|Contact: Jim Miller (708) 780-3700
John Brokopp 773-242-1121, Ext. 309
Hawthorne and Sportsman's Form Alliance
STICKNEY/CICERO, IL -- Today, Hawthorne Director of Operations Thomas F. Carey III, along with National Jockey Club President Charles Bidwill III, announced that plans are in place for National Jockey Club and Hawthorne Race Course to work as one entity. The agreement would allow for all dates received by the National Jockey Club to be run on Hawthorne's grounds in 2003 and for years following. This would allow for a consistency between the two entities on the racing end to form and strengthen racing in Illinois as a whole.
Thomas F. Carey III stated, "This is something that we have been working on for some time now. Talks have been ongoing and we just wanted to have everything in place to give us the best possible product that will benefit both Hawthorne and Sportsman's as well as the horsemen. By racing at one location, a consistency, which will help the horsemen, fans and racing in Illinois as a whole will be realized. We have also shown the ability at Hawthorne to be able to race on our turf course early in the year and we may be able to run on the grass even earlier if the weather allows. This is a strong move for us towards the future and one that both myself and management at Sportsman's are very happy about."
The Sportsman's-Hawthorne alliance is preceded by a unique seven-decade relationship, which saw the two tracks co-exist on neighboring properties as separate family owned and operated organizations.
"This joint venture has been something the Illinois Racing Board has been encouraging for a long time," Bidwill said. "I am very pleased that we are able to reach an agreement that will combine the strengths of Sportsman's and Hawthorne. Together, unified in history, tradition, and vision, we look forward to launching a bold new era in Illinois horse racing next year."