"Everything about this meet was tremendous," Hawthorne National president Thomas Carey III said. "We successfully consolidated two racing entities into one and never missed a beat. We will continue to do everything we can for horsemen to make Hawthorne their home for Chicago racing."This meet was the beginning of bigger and better things to come for us as we continue live racing (May 13) with our harness meet, and are lined up for a superb fall Thoroughbred meet beginning in September."The Standardbred meet runs through June 30 with live racing seven nights a week. Thoroughbred racing returns Sept. 28 for a meet that runs through Dec. 31. The $750,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup, a grade II event, is the feature on opening day.
The National Jockey Club at Hawthorne Race Course spring meet posted business gains when compared with the comparable meet held at Sportsman's Park in 2002.Total daily average handle on Hawthorne races was $2,418,913, up 17.7% from $2,054,331 last year. Average daily on-site handle was $242,776, up 15.6% from $210,027 last year.The Hawthorne signal was well received at other wagering outlets. Out-of-state handle was up 21.8% to $1,747,508 from $1,434,299 in 2002. Total in-state handle on the local races averaged $428,629, up 4.5% from $410,005.