|Hawthorne Racecourse (11/9/02)
Illinois Festival of Racing results
Saturday marked the running of the Illinois Festival of Racing at Hawthorne Race Course in Cicero, Illinois. The Festival has traditionally determined many of the Illinois year-end champions and while some races were wrapped up, others where thrown for a loop.
Showtime Deb Stakes
In the Showtime Deb stakes, there was a battle to the end as Invader and She's Fantastic hooked up. It was Invader who crossed the line first, but after jockey Randall Meier claimed foul, Invader was disqualified and placed 2nd. She's Fantastic was placed on top for trainer Ron Brandenburg and Meier paying $44.00, $9.00, $5.40. Invader came back $3.00, $2.40 and Julie's Prize finished third, $3.80.
Quotes from the Showtime Deb Stakes
Randall Meier, (jockey, winner, She's Fantastic): "She really ran a good race. She was right there every step of the way in the lane and when we got a head in front, she got bumped and dropped back some. The trainer told me to take her back a bit in here and she did everything I asked. This was a really nice effort."
Rene Douglas (jockey, third place, Julie's Prize): "She broke out a little bit. Somebody was acting up in the gate. She took her time getting into it but she was really running at the end. She's a very nice filly.
Eusebio Razo ( Jockey, disqualified first-place finisher, Invader): "I felt the bump but I didn't know which filly caused it. I wasn't sure how much I was coming out and how much the other filly was coming in. I won't be sure exactly what happened until I see the head on of the race."
Sun Power Stakes
In the Sun Power, a mild upset took place as Whatashot, ridden by Chris Emigh, rolled home to victory in the $100,000 event. Taken back a bit early, the Percy Scherbenske trainee closed ground well in the stretch to win by 4¼ lengths over pacesetter Bold America and the heavily favored Shandy. Whatashot returned $12.60, $6.00 and $2.60. Bold America came back $10.60 and $4.80 while Shandy paid $2.20 to show. This was the biggest stakes win for trainer Scherbenske in 10 years and the second straight win for Whatashot.
Quotes from the Sun Power Stakes
Jockey Larry Sterling (beaten favorite, 3rd place, Shandy): "Everything went fine. He broke good, he just didn't handle the track. The track just kept getting away from him. The track is favoring speed but, it's the horses that are handling the track that are doing well."
Carlos Silva (jockey, 2nd place, Bold America): "He broke well, he got the lead. He did everything right. I just had the second best horse today."
Chris Emigh (jockey, winner, Whatashot): "I had a great horse. We got on the outside. He has such a big, long stride. I let him pick it up going into the turn. He did it easily. I saved as much horse as I could. Silva was out on the lead by himself but we were able to run him down. I wasn't worried with the other out by himself. I had to let my horse run his race."
It was a continuation of domination as Tejano Honey secured her spot as top Illinois-bred three-year-old with her win in the Powerless Stakes. Never far back from the pace, Tejano Honey grabbed the lead in the stretch and held on to win by ¾ length. Trained by Tom Dorris and ridden by Eusebio Razo, Jr., Tejano Honey won for the 6th time of the year in nine starts.
Closing well for 2nd was longshot Win Won while Come September came on late to finish third. Tejano Honey returned $6.80, $4.00, and $2.60. Win Won came back $16.40 and $6.80 while Come September Paid $3.60 to show.
Quotes from Powerless Stakes
Alfredo Juarez Jr (3rd, Come September): "When I hit the stretch I had a lot of horse left but she flattened out a little bit late. I tried to save something but, because of the way the track is playing, I had to keep her close. She tried."
Eusebio Razo (winner, Tejano Honey): I had to lay off the speed a little bit but when she broke that good I just went with her. I just sat there for the first eighth of a mile. Turning for home I had plenty left. I just made sure I checked out the inquiry sign (referring to his DQ two races earlier)."
E.T. Baird (2nd, Win Won): "I got pinched at the start and that didn't help me. After that she settled in good and did everything right. I had to go a bit wide in the turn, but I got a good run out of her. I think the start probably cost me though."
Lightning Jet Stakes
Jockey Rene Douglas was back in town expecting a big day as he was scheduled to ride heavily favored Two Item Limit in the Illini Princess Stakes, but instead it was Too Many Bucks that got him started. Breaking sharply from the gate, Too Many Bucks grabbed the lead and never looked back as the Joel Berndt trainee went on to a half-length score.
