The Illinois Festival of Racing on Nov. 1 marks the time on the calendar to celebrate the local state-bred equines that populate the majority of Hawthorne's backstretch. And while the progeny of the state's Thoroughbreds won't be confused with those from Kentucky, many have proven successful when raced on the national stage.
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.
Hawthorne Race Course has announced stakes schedules for both of its 2007 Thoroughbred meets. The spring season at Hawthorne kicks off Feb. 23, and $1.6 million in stakes purses will be offered. The fall campaign commences Sept. 17, and $1.8 million in stakes purses will be offered.
Jockey Larry Sterling Jr. won three of the six six stakes races for Illinois runners contested at Hawthorne on Saturday during the Illinois Festival.
The Phil Georgeff Illinois Festival of Racing returns to Hawthorne Saturday with six $100,000 stakes events scheduled to help determine the Illinois champions for 2003. Julie's Prize, Wiggins, Summer Mis and Out of My Way are among the leading runners competing.
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