|Hawthorne Racecourse daily notes (3/4/03)
Contact: Jim Miller
Meier Update, Good Riding, Senor Swinger and Chi-Town Challenge
Randy Meier Update
Hawthorne's all-time leading rider, Randy Meier, caught some bad luck in Monday's first race. Aboard 3-1 shot Demon Like, Meier was racing in the second flight of horses when something when wrong.
"I saw blood start to fly from out of him and I tried to pull him up," stated Meier. "Right as I thought I had him, he propped and when I tried to lift his head up, he just passed out and went down."
Demon Like tumbled head first to the track sending Meier over the front of him and Meier landed hard on the track. "I broke my right shoulder right near the ball on the top," Meier continues. "Right now it's the size of my head it's so swollen. After x-rays, the doctor told me I also had a broken rib. They pressed on it and I didn't feel anything, but they checked again and I did indeed break it."
Demon Like was attended to quickly by track veterinarians, and they quickly cleared the blood from the horse's passageway. He popped up quickly after and was vanned back to the barn of trainer Noel Hickey.
"Initially the vets didn't think he'd make it through the night," Hickey said. "But he kept up and is actually looking much better this morning. The quick action taken by everyone involved, including Meier, probably saved his life."
Meier stated he will be out for a couple of months, but looks to return to the saddle.
Jocks Pick it up in Meier's Absence
Following Meier's injury in the first yesterday, it was a rush to find riders for the rest of his mounts on the card.
One who garnered a big day with his added mounts was jockey Eddie Perez. Perez grabbed the first riding triple of the meet as he guided home Flatline ($17.60), True Honor ($7.60) and Always On Time ($11.00) to wins on the card. The final two rides came aboard horses that Meier was originally slated to ride. Additionally, jockey E.T. Baird grabbed a win aboard Sultry Sreva ($11.40), another Meier mount.
Three days into the meet, two riders have grabbed a win every day. Larry Sterling Jr. and Carlos Silva have both recorded riding doubles on the meet, and have won a race each racing day.
Senor Swinger Works
Early local favorite for the Kentucky Derby, Senor Swinger, made another step forward on his Derby trail with a solid morning work Sunday at Gulfstream Park. In preparation for the Florida Derby, the Mickey Goldfine trainee covered three-quarters of a mile in 1:11.80 on a fast main track. If all goes right in Florida, Goldfine plans to come to Hawthorne for the Grade 2 Illinois Derby before hopefully heading to Kentucky for the Run for the Roses.
Chi-Town Challenge begins Saturday
Starting Saturday March 8, the 2003 edition of the Chi-Town Challenge will begin with an additional on-site contest this year. For the on-line challenge, fans can sign up through www.sportsmanspark.com or www.hawthorneracecourse.com before Noon on Saturday.
To continue in the contest, fans must pick a single horse each day that they believe will finish in the top three in its race. If the horse hits the board, the contestant will advance to the next day. This will continue until there is only one person left standing. The winner will receive a $5,000 top prize.
In addition to the on-line contest, a new on-site contest will take place as well. The rules stay the same, but contestants must place their pick at Hawthorne every day. Top prize in the on-site contest is 125,000 Club Hawthorne points, which can be used towards any prize that Club Hawthorne offers.