Hawthorne Raises Stakes On Illinois Derby
With approval from the Illinois Racing Board,
Hawthorne Race Course has officially announced its 2013 spring stakes schedule,
highlighted by the Illinois Derby (GIII).
Excluded from the official list of Kentucky Derby prep races, the
richest dirt race in Illinois
will seek to attract top tier three-year-olds with a 50% increase in purse and
a late April calendar position. The 56th
running of the Illinois Derby will take place on April 20th with a
“The Illinois Derby has been and will continue
to be the most important dirt race in Illinois.
It’s a vibrant part of Chicago
sports history in general and Illinois
horseracing in particular, and we’re going to continue to invest in its
future,” said Tim Carey, 4th generation president and general
manager of Hawthorne Race Course, whose family has owned and operated the track
for over a century. “We’ve worked
closely with the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association to put together a
great stakes schedule and are thrilled with the support our horsemen have shown
for this state’s signature stakes race, as well as our entire spring meet.” The Sixty Sails Handicap, a $200,000 GIII
event for fillies and mares that are three years old and older, will also be
run on April 20, making the day’s purses more than $1,000,000.
John Walsh, Hawthorne’s
assistant general manager in charge of racing operations, echoed Carey’s
excitement: “No one really knows what will happen with the new Kentucky Derby
points system and there are likely to be some great horses who find their paths
closed off. I think a lot of owners are
going to be looking closely at our purse, and a lot of trainers with an eye on
the Preakness are going to be looking for a final prep that fits well on their
calendars.” The Illinois Derby will be
four weeks before the Preakness Stakes and run at a mile and an eighth on dirt.
spring stakes scheduled ends with their Illinois Champions Day. Held April 27, Illinois Champions Day consists
of six stakes races for horses that were conceived and/or foaled in Illinois. Races on Illinois Champions Day include The Pretty Jenny Stakes (IL), The Land of Lincoln Stakes
(IL), The Third Chance Handicap (IL), The Robert S. Molaro Handicap (IL), The
Peach Of It Handicap (IL) and The Milwaukee Avenue Handicap (IL). The purse for
each race is $100,000 ($75,000 plus $25,000 for Illinois Conceived and
spring meet is from February 15 to April 28, with live racing Friday through
Sunday in February and Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday in March and
April. Daily post time is 1:35 p.m. Central
Race Course has been Chicago’s “hometown track”
for 122 years and currently offers the only traditional dirt racing for
thoroughbreds in northern Illinois.
spring meet opens February 15th and runs through April. Live racing is hosted Friday thru Sunday in
February and Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday in March and April. Daily post time is 1:35 PM, and admission
costs $4. The historic track is located
a half-mile north of I-55 on Cicero
Avenue, and 2 miles south of I-290 on Laramie Avenue at 35th Street. For more information visit www.HawthorneRaceCourse.com or
call Guest Services at 708-780-3733.
Fans are welcome at Facebook.com/ClubHawthorne
and for up-to-the-minute racing tips become a follower at Twitter.com/ClubHawthorne.