Hawthorne Racecourse (10/19/11)
Contact: Jim Miller
Off the turf at Hawthorne
Well, Mother Nature hasn’t been too nice to us today, but fortunately, we have some wind which is keeping the main track relatively dry. We are off the turf, and the main track is currently listed as “Good.” Depending on weather, we may be able to cut open the track prior to the races. Fortunately, many trainers have seen that even in races taken off the grass, their horses can run big on the dirt. That is shown again today as only 4 horses total have scratched from the three turf races as of 10:20 am.
Last week we had a nice week of races, highlighted by Willcox Inn’s win in the Grade III TVG Hawthorne Derby. That one is headed off to the Hollywood Derby to look for another graded stakes victory on the grass. On Sunday, we had camel and ostrich races. While yours truly had a rough break, I was able to still come away with the victory while only requiring stitches in my finger. It’s a small price to pay for the win. Jen, from JenChicago came away with a short fall after the race, but she is fine, nothing broken, and just the wind knocked out of her.
The best thing going in the racing community right now may be the riding of jockey Florent Geroux. The Frenchman has been on fire this meet, winning races in bunches. His patience and timing have been on cue, as he has opened up a 10-win lead in the jocks standings with 20 victories from his first 64 mounts. Second in the standings is Eddie Perez, also off to a fine start with 10 wins, followed by Constantino Roman and Tim Thornton, each with 9 apiece.
For trainers, Roger Brueggemann has teamed up with Florent Geroux to jump out to the early lead. Brueggemann has saddled 11 wins from his first 34 starts followed by Joel Berndt and Hugh Robertson, each with 5 apiece. Brueggemann’s top owner, Midwest Thoroughbreds, already has 7 wins and 5 seconds from 19 starts to lead the early owner standings.
This week we are off the turf today and will play it by ear tomorrow. Friday looks to clear which may mean we get back on the grass for our late 3:00 pm post. The Friday card is tremendous with full fields galore! On Saturday, we have a 10-race card at Hawthorne for our Illinois Festival of Racing. These races are always competitive and usually provide some great payouts. Those fields will be drawn today and be posted online this afternoon.
Good luck and take a shot at the Pick 5 or Pick 6 Carryover today.
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 www.Hawthorneracecourse.com.