HAWTHORNE RACE COURSE
|Hawthorne Racecourse (12/12/03)
Contact: Jim Miller
$1.7 Million Stakes Schedule for NJC at Hawthorne Spring meeting
STICKNEY, IL -- On Tuesday, the Illinois Racing Board approved the proposed National Jockey Club at Hawthorne stakes schedule for the 2004 spring thoroughbred meet. The spring meet will cover 47 live racing days, running from February 27 - May 13.
Highlighting the 2004 spring schedule will be the Grade 2, $500,000 Illinois Derby. The Illinois Derby has become one of the most important prep races for runners looking to head to the Kentucky Derby. War Emblem grabbed the Illinois Derby win in 2002 before going on the win both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. In 2003, Ten Most Wanted used the Illinois Derby as a starting point to his success in his strong three-year-old campaign. The Illinois Derby has again been placed in a perfect spot for those looking to Kentucky the first Saturday in May as the Illinois Derby will be run four weeks before the Kentucky Derby on April 3.
The $500,000 Illinois Derby kicks off the $1.7 million Stakes season as top three-year-old sprinters will again be featured on Illinois Derby Day in the six furlong, $100,000 Lost Code Breeders' Cup Stakes.
The following weekend, Hawthorne will showcase local runners as six $100,000 added stakes events will be run, all for Illinois competitors. Just one week later, graded stakes action is back as older Handicap runners will compete in the Grade 3, $250,000 National Jockey Club Handicap. On April 24, female runners will be the focus in the Grade 3, $250,000 Sixty Sails Handicap.
Below is the stakes schedule for the 2004 NJC at Hawthorne spring meet:
2004 National Jockey Club Stakes
April 3rd Illinois Derby (GII) 3 Year Olds 1 & 1/8 Mile $500,000**