadelphia Park. Yesterday he popped up at Hawthorne and while he wasn’t 36-1, he was still a square price at 6-1. Just as Fashion N’ Fun had done earlier in the day, Right is Right did not disappoint either, winning by the same 3 ¾ length margin, paying $15.00 to close out the card.
Just a couple interesting nuggets to look for in the final weeks of the fall meet.
Today is the final of our 2:35 pm Friday post as next week we will return to 1:30 pm post on Fridays for the remainder of the meet. As we have done the past week, Joe Kristufek and myself will be trading jabs, side bets and talking racing all afternoon long on www.HorseplayerNow.com. Feel free to join in the conversation or sit back and take in the banter as we offer insight and analysis on the racing card. The chat room will open at 2:15 and we will be there all afternoon long.
Main Track – Fast
Turf Course – Firm
(Expect remaining also-eligibles to scratch around 11 am)
Scratch #11 – Katie’s Lady
Scratch #14 – Kitty Covenant
Don’t Forget We Have 4 Carryovers Today!
Place Pick 9: $2,650
Early Pick 4: $8,355
Pick 6: $4,569
High 5: $5,702