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HAWTHORNE NOTES

Hawthorne Racecourse results (3/29/03)

Big Prices Rule in Lady Hallie

STICKNEY, IL -- It looked to be a one horse race heading into the gate for the $100,000 Lady Hallie Handicap at Hawthorne, but in the end, it was the small show bettors doing best of all.

Ifyouprefersilver was the heavy favorite at post time, not only to win, but $60,316 of $63,423 was wagered to show on her as well.

Springing from the gate, Pass The Pepper rushed to the front, but Ifyouprefersilver was soon to follow. Rushing through fractions of 24.27 and 47.60 to the half, Pass The Pepper and Ifyouprefersilver were in a heated contest. Sitting just behind them was Curious Conundrum and Lakenheath, followed by longshot Barney's Mistress at the back of the pack.

Turning for home, it was five horses across the track with Curious Conundrum and Barney's Mistress running best of all. Curious Conundrum drew off in the end, winning by 3 lengths going away, covering the 1 1/16 miles in 147.73. Barney's Mistress ran a huge race for second and Lakenheath finished third.

Ifyourprefersilver ran fourth and Pass the Pepper tired, finishing last. Due to the big money on Ifyouprefersilver in the show pool, prices came back huge for the race. Curious Conundrum returned $20.60, $13.60 and $57.40. Barney's Mistress came back $18.80 and $71.20 while Lakenheath returned $41.80 to show.

"It was a good race," commented trainer Eugene Brajczewski. "There were a bunch of nice horses in that race. She got really good when she went down to Oaklawn. I made some changes with her with the help of Don Von Hemel. His gallop boy worked with her and her got her a little more mentally stable. She's always been hyper, but it seems like since she's gotten back to Chicago she' been a lot quieter. She's getting better as she gets older.

"I think we'll stay here to run in the Sixty Sails (Grade 3, $250,000, April 26)," Brajczewski continued. "I was going to send her to Keeneland to run on the turf, she has been better on the lawn, but I'm about 90% sure that she's going to stay here now. She certainly likes this track."

Jockey Eusebio Razo Jr. was pleased as well, "I rode her last year and she's just a lot better right now. Physically, she looks a lot better. The way she ran today was incredible. On the backside I had a lot of horse and I had a lot of horse the whole way around. I didn't have to hit her or anything, she was the best horse."

The connections of Barney's Mistress were happy as well. "I'm very happy for her," stated trainer Dee Poulos. "She's been doing everything right lately, but I'll be glad when I can get her on the grass. She's certainly bred for it and I think she'll be even better."

Jockey Frank Lovato, Jr. was a bit baffled by Ifyouprefersilver's run. "I really can't give any explaination. Maybe she didn't handle the track, I really don't know. On the backside she was well within herself and I really hadn't asked her to run. She just weakened on me in the stretch. She's a fit filly and she's sound, so I really don't know. Maybe something physically will show up when she's checked out. She could be getting sick or something like that. We'll have to find out."

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