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.
- By Claire Novak
When you meet Thornton in person, you think he is a very, very nice young man. You wonder how he remained steady and well-mannered even after encountering the racetrack's fast-paced lifestyle. When you hear of his multiple injuries and comebacks, you wonder why he hasn't given up on riding or spiraled into oblivion. Then you speak to his mother, and it all makes perfect sense.
Due to high winds in the Chicago area, Hawthorne Race Course cancelled its Dec. 23 program
Hawthorne Race Course cancelled the remainder of its Dec. 13 card due to unacceptable track conditions, the racetrack announced following the second race of the day.
After final approval from the Illinois Racing Board Dec. 13, Hawthorne Race Course announced the 2008 stakes schedule for its spring and fall meets.
Riders Randy Meier and Lyndie Wade were hospitalized with injuries sustained in a two-horse fall during the running of Hawthorne's third race on Nov. 30.
Wagering expectations were not met by the majority of horseplayers at Hawthorne Nov.3, as six Illinois-bred stakes races were run and all six favorites disappointed, with longshots ruling the day in the 7th annual Phil Georgeff Festival of Racing.
On a day when the Illinois Thoroughbred gets some undivided attention, the six $100,000 stakes for horses foaled and/or conceived in the Prairie State will offer a variety of challenges for the average handicapper. Here is a closer look at the 2007 edition of the Phil Georgeff Festival of Racing to be held Nov. 3.
Classic Campaign entered the $150,000 Robert F. Carey Memorial Handicap (gr. IIIT) without a win in his last six starts. But the Kinsman Stable homebred proved he was right where he belonged, rallying from fourth place at the top of the stretch to overtake Crested (GB) by a nose on the Hawthorne turf Sept. 29.
Trainer Greg Foley will send graded stakes winner Pleasant Hill in search of her fourth career victory when 12 fillies and mares go postward in the Sept. 29 Kentucky Cup Distaff (gr. III) at Turfway.
Illinois horse racing is mired in a "downward spiral that will require action by state government to save it," Hawthorne Race Course President Tim Carey said as his track prepared to open the 2007 Illinois Thoroughbred season Friday.
Management at Hawthorne Race Course announced that its Pick 6 takeout -- the percentage of the wagering pool that is withheld by the state -- has been reduced to 16% for the 2007 spring meet.
Despite having one of the highest starters per race averages in the country, Hawthorne's betting declined across the board during the fall meet that began Sept. 15 and ended Dec. 31.
Jockey Rene Douglas, banned from Calder Race Course in south Florida for unknown reasons, was back in the saddle Jan. 1, riding James DiVito-trained Gostoso to a seventh-place finish in the seventh race at Hawthorne.
With less than one week remaining until the start of the 2007 racing season, officials at Gulfstream Park said they would not grant access to the 10 jockeys banned from other tracks this month.
Hawthorne will forgo live racing on Sunday, Dec. 24, and will instead run a full card on Tuesday, Dec. 26, the track announced.
Due to high winds gusting up to 40 mph, Hawthorne Race Course canceled its live racing program for Thursday.
Jockeys Jesse Campbell and Earlie Fires both escaped serious injury following an accident during the running of Hawthorne's second race on Thursday.
Two of the Chicago circuit's top riders, Eddie Razo Jr. and Francisco Torres, are expected to miss up to six weeks of action due to injuries suffered in separate incidents on Saturday at Hawthorne.
The Illinois Racing Board awarded 2007 racing dates Sept. 19, and the schedule is similar to that of this year.
Hawthorne Race Course, which opens for live racing Sept. 15, and TVG have ended their exclusive contract, which led the Illinois track to strike deals with Youbet.com and XpressBet to offer wagering on its signal.
Chicago-area Thoroughbred racing action shifts Sept 15 to Hawthorne Race Course, where officials are encouraged by the number of stall applications--2,400 for 2,050 spots. Last fall, Hawthorne averaged more than nine horses per race.
Duchossois Industries of Illinois has called in a more than $20-million note owed by the National Jockey Club, a move that threatens NJC plans for a 2007 spring meet at Hawthorne Race Course.
Defending champion Hollywood Story will attempt to snap a seven-race losing streak in Sunday's $100,000 Hawthorne Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood Park.
