Hawthorne Racecourse (2/25/11)
Contact: Jim Miller
Opening weekend under way at Hawthorne
We are back for another week of live racing action as this is the final week of our two day a week racing. Starting next week, we will be adding in Tuesday and Wednesday racing through the remainder of the meet, which runs through April 30.
This week has been a bit tougher week in regards to weather as we had a tremendous amount of rain on Sunday, causing us to keep the track closed for training. We opened Monday for training but were closed again Tuesday as temperatures dropped into the teens and the surface froze up. Fortunately, warmer weather Wednesday and consistent temps Thursday had us open and busy for training. Toss some overnight snow into the mix last night and we have seen it all this week.
I want to give a quick Survivor update. Looking back at Saturday, the 5th race was decimated by scratches and we were left with a 4 horse field. We chose not to use the race in Survivor as show wagering wasn’t offered. Looking back, we saw that many players had made selections the night before and were unable to change their picks. That being said, we have decided that last Saturday would be a free pass for any Survivor player that Survived Day #1 of the contest. So all who could make a pick Saturday are still alive!
Last Saturday, Jockeys Angel Stanley and Tim Thornton each won a pair of races as did trainer Manny Perez. One interesting trend on the Saturday card was the quick return horses, horses that raced just a week prior. This was the case in the second race Saturday when U Step Aside drew a much better post and ran a strong winning race. In the 7th, Massecuite did the same. After winning via DQ a week prior, he showed improved speed and never looked back, looking strong in victory. Again in the 8th, although he didn’t win, Dance For Paco ran the best race of the bunch, closing from last to run second in an allowance race after a maiden allowance score the week prior. Something to keep an eye on with horses this week.
Today we have our online chat on www.HorseplayerNow.com. Joe Kristufek and myself will be covering the Hawthorne races, giving selections and answering questions about racing in Chicago and nationally as well. If you tuned in last week, we had pick 4 mania going on the card, as we hit both Pick 4s in the room, the later one paying a gigantic price! Maybe we can do the same again today! The chat room opens at 1:15 pm.
Main Track – Fast
SCRATCH #7 – Wild About Boys
SCRATCH #12 – Bill of Bills
Survivor Update and Play of the Day
Total Survivor Entrants: 1,780
Eliminated Saturday: 0 (Free pass for all!!!)
Total Remaining: 634
I found the Friday card to be an extremely tough card to make a Survivor selection in. With some changes in the weather, I am not completely sure as to how the track will play although I am leaning a bit towards early pace prevailing. Reluctantly, I will make my Survivor selection in the 2nd race on Friday’s card and go to #4 – Magic Case. She follows the pattern that has worked well this meet of horses improving in their second race out and she ran well in her first race of the meet under the bug boy. I expect her to be forwardly placed in a race with little early pace and her best races have come over this track. She should have enough in her to Survive!
Jim’s Survivor Selection: Race 2 - #4 – Magic Case
Inez’ Survivor Selection: Race 6 - #9 – Big Sister
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.