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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (2/18/11)

Contact: Jim Miller
(708) 780-3700

Opening weekend under way at Hawthorne

Today is another of our Fan Friendly Fridays at Hawthorne as we will be offering $2 specials on admission w/ program, beer and food specials. These Fan Friendly Fridays will take place all meet long with the drink specials taking place at the first floor bar and in the Gold Cup Dining Room.

Also, today is the start of our online Survivor Contest. The Survivor contest is free to sign up for and very easy to play. All you need to do is click on the banner on our website and register. At that point, you are ready to go and make selections. Each day, you just need to pick one horse to finish officially in the top three and you move on. The player that lasts the longest is the winner. The contest closes a half hour before races begin, so make sure you get your selections in early. Also, each day I will post my Survivor Selection with reasoning on the stable notes and I will play along as well. Here’s hoping I can stay alive!

Looking back at last Saturday, what could have been a terrible day for Tanner Riggs turned out great in the end. On the Saturday card, Riggs rode home four winners, including a pair for trainer Joel Berndt. Tim Thornton and Constantino Roman also had a pair, but a race that could have been Roman’s third winner on the card was almost the downfall, literally for Riggs. In the 7th race, Roman and his mount, Grattan Street rode the rail while Riggs and Massecuite sat just to his outside. While those two raced jointly behind the pace, Roman looked for room in the turn and came in front of Riggs' horse. While the room wasn’t there, Massecuite clipped heels, nearly falling. Riggs, aboard Massecuite, not only was able to stay aboard his mount, but rode out the race, going on to cross the wire second behind Grattan Street. After an inquiry the two horses were flipped, giving Riggs another win, and luckily avoiding injury. For those who say jocks and Thoroughbreds aren’t great athletes, they are wrong.

On Saturday night, we honored our Illinois-bred Champs for 2010. While there were many great performances in 2010, now multiple Grade I winner Giant Oak was named Horse of the Year for 2010. Chris Block-trained horses Table Games, Dundalk Dust and Free Fighter were also named champs as well. Giant Oak is off to a fine start this year and over the next few weeks we will see many of our Illinois-bred champs returning to the races here at Hawthorne.

Finally, Joe Kristufek and I will be joining racing fans for an online chat today on We will be covering the entire racing card, we will also be taking questions and selections from racing fans. The chat room opens at 1:15 pm on Friday and will take place every Friday card at Hawthorne. In addition, a great new chat begins next Monday as Monday “Night School” will take place on HorseplayerNow. Night school will cover various topics throughout the year with a great panel of chatters. I will be joining throughout the year as well for this great resource for racing fans has never been done online before.


Main Track – Fast

Race 9

Scratch - #12 – Kitty Covenant
Scratch #13 – Hallie Ruth
Scratch #14 – Long Story Short

Survivor Update and Play of the Day

Today is day 1 of our online Survivor Contest. Each day I will provide an update of where our contest stands in regards to total entries, those eliminated the prior day, and the amount that remain. I will be playing along in the contest as well, and hopefully Surviving myself. In addition, Inez Karlsson will have a selection posted daily too. Let’s see if we can Survive!

Total Contestants Entered will be announced tomorrow
Total Eliminated: 0
Total Remaining Will be announced tomorrow

My Survivor Pick of the Day: Today is so tough. The first race has only six horses but any can win. My horse, Dubious, is in the 3rd and while I am confident in her abilities, I’m not sure what the pace will be. I looked at Lakeaway in the 4th but the last listed work for that one was 29 days ago. So………I end up in the finale, a 12-horse field and I could be out on Day #1. My selection is #1 Tool Time Girl in the last. She has some tactical speed and has a pair of good works leading into this race. My concern is gate issues, but if she gets away well from the gate, I expect her to find position early and have enough left late to Survive!

Jim’s Survivor Pick: Race 9 - #1 – Tool Time Girl
Inez’ Survivor Pick: Race 3 - #1 – A Renoir

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

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