|Hawthorne Racecourse News Release
Contact: Jim Miller (708) 780-3700
Hawthorne Meet to Open with a Bang
STICKNEY, IL -- For the second straight year, turf racing in Chicago in May will take place as Hawthorne Race Course opens for racing on May 5. With a split Thoroughbred meet for the second year, the spring meet will be quick, with only 20 days of racing, but great racing will be packed into the short time.
A pair of Graded Stakes events will highlight the spring meeting as three-year-olds take to the grass on May 11 for the running of the Grade 3, $250,000 Hawthorne Derby. In 2001, Kalu, ridden by Jose Santos, was able to grab the victory in the mile and an eighth event, and the field should be strong once again in 2002.
The following week, Hawthorne's richest race, the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup will be run on May 18. This race, combined with the running of the Preakness, will make for a big racing day. In addition, with the removal of the Pimlico Special in 2002, the Gold Cup will be the only event for older handicap horses at that time and should prove to be one of the top races on the national scene for the year. In the 2001 edition of the Gold Cup, local rider Randall Meier was able to grab the victory in front-running style aboard Duckhorn. However, strong efforts by Guided Tour and Lido Palace vaulted those entrants on to bigger races later in the year.
With these two top races as the focus for the spring, turf events will close out the stakes schedule, as the Summertime Promise Breeders' Cup will be run on May 25 and the Glassy Dip takes place on June 1.
Bettors will once again receive what they want most on all days, as Hawthorne management brings back the 2% lowered takeout on all wagers. This, along with the inclusion of turf racing on a daily basis, should once again bring the biggest fields in Illinois, along with improved handle for 2002.
Many of the faces that Hawthorne has seen in the past return on both the riding and training end of things in 2002. Last year's leading riders Zoe Cadman and Shane Laviolette are both expected to return, as well as top riders Larry Sterling Jr., Randall Meier, and veteran reinsmen Carlos Silva and Ray Sibille. Leading trainers Mike Reavis and Tom Tomillo are also back, and expect the likes of Jere R. Smith Sr, Frank Kirby, Wayne Catalano and Tom Dorris to put pressure on them for the training title. Some faces who were away from Chicago for a bit also return as Joseph Broussard, Richard Scherrer, and Mike Stidham will have strong stables as well.
On the media relations side of racing, the largely popular "Hawthorne Racing Report" returns to the air as the three track agreement with CLTV begins on opening day. The replay show will be shown nightly at 10:00 pm and will once again be hosted by Jim Miller, Nancy Ury and track announcer Peter Galassi. An addition to the broadcasting production on a daily basis will be a daily handicapping show before races as handicappers Jim Miller and Ron Uchman will take a look at the day's racing program. The show will take place from 12:25 - 12:45 every racing day.
In 2002, Hawthorne Race Course will conduct the split Thoroughbred meeting with the spring meet taking place from May 5 - June 4. Dark days in the spring will be Wednesday and Thursday and first post in at 1:10 pm. In the fall, Thoroughbreds race November 1 - December 31. Dark days in the fall are Monday and Tuesday and first post is at 1:10 pm. In addition to the Thoroughbred meets, harness racing will take place this summer as Suburban Downs at Hawthorne Race Course will race for 37 consecutive nights from June 7 - July 13. Post time is 7:30 pm on all nights except Sunday, when first post will be 6:30 pm.
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