is geared up for its fall meet, which kicks off this Friday, Oct. 4 at 3:10 p.m. and runs through Sunday, Dec. 29. There are 85 horses entered to run on the opening day nine-race card.
Full fields will be the focus this fall for new director of racing and racing secretary Allan Plever. Plever's condition book has been well received as stall applications exceeded the available stalls for the fall meet. Large stables from Roger Brueggemann, Frank Kirby, Chris Dorris, and Chris Block return to Hawthorne from a summer at Arlington Park
while Clay Brinson, Joel Berndt, Nevada Litfin, and Randy Rarick come to Hawthorne from Canterbury Park
A 35-year racing veteran who has worked in management at tracks throughout the country, Plever will also oversee a stakes schedule that provides stakes action on most weekends throughout the meet.
Opening weekend will provide evening stakes excitement with the 49th running of the $200,000 Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT) on the turf. The Derby will be joined by the $75,000-guaranteed Indian Maid Handicap on turf for fillies and mares.
Traditionally run on opening weekend, the $350,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) has been moved to Nov. 30, the Saturday following Thanksgiving.
Illinois-bred stakes races will again be run four weekends throughout the meet. The $75,000 Robert F. Carey Memorial will be contested on the grass on Saturday, Oct. 12. Illinois-bred juveniles will run two turns in the Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante on Dec. 7 and the Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity on Dec. 14.
For handicappers, Hawthorne welcomes the return of popular analyst Jim Miller to the airwaves. A 15-year Hawthorne fixture, Miller returns after his spring meet absence and will provide expanded analysis for the Hawthorne cards daily on-air, in-house, and on TVG, and will offer extended online handicapping information.
"We're very excited about this fall meet," said Hawthorne president and general manager Tim Carey in a release. "We had to deal with everything under the sun last fall from poor weather to the (equine) virus that nearly crippled us. We have been proactive with a full cleaning of the backstretch this summer and are pleased to be working in hand with the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.
"I'm excited to have Allan Plever on board as he has brought in some new stables and written a very popular condition book," Carey continued. "Our night racing card on opening weekend has been received with a great response and our stakes schedule will provide for great racing action throughout the meet."
Live racing will be conducted from Oct. 4 through Dec. 29, every Wednesday through Sunday. First post Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday is 2:10 p.m. On Fridays through Nov. 29, first post will be 3:10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5 is a special night racing card with a 5:00 p.m. first post. Beginning Dec. 4, first post will be 1:20 p.m. daily.
For more information visit the Hawthorne Racecourse website