Julie's Prize Heads Illinois Festival of Racing

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. Following is a brief look into each of the Festival Races.

Showtime Deb Stakes
For two-year-old fillies, the six-furlong Showtime Deb Stakes has drawn a full field.

Dana Waier Thoroughbreds LLC-owned and Leroy Hellman-trained Lady Riss goes for her fourth straight victory and third straight stakes win. Breaking her maiden at Arlington on Sept. 4, she won the state-bred All Sold Out at Fairmount on Sept. 23 and then grabbed top prize in the Suvee at Fairmount on Oct. 11. Lady Riss is the lukewarm morning line choice in the Showtime Deb at 4-1.

Other competitors in the Showtime Deb from inside out are: Lusty Kelly, Tommy Molina; Keep This Cat, Randall Meier; Gold Spike, Curt Bourque; Wish For Gold, Zoe Cadman; No Beans, James McKnight; Gowithfate, Larry Sterling Jr.; Gold Facts, Chris Emigh; Journey Fever, C. H. Marquez Jr.; Silkyence, Carlos Silva; Indian Jewel, Justin Vitek; Zitlaly, Eusebio Razo Jr.; Just Another Fact, Eddie Martin Jr.; Lady Riss, John Woodley; and Barrel Racer, Eduardo Perez.

Sun Power Stakes
Two-year-old males sprint in the six-furlong Sun Power Stakes with another big field is slated to head to the gate.

The morning-line favorite is Persuaggle as he looks for his third straight victory. Owned by Edward Stewart & Richard Perkins and trained by Michael Weissman, Persuaggle was decent while rating off the pace in his first two starts, but found his way to the winner's circle when racing on the lead in September at Arlington. He came right back to win against open allowance runners in his first Hawthorne start in the same style and looks to set the pace once again on Saturday. C. H. Marquez Jr. is back in the saddle. Persuaggle is 4-1 in the morning line.

The field for the Sun Power from inside out: Cart's On Cruise, Joel Santiago; Iron Rogue, Emigh; Persuaggle, Marquez; Sir Fidgity, Sterling; Jaguar Friend, Meier; Ricco Cat, Silva; Indian Game, Martin; Matthew's Blessing, Woodley; Ilya Balos, Uriel Lopez; and Fraterity, Razo.

Powerless Handicap
A compact field of Fillies and Mares, three-year-olds and upward, sprint in the Powerless Handicap.

High weight and favorite in the Powerless is Richard Otto Stable- owned and Anthony Mitchell-trained Summer Mis. One of the most accomplished runners on the Illinois Festival card, Summer Mis has won five starts on the year, her last four in a row. Winning a pair of state-bred events at Arlington this summer, she followed up an open allowance victory with a very game win in the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland on Oct. 12. Larry Sterling Jr. takes the return ride. Summer Mis is the morning line favorite on the Illinois Festival card at 5-2.

The field for the Powerless handicap from inside out: Ioya Forever, Razo; Summer Mis, Sterling; Cashmere Miss, Tommy Molina; She's Fantastic, Meier; Fighting Fever, Silva; Jaguar City, Cadman; Win Won, Gary Kurek; What Her Name Is, Marquez; Galatea Cat, Campbell; Dentons Ruby, Earlie Fires; Gracility, Emigh; and Faccia Bella, Martin.

Lightning Jet Handicap
Male sprinters three-year-olds and upward are slated to go three quarters of a mile in the Lightning Jet Handicap. Another compact field was drawn, but this should be a very competitive race.

Heading the way in the Lightning Jet is the Gene Cilio-trained Out Of My Way. The 6-year-old horse has been at his career best in 2003 while posting three stakes victories. After beating state-bred runners in a pair of stakes starts in June, he strongest start was against open company in the $100,000 Arlington Sprint handicap. Away since a fifth place finish in the Phoenix Breeders' Cup (gr. III) at Keeneland, Out of My Way looks to get back to his winning way as Curt Bourque takes the mount. Out of My Way is the morning line choice at 5-2.

The field for the Lightning Jet from inside out: Bulldog George, Razo; Silver Bid, Carlos Montalvo; Tic N Tin, Shane Laviolette; Magic Doe, Meier; Unlock the Vault, Molina; Classic Appeal, Silva; and Out of My Way, Bourque.

Illini Princess Handicap
Fillies and Mares three-years-old and upward go 1 1/16 mile in the Illini Princess.

Trainer Anthony Mitchell has another heavy favorite for owner Richard Otto as Julie's Prize is the favorite and high weight. A 3-year-old filly taking on older, Julie's Prize strung together three straight state-bred stakes victories this spring and has been very competitive against graded stakes runners. She finished fourth in the Singapore Plate (gr. III) and third in the Pucker Up (gr. III) at Arlington before recently running fourth in the Valley View (gr. III) at Keeneland. Jockey Larry Sterling Jr. is slated to ride the 6-5 morning line choice.

The field for the Illini Princess Handicap from inside out: Slide to Glory, Marquez; Moon Shine Time, Emigh; Samantha B, Montalvo; Vibes, Razo; Baltic City, Meier; I Can Fan Fan, Fires; and Julie's Prize, Sterling.

Robert F. Carey II Handicap
Males three-year-olds and upward go 1 1/16 mile in the Robert F. Carey II Handicap to close out the Illinois Festival races. The 13-horse event should be very good.

The Carey is headlined by high weight Baker Road, who is looking for his third win on the year and second against state-bred stakes company. Trained by Leo Gabriel Jr., Baker Road finished a close third in the Cigar at Arlington and recently followed it up with a strong second against allowance runners at Hawthorne on Oct. 8. Baker Road is the second choice in the Carey at 5-1. He'll have to catch up and coming 3-year-old Wiggins, who is the favorite at 5-2.

The field for the Robert F. Carey II Handicap from inside out: King Magic, Justin Vitek; Oza, Martin; Baker Road, Sterling; Wiggins, Razo; Jimmy's Saber, Alfredo Juarez Jr; Bold Caller, Meier; Paddy's Spy, Perez; Scooter Roach, Campbell; Classybeat, Mary Jo Brennan; Ivan Jay Perry, Emigh; Crack The Vault, Molina; Smilin' Slew, Fires; and Garesche, Bourque.