|Hawthorne Racecourse daily notes (3/10/03)
Contact: Jim Miller
Illinois Derby, ChiTown Challenge Update
Illinois Derby Noms run 1-2 in Louisiana
Yesterday, the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby looked to be a two-horse race as Badge of Silver and Kafwain were set to match up, but in the end, only one of the two were close, but neither came home on top.
Peace Rules came up with the best race of his short career for trainer Bobby Frankel as he blew by the field in the stretch to win the $750,000 event. A decision on where Peace Rules will head next is yet to be determined, but he is nominated for the Illinois Derby.
Second-place finisher Kafwain is also nominated for the April 5 Illinois Derby, as are Louisiana Derby runners Defrere's Vixen, Badge Of Silver, and Winning Fans.
Next Saturday, local hope Senor Swinger looks to head to the track at Gulfstream Park for the Grade 1 Florida Derby for trainer Mickey Goldfine and owners Robert Ackerman and Barry Golden. Senor Swinger is expected to face six to seven others in the $1 million event.
Along with Illinois Derby nominated Senor Swinger, possible Florida Derby starters Indy Dancer, Lion Tamer, Midway Cat, and Supah Blitz are all nominated to Hawthorne's April 5 event.
Early nominations for the Illinois Derby closed at 135 and late nominations close on March 19. The Grade 2 Illinois Derby carries a $500,000 purse and will be contested at 1 1/8 miles on Saturday April 5. Post time for the Illinois Derby is scheduled for 4:25 CDT and will be carried as part of a one-hour telecast on ESPN, which will also cover the Aventura from Gulfstream Park, and the Santa Anita Derby.
Many More Eliminated in Challenges
Only two days into the ChiTown Challenge, less than half of the entrants that started remain, as just over a third are left. In the on-line challenge, 320 entrants were eliminated on Sunday, as only 540 players from the original 1572 remain after day two.
In the on-site challenge, 37 players went down on Sunday, trimming the original field from 122 down to 44 remaining entrants.
The top prize for the on-line challenge is $5,000 while the on-site winner will receive 125,000 Club Hawthorne points.