Close up throughout to finish second was Tic N Tin while Classic Appeal closed ground to finish third. The Lightning Jet was Too Many Buck's third win of the year as he paid $12.40, $6.40 and $3.80. Tic N Tin returned $4.40 and $2.80 while Classic Appeal returned $4.60 to show.
Quotes from Lightning Jet Stakes
Shane Laviolette (2nd, Tic N Tin): "I broke well from the gate and everything looked good for me. The winner (Too Many Bucks) got through on the inside and I had to go around horses to make up the ground, but it was just a bit late. My horse did everything right, but we just weren't going to get the winner today."
Carlos Silva (3rd, Classic Appeal): "I got caught behind the winner so I swung outside when I turned for home. I thought I had a chance but he got a little tired late. But, he tried."
Rene Douglas (winner, Too Many Bucks): "He usually breaks a little slower than he did today. He broke better today. I had the inside post and didn't want to give up the inside. That's what I did. I had the advantage. I wasn't going to take a chance by taking back, especially with the way the track has been playing. He went pretty easy all the way around and the horse next to me was working hard. It was a battle between those two. Fortunately, my horse came out on top."
Illini Princess Stakes
All the focus heading into the Illini Princess was on two time Illinois Champion Two Item Limit in her first race after finishing 7th in the Breeders' Cup Distaff, but today was not to be her day. Sent off as the 2-5 choice, Two Item Limit never responded when asked for her move. At the end it was all longshots as Vibes, despite drifting out badly in the stretch, held on under jockey Elvis Trujillo to win for trainer Gene Cilio.
Longshot Out Of Options finished second while Ellie's Rose closed strong to take third. 26-1 shot Vibes returned $55.60, $21.20, $22.20. Out of Options came back $17.40 and $20.40 while Ellie's Rose returned $9.00 to show. The win was the fourth on the year for Vibes and the first stakes triumph for the three-year-old filly.
Quotes from Illini Princess
Jesse Campbell, (2nd, Out of Options): "I just wasn't able to close on that leader. He drifted outside and I thought I had him, but I couldn't close the ground."
E. T. Baird, (3rd, Ellie's Choice): "My horse ran her heart out. She was making up ground late, but the leaders just weren't coming back to her. She did everything right in here, and did all I asked of her. I have no complaints about her race."
Rene Douglas (beaten favorite, 4th) Two Item Limit): "Turning for home I had all the chances to win. I was in good position right away. She just didn't have it today. She just had a hard race."
Gene Cilio (trainer, of winner, Vibes): "It was some vindication. We knew speed was holding so we went right for the lead. We were surprised that there was so little competition for the front."
Elvis Trujillo (jockey, Vibes): "Nice horse." (Trujillo doesn't speak English.)
Illinois Coronet Stakes
In a wide-open finale to the Illinois Festival of Racing at Hawthorne, Chinkapin closed for the win in the 6th $100,000 event of the day. Sitting third throughout the race and moving in the stretch, the Tom Swearingen trainee went on to an easy four length victory under jockey Rene Douglas for his second win of the day.
Battling well and holding on for second was Colorful Tour while Saquache held firm for third. Chinkapin returned $9.40, $4.80, and $3.00. Colorful Tour came back $7.40 and $5.00 while Saquache returned $3.20 to show.
Quotes from Illinois Coronet
Randy Meier (jockey 2nd Colorful Tour), "This little horse ran a big race, especially for a 3-year-old. We kind of changed tactics a little bit. We would have liked to set back a little further but with the way the track was playing, favoring speed, we had to stay close. It looked like there was only one speed horse in the race so Mr. Hickey wanted me to use him a little to stay closer and get good position.
"He's a nice little horse. I hope I can stay with him. He's pushbutton."
Rene Douglas (winner, Chinkapin), "I got a little scared around the sixteenth pole. My horse spooked a little bit, I think it was from the lights. I was afraid we would run into another horse. I had a lot of horse left. He just flew at the end. I think we have something special in this horse. Mr. Hollendorfer has done a great job with him. You never know what this horse will do. He's good right now and when you're good everything can happen. He has a great long stride and it seems like he might be better going long."