The Illinois Racing Board Jan. 29 approved an increase in the purse for this year's Illinois Derby (gr. III) at Hawthorne Race Course and a renewal of the $400,000 American St. Leger started last year at Arlington.
Hawthorne Race Course in Illinois registered gains in average daily total handle for its 2008-09 fall/winter meet thanks to increases in out-of-state wagering. On-track and in-state handle on Hawthorne races declined, however.
Changes in Illinois racing dates could cost Hawthorne Race Course a developing prep race for the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I)
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