Hawthorne Racecourse (2/17/12)
Contact: Jim Miller
Opening day for Hawthorne spring meet
What a difference a year makes! Last year as we prepared for our opener, we were still removing large amounts of snow from around the track and the facility, were dealing with snowy conditions on the track, a horse population that was down and purses that weren’t competitive with other jurisdictions. This year things have changed. Following a mild winter, today it is sunny and 50 degree temps are expected, we have a much larger horse population and purses are increased more than 50 percent from what they were at the start of 2011 due to the release of the impact fee funds in the fall of 2011.
What this should translate to is a great start to the Thoroughbred racing year in Chicago! We have a fast main track today and some great racing action as we kick off the spring Thoroughbred meet. The 9-race card has a fine mix of races and the new $.50 Pick 4 looks to be very challenging. For the late Pick 4, a pair of solid allowance events sandwich a good Illinois maiden allowance race.
The buzz amongst our horsemen is tremendous as they have been supportive in the entry box, with fields averaging over 10 starters per race each of the first three racing days. Many horsemen have remained here through the winter and have been able to train consistently. Our jockey’s room is as talented as ever and includes many new faces as well. With the large fields, and large purses, there is more than enough business to go around for our riders and trainers have primed their stables to make money this spring at Hawthorne.
For our fans, as you come to Hawthorne you will see our new sets of finish line box seats coming together. Those will be completed early in March for our horsemen and Club Hawthorne members, along with being available for fans to enjoy as well. We continue with our lowered takeout on the Pick 6, Place Pick 9 and High-5 as each was lowered from 25-20 percent last fall. Additionally, our $.50 Pick 5 wager returns with a low 14 percent takeout and we have reduced the minimum on our Pick 4 wager to $.50 this year.
Don’t forget to sign up for our online Survivor Contest as one player will take home $2,500. The contest is free to sign up for and play. All you need to do is go to our website at www.Hawthorneracecourse.com and get all of the details. The contest begins next Friday.
Today we kick things off with a Fan Friendly Friday as we have $2 specials on admission, food and drink. Fan Friendly Fridays will take place all meet long! Good luck with all of your wagers today as we kick things off with a 1:40 pm post!
Today’s Early Scratches
Main Track – Fast
#1a – Reina’s Place
#10 – Seans Silverdancer
#13 – Doughnut Man