Hawthorne Racecourse (2/11/11)
Contact: Jim Miller
Opening day preview from Hawthorne
We’re back! Live racing kicks off today as we will be racing every Friday and Saturday for the remainder of the month. Today we have a fast track, a nine race card with full fields and a first post of 1:30 pm. Mother Nature beat up many states and racetracks across the country during the off season, but our track and maintenance crew was more than on top of their game, missing only four days of training in the six weeks that we were dark, despite over 30 inches in total of snowfall during that period.
Our horse population grows by the day, and although I don’t expect fields to be as full as they are for opening day throughout the meet, I expect we will be much better than last spring, offering an average of 8-9 starters per race on a daily basis. Many familiar faces are back in the jockey and training ranks with Tim Thornton, Tanner Riggs, Florent Geroux and Eddie Perez all back in the saddle. In fact, Perez is only 8 victories away from 2,000 on his career. We look forward to him reaching that milestone in the next few weeks.
For trainers, the fall meet leader, Joel Berndt is back with a full stable of runners all ready to roll. He will be challenged by Frank Kirby, Mike Reavis, Tom and Chris Dorris and Roger Brueggemann for the training title.
In regards to how the track will play, we won’t quite be sure until we see a few races. With the fine job done by our track crew in recent seasons, the Hawthorne surface has played very evenly and that is how I handicapped the opener. Make sure to keep an eye on the races though to see if there is any bias, but I am not expecting any to open the meet.
We’re going to provide some more knowledge and fun this meet on the air as well as Inez Karlsson is going to join me for our pre-race handicapping show every day. She will also be in the paddock with me during races as she gets comfortable on the air throughout the meet. She can give insight that will be invaluable to our players.
Also, our online Survivor Contest begins next Friday. The contest is free to sign up for as the ultimate Survivor will win the $2,500 top prize. The contest is easy to play, just pick a horse each day that hits the board and you will survive. For rules and details, or to sign up, visit our website www.Hawthorneracecourse.com to check out all of the information.
Finally, every Friday I will be joining Joe Kristufek on www.HorseplayerNow.com as we cover the Hawthorne card, providing selections and analysis. Fans can join us with questions and selections as we give our analysis on the day’s racing.
Main Track – Fast
Scratch #1 – Cool Clue
Scratch #1a – Italian Revolution
Scratch #6 – Deal Of A Lifetime
Scratch #6 – All Tanked Up
Scratch #13 – Boot Tails
Scratch #4 – Alabama Gold
Scratch #11 – Floodgate
Scratch #14 – Cause Cause Cause
Hawthorne Race Course is in its 102nd year of racing under Carey family ownership. Hawthorne races Friday and Saturday in February, beginning February 11. In March and April, live racing will take place every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday through the end of April. First post daily is 1:30 pm. For more information on racing at Hawthorne, visit our website at www.Hawthorneracecourse.com.