HAWTHORNE RACE COURSE
|Hawthorne Racecourse (4/7/04)
Contact: Jim Miller
Summer Mis, Wiggins Return for Illinois Champions Day
STICKNEY, IL -- Reigning Illinois Horse of the Year Summer Mis and top three-year-old runner from 2003, Wiggins, will both be on the track in featured events as the running of Illinois Champions Day will take place at Hawthorne on Saturday. The day will consist of six $100,000 added stakes events, all for Illinois runners as the day often gives a head start to local horses to watch for the year.
Below is a look at each of the six stakes events.
Peach Of It Handicap
Fillies and Mares, three-year-olds and up will go 1 1/16 miles in the Peach of It Handicap. A field of seven is entered for the race as Julie's Prize is the 7-5 morning line choice. A winner of four of nine starts in 2003, she won this race last year and then was a runaway winner in the Illini Princess Handicap by 11¼ lengths last fall at Hawthorne.
Trained by Anthony Mitchell, Julie's Prize will be ridden once again by Larry Sterling Jr. Her top competition will likely come from Asiel Stable's Rathleen. Trained by Richard Hazelton, Rathleen recently finished second in optional claiming allowance company and she will get 10 lbs. from Julie's Prize in the Peach of It.
Also in the field are: Invader, Carlos Montalvo; Rustic Kitten, Randy Meier; I Can Fan Fan, E. T. Baird; Ioya Forever, Eddie Razo Jr.; and Gumbo Love, Jessie Campbell.
Governor's Lady Handicap
Another Richard Otto Stable's and Anthony Mitchell trainee will be a heavy favorite on Illinois Champions Day as 2003 Illinois Horse of the Year Summer Mis is the even money choice in the Governor's Lady Handicap.
The Governor's Lady Handicap is for older fillies and mares to go six furlongs. A winner in six of eight starts in 2003, Summer Mis won five straight races, including the Grade 3 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland last fall. Larry Sterling Jr. rides Summer Mis again on Saturday.
Six others will be spotted weight from Summer Mis as she will carry 128 lbs. in the Governor's Lady. The remaining runners are: Fighting Fever, Razo; Dharma Girl, Carlos Silva; Ravalli Girl, Shane Laviolette; Gracility, Chris Emigh; Cashmere Miss, Baird; and Akana, Tommy Molina.
A competitive field of seven is set to line up in the Chicagoland Handicap as older colts sprint three quarters. The 5-2 morning line choice in the race is Terry Renfrow & Eugene Young's Silver Bid. Trained by Joel Berndt, Silver Bid has already won over the track this meet as he ran a very game race on March 20, defeating Shandy and Summer Mis in that spot. Posting earnings of nearly $150,000 in 2003, Silver Bid has hit the board in 17 of 23 starts at this distance.
Jockey Carlos Montalvo will ride Silver Bid once again in the Chicagoland. The top challenge looks to come from Out of my Way as he returns to Hawthorne on Saturday. Facing stakes runners at Fair Grounds in his last three starts, Out Of My Way posted a longshot win in the Taylor's Special on February 22. Eddie Razo Jr will ride Out of my Way for trainer Greg Geier.
The remainder of the field for the Chicagoland: Shandy, Silva; Unlock the Vault, Baird; Jimmy's Boy, Cruz Contreras; Freeway Ticket, Campbell; and Bold Caller, Meier.
Milwaukee Avenue Handicap
Handicap runners go 1 1/16 miles in the Milwaukee Avenue Handicap as trainer Anthony Granitz's Wiggins makes his four-year-old debut. A winner of five of seven starts in 2003, Wiggins posted strong wins in both the Round Table at Arlington and the Prairie Meadows Derby before defeating older runners in his final start of the year at Hawthorne in the Robert F. Carey Jr. Memorial Handicap. A winner of both of his Hawthorne starts, Wiggins will be ridden by Eddie Razo Jr. and is 2-1 in the morning line.
Six others take on Wiggins in the Milwaukee Avenue: last year's winner of the race, Baker Road, Sterling; Big Glori, Baird; 2003 Chicagoland Handicap winner Classic Appeal, Silva; Scooter Roach, Campbell; Garesche, Montalvo; and Act of War, Emigh.
Lady Hallie Stakes
12 three-year-old fillies are scheduled to sprint in the Lady Hallie Stakes in what looks to be the most wide-open race on the Champions Day card. The 4-1 morning line favorite is John Hillier's No Beans. Trained by Scott Fairlie and ridden by Luis Espinoza, No Beans ran well in Candad before shipping to Hawthorne for the Showtime Deb last fall. Adding blinkers for that race, No Beans defeated 13 others in the race, winning by a length. She makes her first start since the Showtime Deb in the Lady Hallie.
The remaining field in the Lady Hallie is: Wish For Gold, Hiram Rivera; Slewville, Rivera; Piano Tunner, Campbell; Lady Laverne, Molina; Miss Denouncer, Contreras; Barrel Racer, Razo; Shootandcharge, Laviolette; Miss Outrageous, Sterling; Truly Unreal, Emigh; Journey Fever, Iram Diego; and Scarlet Reflection, Men Chen.
Land of Lincoln Stakes
Three-year-old colts and geldings sprint in the Land of Lincoln with an overflow field of 13 to line up. Trainer Frank Springer's Jaguar Friend is the 4-1 morning line choice as he makes his third start in 2004. A winner of the Sun Power at Hawthorne last fall, Jaguar Friend recently comes in off a state-bred allowance win at Hawthorne on March 7. Eddie Perez takes the return ride on Jaguar Friend in the Land of Lincoln.
The other runners in the Land of Lincoln are: Loaded Six String, Montalvo; Prairie King, Silva; Beamer'n Glick, Meier; Elite, Razo; Matthew's Blessing, Uriel Lopez; Iron Rogue, Laviolette; Tanner Terrific, Sterling; Ilya Balos, Baird; Mississippi Rain, Jerry Lasala; Persuaggle, Emigh; Medicine Eyes, Michelle Luttrell; and Dyno Don, Gilberto Concha.
Illinois Champions Day