Gold Cup Heats Up Hawthorne Fall Meet

The richest dirt race in Illinois, the Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) headlines the fall Thoroughbred season at Hawthorne Race Course. Hawthorne opens its 71-day meeting on Sept. 28.

The fall 2003 Hawthorne meet will offer more than $2.2 million in stakes purses. The Hawthorne Gold Cup heads the stakes schedule, running on opening day. On Oct. 11, the $150,000 Indian Maid Breeders' Cup will be contested over the turf course.

In the following weeks, pair of graded-stakes events takes place on the grass as the $250,000 Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT) will be run on Oct. 18 and the $150,000 Robert F. Carey Memorial (gr. IIIT) is on Nov. 1.

Illinois-breds take center stage on Nov. 8 with the renewal of the Phil Georgeff Illinois Festival of Racing. More than $600,000 will be distributed over the six state restricted stakes.

The $100,000 Robert F. Carey II Handicap will take place on Nov. 8 and the $100,000 Hawthorne Oaks the following weekend.

The stakes schedule winds up with 2-year-olds closing out the season with the $100,000 Illinois Breeders' Debutante on Dec. 13 and the $100,000 Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity on Dec. 20.

In the fall, Hawthorne races from Sept. 28-Jan. 3, running lice every Wednesday through Sunday. The track will conduct a live card on Oct. 13 and will be dark on Christmas Day. First post daily is 1:10 p.m., except Breeders' Cup Day when post time will be at noon.