Hawthorne Racecourse (12/7/12)
Contact: Ron Uchman
ELEVEN RUNNERS VIE FOR TITLE IN JIM EDGAR ILLINOIS FUTURITY
The last Illinois Thoroughbred stakes race of the year, The Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity, drew a full field of 11 runners. They will be competing for a purse estimated at $125,000. Many in this field have never been around two turns. One has not broken his maiden. Only two have more than one win on their resume. Needless to say, this field is wide open, which is why the morning line-maker laid a tepid favorite at 4-1.
That favorite, Lassel, is one of the few in here with more than one career victory. However, he hasn’t won past six furlongs and neither of his victories took place on a fast dirt track. On the other hand, he did win the Sun Power in his last start and beat many of these runners in the process. Plus, he’s bred to go long. He’s an Asiel Stable homebred, trained by Carlos Silva and will be ridden once again by Quincy Hamilton.
Emile, owned by Darrell and Evelyn Yates and trained by Wayne Catalano, was favored in the Sun Power but never seemed to handle the muddy track. Although he finished third in the race, he made only token late impact. Both of his wins came in Polytrack sprints at Arlington, around one turn. Florent Geroux will be the pilot. He was set at 9-2 in the morning line.
Smokin Glock, another Asiel Stables homebred trained by Carlos Silva, was pegged to go off at 5-1. By top-notch sire El Prado, he figures to relish the extra real estate of this race, though he finished a non-threatening sixth on turf in his only two-turn race. He was beaten by top choice in the Sun Power but did come in second, only three-quarters of a length behind. Francisco Torres, who was aboard for all but one of his races, comes back to ride.
Four of the runners in this race just broke their maidens impressively.
Chatfield Road debuted in maiden claimers but this John Carver homebred, with Seth Martinez in the irons, demolished the field, drawing off to a 14-length victory. Trained by Tom Swearingen, he’ll be taking on far tougher today but, after that win, deserves a long second look.
Carson Springs Farm’s homebred Wicenty, conditioned by Christine Janks, never showed a thing on Polytrack but drew off to a four and three-quarter length victory in his local debut. He’s the only one in the race with a dirt route victory. Chris Emigh takes over the riding honors.
Prince Who, a John Haran homebred, also trained by Haran, always displayed good speed but it wasn’t until he ran with Lasix that he was able to carry his speed the entire way. He’s going to have to fight for the lead today but he could be up to the challenge. Alejandro Contreras takes over as the rider.
Krystle Holsapple’s Flathead River is an enigma. His trainer, Don Milonas, was a bit on the cold side for most of the year but has had five wins, including his maiden victory, and three seconds from only 14 races at this meet. He won his local debut by 10 and was still drawing away at the finish. He’s bred to love the longer distance. Edgar Perez is back aboard.
Ultimo Trago, owned by Hernandez Racing Club and trained by Brian Williamson, figures prominently. He ran well against state breds on the synthetic track early at Arlington but has been in against tough open company since. He finished fourth in a pair of open-company stakes races, the $66k Meadowlake and The Grade III Arlington Washington Futurity; had a credible fourth-place effort on the turf; didn’t fire on dirt in a sprint in his local debut; but finished second to the tough Stormin Monarch, at today’s distance, in his last. With Constantino Roman in the saddle, he could be the sleeper in this race.
Can’t ignore Tall Grass Cat. He broke his maiden on turf and finished behind three of these rivals in the Sun Power. However, he was gaining late in that sprint. He’s a half brother to multiple graded stakes winner Crafty Oak, another Virginia H Tarra Trust homebred, and is trained by Chris Block. He should love two turns. Eduardo Perez, as usual, gets the call.
Trainer Wayne Catalano has another in the race, Star of Class, owned and bred by Wayne M and Renee Catalano. He is another that broke his maiden on Polytrack and showed little in his first race here but he got off to a terrible start while coming off a layoff. Julio Felix rides him for the first time.
Thinking Showbiz is still a maiden and has yet to get close but he is coming off the best race of his career. Owned by Terry R Young and Sue Brooks and trained by Terry Young, he would certainly be an upset if he managed to win this race. Diego Sanchez rides.
Live racing at Hawthorne takes place four days a week and concludes Sunday, December 30. Live racing will be conducted every Thursday-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.