Hawthorne Racecourse (4/1/11)
Contact: Jim Miller
April changes at Hawthorne
A new month is upon us and some new ideas will be put into place with today’s card as well. The first change you will see today will come in the first post as for the month of April, Friday post time will be 2:35 pm for the remainder of the meet. What we have found is that there is an abundance of East coast tracks which start early and it is so tough to make our signal a focus. By moving the start time later, races at Hawthorne will face less competition and hopefully help increase the focus and handle on our signal.
The next change that will hopefully be seen in the remainder of the meet is how purses will be paid. For April, every horse that runs in a race will receive a share of the purse. For those who finish 6th – last in a race, they will receive 1 percent of the base purse. The remaining purse will be distributed as normal on a percentage base of 60-20-11-6-3 to the top five finishers. That 1 percent may not seem like much, but to horse owners, that amount helps to cover fees for jockey mount in a race, along with some costs associated to Lasix medication and care of a horse.
The next change we put into place really is a week away as we have added $50,000 back into the purse of the TVG Illinois Derby. Through our great relationship with TVG, sponsorship money added to the race has boosted the purse to $300,000 for the Grade III event. It may not seem like much, but for those three-year-olds looking to get into the Derby, the addition $30,000 for the winner’s share added to the race could determine whether or not a horse makes the cut for the Derby.
Looking back at the Wednesday card, it was Tanner Riggs day at Hawthorne. The current leading rider continued his hot riding as he won four races on the Wednesday card. Riggs won three of those races for trainer Joel Berndt as he gained one win in his lead over Frank Kirby, who had a double on the card himself. Also, jockey Diego Sanchez had a fine day with a pair of wins himself, including a very impressive victory by Sharp Dude for trainer Greg Zielinski in the fourth race.
Today we have some rain in the forecast but nothing that should amount to much. We will keep an eye on the conditions, but this track dries quickly and is a great surface with a little moisture in it.
For today’s card, we have a fine optional claiming allowance race in the third as any of those runners can win. Also, we have a Pick 6 carryover that is starting to grow. The Pick 6 carryover is $8,751 and the Place Pick 9 is back with a carryover of $1,649. Looking ahead to tomorrow, for those of you who received mystery vouchers in the mail, don’t forget to bring them out to the track. Also, there are a pair of optional claimers on the Saturday card that include stakes winners Mighty Rule, River Bear and He’s Bonafide. We have a great weekend of racing action ahead.
As we do each Friday of the meet, we will be covering the entire card on HorseplayerNow.com. Joe Kristufek and myself will cover the races, providing information and selections for the 9-race card. The chat opens at 2:15 pm and will go through the end of the race day.
Main Track – Fast
Survivor Selections of the Day
Total Survivor Entrants: 1,780
Eliminated Wednesday: 1
Total Remaining: 16
Jim’s Survivor Selection: Race 6 - #1 – Get the Kitty
Inez’ Survivor Selection: Race 7 - #2 – Oh Gee She’s Gold
Hawthorne Race Course is in its 102nd year of racing under Carey family ownership. Hawthorne races Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday in April. First post daily is 1:30 pm with Friday’s first post at 2:35 pm. For more information on racing at Hawthorne, visit our website at www.Hawthorneracecourse.com.