Jockey Abdiel Toribio is expected to miss at least three weeks after he suffered a broken bone in his hand as the result of a spill in Friday's ninth race at Hawthorne.
Fueled by an increase in purses to begin the meet and the fullest fields in Illinois, Hawthorne posted an increase in total handle on live racing during the 2005 fall Thoroughbred meet.
The Jan. 2 closing-day Thoroughbred program at Hawthorne Race Course may be the last live racing action of any kind in the Chicago area for a while. A dispute over purses has resulted in cancellation of harness racing at Balmoral Park and Maywood Park on the first two days of the New Year.
Live racing skidded to a halt at two Midwestern tracks as a result of a winter storm that hit the area Thursday.
Racing at Hoosier Park was canceled Wednesday night following the third race due to increasingly poor track conditions. An accident in the first race sent jockey Hector Rosario Jr. to the hospital.
Heavy wind gusts caused unsafe conditions and forced the cancellation of live racing at both Woodbine and Hawthorne Sunday.
The 17-year-old apprentice Kyle Kaenel, out since April with two fractured vertebrae and a broken shoulder, rode his first winner since being injured when he brought home Edward Fortino's 3-year-old Dobson in the sixth race at Hawthorne on Sunday.
Hawthorne isn't wasting any time presenting its premier event. Just two days into the meeting, the Chicago track will host the $750,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap (gr. II), and those ready to battle it out in Saturday's 1 1/4-mile race include the past two winners.
Arlington Park will run from May 5 to Sept. 14 next year, a total of 95 racing dates under the schedule announced by the Illinois Racing Board.
Hawthorne Race Course in Chicago announced an across-the-board purse increase for its meeting that will run Sept. 23 through Dec. 31.
Sumaya Us Stables' Isola Piu Bella has been installed as the morning line favorite for Saturday's $250,000 Sixty Sails Handicap (gr. III) at Hawthorne.
With few standouts to emerge on the Kentucky Derby trail, a field of nine will be headed to Saturday's $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) Hawthorne Park to see if they are the next to jump up and make a splash in the 3-year-old division.
Full race fields helped handle figures stay on par during the fall Thoroughbred meet at Hawthorne racecourse that ended Sunday.
The National Jockey Club is suing its former partner in the ill-fated auto racing track built at Sportsman's Park for failing to pay over $35 million in debt from the project.
Bare Necessities, winner of the 2003 Sixty Sails Handicap at Hawthorne Race Course, will look to make it two years in a row when she returns to the Illinois track for the grade III, 1 1/8-mile event for fillies and mares April 24.
Ten Most Wanted heads a list of 19 nominees for the running of the $250,000
National Jockey Club Handicap (gr. III) at Hawthorne Race Course, which will be contested over 1 1/8-miles on April 17.
Ten additional 3-year-olds were nominated to the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) before late nominations for the April 3 race at Hawthorne closed Friday, March 19.
Jockey Zoe Cadman, a past riding champion at Hawthorne Race Course in Illinois, has retired.
Unseasonably warm temperatures in the Chicago area and field sizes that averaged more than nine horses per race helped boost the numbers during the opening weekend of the National Jockey Club meet at Hawthorne Racecourse.
Live racing returns to the Chicago area Friday as the National Jockey Club at Hawthorne opens its spring meet at the track near Cicero, Ill. Opening day features a 10-race card with first post at 1:10 p.m. The 47-day meet runs through May 13
The two Thoroughbred racetracks in Chicagoland have inked a two-year contract for a daily replay show that airs on local television.
The Illinois Horse Racing Board Monday authorized a "recapture" payment of $13.7 million from the horsemen's purse fund to the state's racetracks.
Longtime Chicago rider Eusebio Razo Jr. scored his 2,000th career win aboard Shadoc in Hawthorne's second race on Friday afternoon.
The $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) on April 3 highlights stakes schedule during the National Jockey Club at Hawthorne 2004 meet.
One day after leading to cancellation of the last two races at Hawthorne Race Course in Illinois, high winds also cancelled the Thursday card at New York's Aqueduct, Laurel Park in Maryland, and Woodbine in Canada.
Extreme high winds in the Chicago area forced Hawthorne Race course to cancel the final two races on its card on Wednesday due to unsafe conditions.
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