Hawthorne Racecourse (10/4/12)
Contact: Ron Uchman
Gold rush at Hawthorne
A terrific field has been assembled to participate in the 76th running of the Grade II Hawthorne Gold Cup. This race carries a purse of $500,000 and will be contested at the classic distance of one and one quarter miles.
Five of the seven runners entered in this field are multiple stakes winners. Pin Oak Stable LLC’s Alternation drew the rail for this storied event and should be able to use his good tactical speed to secure early position. He had a great drill (:47.3) over the Hawthorne track early on Wednesday, October 3 and was schooled in the indoor paddock to familiarize himself with the surroundings. Trained by Donnie K Von Hemel, he will get the services of regular rider Luis Quinonez in the irons. He has been installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite.
Lothenbach Stables Inc.’s Mister Marti Gras and Adele B Dilschneider & Claiborne Farm’s Cease both competed in last year’s edition of this race. Cease finished third, only a half length back, after a grueling stretch drive, after he had gained a narrow advantage at the top of the lane. Trainer Albert Stall will utilize the riding services of Jesse Campbell this time around.
Mister Marti Gras made a late move in last year’s edition and got up for fourth, three-quarters of a length behind Cease. Rider Eddie Perez will be back aboard for this trip for trainer Chris Block.
Distance specialist Eldaafer is coming off a victory in Carl Hanford Memorial at Delaware on September 8. He is closing in on the $1,000,000 mark in earnings and a victory in this race would propel him over the top of that goal. This 7-year-old is owned by Jim Atwell and Kevin Jacobsen and trained by Diane Alvarado. He will be ridden by Ricardo Santana, Jr who was aboard in that last victory.
William S Farish’s Pool Play is certainly one to watch. He returned from a 13-month layoff back in July and, although he has yet to win since his return, he’s been competitive in all of his races. This Mark Casse trainee might be considered to be a synthetic-track specialist but he won the Grade 1 Stephen Foster in his only previous dirt start. Miguel Mena got the call to ride.
Nates Mineshaft is the likely pacesetter for this race. This Austin Smith-trained, Windy Hill Farm-owned runner has been victorious in seven of his 16 career races, including the Grade III Mineshaft, the Grade II Fair Grounds Handicap, and the Grade III Lone Star Handicap this year alone. He almost stole the longshot victory in this year’s edition of the Grade I Stephen Foster. E T Baird, one of the best gate riders around, will be the pilot.
Fly Lexis Fly is the lone 3-year-old in the field and he has yet to win outside of Peru but he is trained by the legendary Neil Drysdale and he did just finish second in the Grade II Super Derby and he had plenty left at the end of that shorter race. He was a multiple Group 1 winner in South America. He has won at a mile and a quarter as well as at a mile and a half. Might relish the extra distance of this race. Francisco Torres, who won the Hawthorne spring meet and Arlington Park top honors, gets the mount.
DON’T FORGET THE SUPPORTING CARD…
Stakes coordinator Debbie Lindsay did a terrific job assembling a strong supporting cast for the Grade II Hawthorne Gold Cup. A competitive field of eight will fight it out on the $100,000 Indian Maid Handicap while the Robert F. Carey Memorial Handicap will feature a full field of 12.
Those three stakes, as well as an overfilled 6th race, will comprise the late Pick 4.
The 2012 Gold Cup Challenge where the first prize will carry and estimated value of $20,000 and consist of entries into both the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Handicapping Challenge at Santa Anita and the 2013 DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship in Vegas plus travel voucher.
CONGRATULATIONS HOFFMAN ESTATES LINKS ON 30 YEARS
Live racing returns to Hawthorne on Friday, October 5 and concludes Sunday, December 30. Live racing will be conducted every Wednesday-Sunday. First post daily is 2:10 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.