DAK’s Daily Diary houses Joe Kristufek’s independent, day-by-day view of Hawthorne’s individual race cards. Handicappers’ perceptions often vary, and this diary offers one man’s opinion.
Weather: 40 degrees, winds NE at 10 m.p.h.
Times: 1.5 seconds slow
Multiple Win Day:
Jockeys – Razo (2)
Trainers – Gore (2)
Once again the track was on the dull side, but the results were equally distributed, and there was no discernable bias. Three horses wired the field, two pressed and pounced their way to victory, and four others closed from well off the pace to get the job done.
In horse racing, hope springs eternal, and on Friday at Hawthorne, a pair of raw youngsters served notice as potential forces to be reckoned with into the future. The Brian Williamson-trained 3yo filly My Chickadee (race two winner) and the Hugh Robertson Illinois-bred 3yo filly Fashionable Caton (DQ’ed from win in race seven). Both horses settled in nicely towards the back of their respective fields before uncorking impressive stretch rallies. Both horses are green and have a lot of learning to do, but each appears to have a very bright future.
A bug has finally landed at Hawthorne. Apprentice jockey Denis Rojas, who rode on the Chicago circuit in 2005, returned to Stickney on Friday, accepting three mounts. His best finish on the day was a second aboard the Roger Brueggemann-trained Come Shine in race eight. Rojas suffered a shoulder injury here on December 31, 2005, and due to the time off, the stewards extended his apprenticeship from March 23 to May 5, 2006. Last year, Rojas won with 21 of his 247 mounts (9 percent). Rojas is currently the only bug rider in the colony, and the seven-pound weight break will be attractive to some outfits. Veteran jockey agent John Christiano, who also has Uriel Lopez in his stable, is handling his engagements.
Larry Sterling Jr. took off his five Friday mounts at Hawthorne in order to pilot the Jerry Calvin-trained Wavering Banker to a second place finish in an optional claiming ($40,000) or $allowance sprint. Only one of Sterling's scheduled Hawthorne partners, the talented Brian Williamson-trained first timer My Chickadee, visited the charmed circle. Sterling is named to pilot three horses locally on Saturday.
Hawthorne's leading rider Chris Emigh returns from his three-day suspension Saturday afternoon. He is employed in six of the nine races on the card.
Horses to Watch
My Chickadee – quick move turn, green stretch, much the best
Stop A Train – three-wide, took over turn, willing finish, ready to stretch out
Rouses Point – steadied start, between horses, steadied twice, quick move turn, evenly
Fashionable Nature – between horses, explosive move turn, very wide stretch, ducked in sharply, green
Hot Shades – in tight rail, shuffled back, wide stretch, finished well
Tee Lak – loaded three-wide turn, solid stretch kick
Come Shine – perfect press, second best to tough winner