|Hawthorne Racecourse daily notes (4/7/03)
Contact: Jim Miller
Illinois Day on Saturday, ChiTown Challenge Returns
Illinois Horses Featured Saturday
This Saturday, the star of the state will be showcased as six Illinois-Restricted races will take place. Each race carries a $100,000 added purse and many rising stars look to emerge from these races.
21 runners were nominated for the Violet Stakes. The six-furlong race for three-year-olds fillies looks to be headlined by Gene Cilio's talented Book The Devil. An easy winner in her debut, Book The Devil handled allowance-company in her last start, winning by 8½ lengths on March 25.
She finds her toughest spot today as she looks to be pushed by Gumbo Love in here. A Clayton Pierce trainee, Gumbo Love was an 8¾ length winner in her debut and finished a strong second against open company in her last race.
Land Of Lincoln Stakes
24 colts and geldings were nominated to the Land of Lincoln to sprint three-quarters. The Land of Lincoln is highlighted by last year's two-year-old champion Wiggins as he looks to make his first start in 2003 in here. Trained by Anthony Granitz, Wiggins hit the board in each start in 2002, winning a pair of races.
On Saturday, he looks to have company from Add A Moment from the Wayne Catalano barn. Add A Moment won at first asking last fall by seven lengths, and held of Bold America by a neck in his first start of 2003.
Governor's Lady Handicap
Older filly and mare sprinters head to the gate in the Governor's Lady Handicap. Nine very talented runners nominated to the race as Tejano Honey heads this field as she looks to jump up off her champion three-year-old filly performance of 2002. Last year she was a winner of six of nine starts, never missing the board while posting four stakes triumphs. She tired against open-company in her 2003 debut, but looks to make amends in here.
Her top competition could come from Come September. A hard running seven-year-old, Come September makes her second start of 2003, following a strong 2002 season, where she earned $144,677 for the year.
Older male sprinters battle in the Chicagoland Handicap as the race closed with 18 nominees. The Chicagloand has always been one of the most competitive events and this year looks to be no different. Classic Appeal may be the hot horse entering the Chicagoland. Winless in 2002, he jumped up with a big win at first asking here on March 1. Trained by Richard Hazelton, Classic Appeal will look tough once again on Saturday.
His top competition could come from Tic N Tin. An eight-year-old star, Tic N Tin earned $192,686 in 2002, posting six win on the year.
Peach Of It Handicap
Fillies and mares, three-years-old and upward look to head two-turns in the mile-and-a-sixteenth Peach Of It Handicap. 14 were nominated to the Peach Of It and they'll all be gunning for Julie's Prize. A winner of $118,852 for her career, Julie's Prize has only two career wins, but both have been very impressive. She won the Illinois Breeders' Debutante last fall at Hawthorne by four lengths and came back to defeat allowance runners here on March 16. Trained by Anthony Mitchell, Julie's Prize looks for three straight in the Peach Of It.
The main competition for Julie's Prize may come from Vibes. Vibes was very good in 2002 as she won $146,619, with her biggest score coming as she defeated Two Item Limit in the Illini Princess here last fall.
Milwaukee Avenue Handicap
Males, three-years-old and upward will battle in the mile-and-a-sixteenth Milwaukee Avenue Handicap. 15 horses nominated to the Milwaukee Handicap and one to look at is Baker Road. A winner of $151,492 in 2002, Baker Road started out 2003 in fine fashion with an allowance score for trainer Leo Gabriel Jr. Baker Road was the winner of this race last spring and looks to defend his title on Saturday.
ChiTown Challenge Returns on Friday
The popular ChiTown Challenge will be back in full swing on Friday, as both the on-site and on-line contests return. To win the Challenge, a contestant must pick a single horse to hit the board in its designated race for that day and they continue to the next racing day.
Top prize for the on-site Challenge is 50,000 Club Hawthorne points while the on-site Challenge will offer $3,000 to the top prize winner.
New Challenges will also begin with the start of the Suburban Downs harness meeting and the Hawthorne fall Thoroughbred meet.