The Illinois Racing Board Dec. 10 released its 2009 stakes schedule.
Team Valor International's Fairbanks has not won in more than a year, but is still the horse to beat April 19 when he takes on four geldings in the inaugural $200,000 Bill Hartack Memorial Handicap (gr. III) at Hawthorne Race Course.
Handle rose by more than 7% during Hawthorne Park's new January racing schedule, and the Chicago-area racetrack is hoping that the upswing will continue when doors open March 7 for the start of its spring meet.
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