Hawthorne Racecourse (4/25/12)
Contact: Ron Uchman
FULL FIELDS FOR ILLINOIS CHAMPIONíS DAY
As the meet dwindles down, Hawthorne Race Course is proud to present our popular Illinoisí Championís Day. Six stakes races, as well as a quality undercard, comprise Illinois Championís Day. It was created to celebrate all things Illinois.
All six races are restricted to runners that are Illinois registered, conceived, and/or foaled. Each race carries a purse of $125,000.
Below is a brief overview of each race and some of the more logical entrants in each:
First up is The Peach of It Handicap. This race covers a mile and a sixteenth. It is for fillies and mares, three-years old and up. Most members of this field are stakes winners. Dundalk Dust, the starting highweight: she won the Illini Princess here in 2010 but it was her victory in the Grade II Fall City Handicap that same year that garnered so much attention. She has only one win since, an Optional Claimer here last fall, but her two races this year, against the likes of Arena Elvira (beaten favorite of the Sixty Sails last Saturday), and a solid race behind Zagora in the Grade III Endeavour Stakes, along with recent bullet drills should have her back in top form.
Next up, The Pretty Jenny. This race is restricted to 3-year-old fillies, going six furlongs. Our Domain has been very good locally and ran well, for the most part, at Oaklawn over the winter. She wired the field in her first start of the meet but is versatile enough to come from off the pace. She was installed as the 7-2 morning-line favorite.
The Land of Lincoln, for 3-year-old Colts and Geldings, is a six-furlong event. Report Card, though not a stakes winner, has reeled off three straight victories. Two of those wins came in wire-to-wire fashion but he did beat open company in the other when coming from off the pace. Sweet Luca, making his first start of the year, should be the main competition. He won the Sun Power in his last start, back in October, while running on dirt for the first time. The layoff is a concern but his barn does win with 33 percent of runners returning from similar layoffs.
The Governorís Lady features another match up of Our Lady in Red and Third Chance as well as a full field of fillies and mares, four-years old and up, going six furlongs. Both Third Chance and Our Lady in Red make their first start of the year. Both have been training well. Our Lady in Red won the Pretty Jenny and the Purple Violet last year, beating Third Chance in each, but Third Chance did take the Powerless Handicap here in October as well as the Showtime Deb back in 2010.
The Robert S. Molaro Handicap, for four-years-old and up, could be the toughest race on the card. River Bear drew highweight honors and rightfully so. He has earned nearly $340,000 on this track and over $630,000 in his career and is a multiple stakes winner as well as multiple stakes placed. However, this field is full of runners with terrific credentials. He could have his work cut out for him.
The Milwaukee Avenue Handicap is the final stakes race of the day. This race is at a mile and a sixteenth and is for runners three and up. Color Me Blue has been running well against Alternation, who has turned out to be one of the better handicap horses in the US this year and who won the Grade II Oaklawn Handicap a couple of weeks ago.
A SAD FARWELL
We lost part of the family on Tuesday. Eusebio (Eddie) Razo Jr. was a great guy, a great rider and a mentor to all in the room. Eddie was always professional and was a very good family man. On his career, Eddie was very successful, having more success at Hawthorne than any other racetrack in the country, winning over 1,000 races here and is currently fifth all time at Hawthorne amongst riders. Eddie rode over 2,600 winners, with many stakes horses, going as far back as riding Black Tie Affair as a 23 year old rider just getting started to most recently being the first jock to ride eventual Grade 1 winner Giant Oak.
Eddie never had a bad word to say about anyone, he was always willing to take time to talk to fans, staff and young riders and always was very pleasant to deal with. He garnered the respect of all around him and will sorely be missed on the Chicago, and national racing scene. We will miss Eddie Razo, Jr.
Hawthorne Race Course races Wednesday and Friday through Sunday through April 29. First post daily for the spring is 1:40 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.