Hawthorne Racecourse (3/31/12)
Contact: Jim Miller
First day of turf at Hawthorne
We get to make history today as for the first time ever in Illinois, we will have turf racing in March! A mild winter and a great early spring has allowed for the grass to grow and the turf is in tremendous shape as we open our turf course today with a 5 furlong sprint for $18,000 claimers. The race goes as the fifth race on a very good Saturday afternoon card that also features a good filly and mare allowance race and an extremely competitive state-bred allowance event.
Today puts us only one week away from the 55th running of the Grade III $500,000 TVG Illinois Derby. As the field continues to shape up, there are still runners looking for those precious earnings to get into the Kentucky Derby. We are expecting a full field of 14 for the Illinois Derby which will be drawn next Wednesday. A reminder, we will have coverage of the TVG Illinois on TVG as well as having a one-hour show on WGN Chicago which will cover both the Illinois Derby and the $60,000 Added Cryptoclearance Stakes.
Today we have a pool party at Hawthorne as Joe Kristufek from HorseplayerNow.com will be onsite to host the party. Joe will join me for our pre-race preview show as well. The pool party is just $20 and fans will get food and drink for 2 hours along with sharing in any of Joe’s winnings. For details, or to sign up for the pool party, visit Guest Services on the first floor of the grandstand.
For those looking to enjoy the festivities of the TVG Illinois Derby onsite at Hawthorne next weekend, and you want to sit in our Gold Cup dining room, please make sure to call ahead for reservations at 708-780-3700.
Only a few scratches on the Saturday afternoon card:
Today’s Early Changes
Main Track – Fast
Turf – Firm
Scratch #6 – Prairie Breeze
Scratch #1 – I Want Out
Scratch #6 – Beware the Tiger