|Hawthorne Racecourse daily notes (3/7/03)
Contact: Jim Miller
Quick Action Pays Off, St. Julien to wait Another Day, A Long Ride, & Challenge Starts Tomorrow
Battling Mother Nature
A final spurt of winter hit the Chicagoland area on Tuesday and fortunately the snow almost held off to the end of the card. Threatening to come down most of the day, the snow started falling midway through the running of Tuesday's ninth. After the horses crossed the line, the track crew sprung into action. Within 20 minutes after the race was finished, the track was sealed as the snow came down.
The next morning, five-and-a-half inches had fallen and the crew was back to work. Keeping the track closed for Wednesday morning training, the snow was removed from the track and new cushion was laid. The track was back open for business on Thursday as 66 horses worked Thursday morning.
St. Julien to Wait for Sunday
Jockey Marlon St. Julien will have to wait another day to start his Chicago riding season. St. Julien had rides lined up for Saturday, but unfortunately those races didn't go. He'll be back at it for Sunday's card for agent Penny Fitch-Heyes.
"He'll be here whether or not he has mounts on Sunday," stated Heyes. "We decided that he should stay at Turfway and ride until then. We have four or five lined up for Sunday and hopefully things will work out."
Late Winter Arrivals
The weather not only affected those here, but it also threw a kink into the plans for many barns that were shipping horses to Hawthorne. After long van rides, averaging between 25 and 30 hours from Oaklawn, Fair Grounds, and Tampa Bay Downs, the Hawthorne backside total has been boosted substantially.
Late arrivals came from the barns of Louis Roussel III, Wayne Catalano, and Tom Tomillo at Fair Grounds. Twenty horses arrived this week from the Oaklawn barn of Jeff Lynn. A full allotment of 40 runners for Moises Yanez arrived mid-week after a trip from the winter racing season at Tampa Bay Downs. Horses are also beginning to arrive for trainer Hugh Robertson from the Fair Grounds and Oaklawn.
Chi-Town Challenge begins Tomorrow
Starting tomorrow, 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 by 11:30am 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.