Hawthorne Racecourse (12/11/10)
Contact: Ron Uchman
Field of 10 contests Jim Edgar Futurity
The 32nd running of the Jim Edgar Futurity takes place today. This storied race, named after the longtime Governor of Illinois, has been instrumental in the outcome of Illinois’ 2-year-old Horse of the Year on numerous occasions.
It will be contested at the distance of one and one sixteenth miles. It is restricted to 2-year-old runners, Illinois Conceived and Foaled or Illinois Foaled Thoroughbreds. It carries an estimated purse of $100,000.
For many in here, this will be the first time that they try two turns. Five of the 10 runners will be trying to break their maidens in a stakes race.
In 2009, leading rider Tim Thornton won the Pat Whitworth Debutante aboard Sweet Lemon Chello and came right back a week later to win the Jim Edgar Futurity aboard Dana Waier’s Devient Behavior, trained by Rusty Hellman. Thornton won last week’s Debutante aboard Seans Silverdancer and will try for another victory on Volunteer Racing Inc.’s Forbidden Forest. Forbidden Forest, trained by Leo Gabriel, recently broke his maiden in his fourth career start, but he’s gotten close in all of his races. Though his lone win came in a sprint, his narrow loss in his lone route, on turf, might have been an even better effort. Bred for any surface, he’s definitely bred to go long. This two-turn dirt race could be just the thing he needs to live up to his potential. Forbidden Forest was pegged at co-third choice, at 5-1, in the morning line.
Kenneth L and Sarah K Ramsey’s Next Kitten, the second choice in the morning line (7-2), may deserve every penny. Not only is he trained by Wayne Catalano, but he’s one of only two in this race with a pair of wins and both were scored in routes. He broke his maiden on turf at Arlington but came right back to score a neck victory on Hawthorne’s main track, winning at this distance. With his good closing move, a probable quick pace ahead of him, and a proven ability to get the distance, he could wind up getting the first stakes victory of his career.
Domain’s Rap, owned by William Stiritz and trained by Scott Becker, will have to be caught. This morning-line favorite (3-1) was heavily favored in his first route race and he did lead for all but the last jump, getting passed at the wire by Next Kitten. However, his experience around two turns could prove to be invaluable. With little other apparent speed in here, there’s a strong possibility that he’ll grab an easy lead and never look back.
Trainer Chris Block has an interesting pair in this race. R Otto Stables Inc’s Maxton (8-1) is still a maiden but he had a pretty nice tune up over the track a month ago. He finished third at this distance. With three good drills since, he just might be prepared to unleash an even bigger effort.
However, it’s Block’s other runner, Table Games (5-1), who just might be the one to beat. Owned by Virginia H Tarra Trust, this gelding beat Maxton, as well as some others in here, on his way to a fairly easy victory in his main-track debut. His recent drills have been among the best in the field. Though taking on winners for the first time, he looked the eminent professional in his maiden victory.
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. Club Hawthorne membership is free and available at Guest Services at Hawthorne Race Course. For more information, visit www.Hawthorneracecourse.com.