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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (9/28/11)

Contact: Jim Miller
(708) 780-3700

Hawthorne Fall Meet Opens With Great Expectations

STICKNEY, IL – With overnights boosted 50 percent, a full backside and a promotions schedule tripled from 2010, the Hawthorne Race Course fall Thoroughbred meet kicks off on Saturday, October 1 with full fields and great racing action. The Opening Day nine-race card has 89 horses entered within the body of the races in what is the norm for the fall meet, full fields and great racing.

Following a successful 2010 fall meet in regards to average daily handle, figures are expected to increase even further as Hawthorne has reverted back to the five-day a week live racing schedule, racing Wednesday-Sunday.

With the release of the funds from HB 1918 and 4957 to the Illinois racing industry, the increase in live racing days will work to the benefit of Hawthorne, the Illinois horsemen and the state of Illinois. In addition, the return of live Sunday racing creates another weekend day for bettors to enjoy racing action on Hawthorne’s one mile dirt course.

The increased overnights were the key to an overflowing Hawthorne backstretch this fall as nearly 2,500 stalls were applied for to occupy the 1,950 that is allotted each meet. In 2010, Hawthorne averaged overnights of $126,000 per racing card after stakes races were removed, this year, that number is expected to be in the range of $200,000 per day for the five day week. Because of those strong purse numbers, increased stables from Scott Becker (36 stalls), Joel Berndt (40), Wayne Catalano (40), Chris (40) and Tom Dorris (36), Roger Brueggemann (59), and Frank Kirby (60) will be competitive all meet long. In addition to those Hawthorne regulars, Tim Ice (20 stalls), Mike Stidham (25), Dale Bennett (26), Ingrid Mason (26), John Haran (40) and Gennadi Dorochenko (60) are expected to all fill the entry box this fall.

Returning to the jockey colony is seven-time Hawthorne leading rider Chris Emigh as he looks for another title. Emigh will be joined by past Hawthorne champs Tim Thornton, Tanner Riggs and Israel Ocampo as a part of the strong Hawthorne jockey colony.

For the fans, the Hawthorne fall meet is full of promotions. On opening weekend, Rocktoberfest will take place at Hawthorne as there will be live music, a pig roast at the outdoor barbeque and beer specials. The free online Survivor contest begins on Friday, October 7 as registration is open now at On Sunday, October 16, a great family event returns as Svengoolie’s Camel and Ostrich races will take place at Hawthorne. As always, Fridays are Fan Friendly Fridays with $2 admission (including program), and $2 food and beverage specials. More events will be added throughout the racing meet as the fall will be packed full of fan-friendly opportunities.

For the bettors, Hawthorne has added a new wager, and made some past favorite wagers more enticing. This fall, the $.50 Pick 5 comes to Hawthorne as the popular carryover wager is sure to bring some large pools and large carryovers. To make the wager even more appealing, the takeout on the Pick 5 is only 14 percent. Additionally, Hawthorne has lowered the takeout on the Place Pick 9, Pick 6 and Hi-5 from 25 percent to 20 percent and reduced the minimum wager on the Pick 6 to $1.

The fall stakes program has also been enhanced from 2010, with Hawthorne’s trademark race, the Grade II Hawthorne Gold Cup returning to $500,000 and being run a week into the meet on Saturday, October 8. The Indian Maid Handicap and Robert F. Carey Memorial will both be run on the turf on October 8 as well. With the release of the additional purse funds, Hawthorne and the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association have decided to further increase the stakes on Illinois Festival of Racing day (October 22) from $100,000 added to $125,000 added. The full stakes schedule is below.

The complete Hawthorne Stakes Schedule:

Date Race Purse Age/Sex Distance/Surface
Sat, 10/8 Hawthorne Gold Cup (G2) $500,000 3 yo&up 1 ¼ M Main
Sat, 10/8 Indian Maid Handicap $60,000 3 yo&up f&m 1 1/16 M Turf
Sat, 10/8 Robert F. Carey Memorial $60,000 3 yo &up 1 1/16 M Turf
Sat, 10/15 Hawthorne Derby (G3) - Presented by TVG $175,000 3 yo 1 1/8 M Turf
Sat, 10/22 Powerless Hcp. (IL) $125,000 A 3 yo&up f&m 6 F Main
Sat, 10/22 Lightning Jet Hcp. (IL) $125,000 A 3 yo&up 6 F Main
Sat, 10/22 Illini Princess Hcp. (IL) $125,000 A 3 yo&up f&m 1 1/16 M Main
Sat, 10/22 Buck’s Boy Hcp. (IL) $125,000 A 3 yo&up 1 1/16 M Main
Sat, 10/22 Showtime Deb Stakes $125,000 A 2 yo fillies 6 F Main
Sat, 10/22 Sun Power Stakes $125,000 A 2 yo colts & geldings 6 F Main
Sat, 12/3 Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante (IL) $100,000 E 2 yo fillies 1 1/16 M Main
Sat, 12/10 Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity (IL) $100,000 E 2 yo colts & geldings 1 1/16 M Main

Hawthorne Race Course opens for live racing on Saturday, October 1 and races live through Saturday December 31. Live racing will be conducted five days a week, racing Wednesday-Sunday. Live racing will also take place on Monday, December 26. First post daily is 1:35 pm. On Fridays through November 25, first post will be 3:00 pm. Hawthorne Race Course is located in Stickney IL at 3501 S. Laramie Ave. For information on live racing or groups at Hawthorne Race Course, contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700 or visit Hawthorne online at

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