For Immediate Release
Contact: Jim Miller (708) 780-3700
Season Opens at Hawthorne
STICKNEY, IL – Saturday evening will mark the start of
harness racing at Hawthorne Race Course, marking 50 years after the first
harness meet was conducted at the Stickney oval in 1970. This season the schedule for racing in
Illinois takes a slight adjustment as construction of a new racing and casino
venue will begin on the grounds of Hawthorne Race Course. With construction ongoing during the day, a
one year hiatus from spring thoroughbred racing will take place and be replaced
by evening harness racing on weekends.
night expanded harness season kicks off on Saturday, February 15 at Hawthorne
as the nearly eight month long season will give Standardbred horsemen in
Illinois an opportunity to earn more over a longer racing period. In February, live racing will be conducted
every Saturday and Sunday evening. In
March, Friday evening cards will be added, with Hawthorne racing three days per
week from March through the meet end on Sunday, September 20.
focus at Hawthorne Race Course in 2020 is on Illinois-bred racing as the entire
stakes schedule will be comprised of races for Illinois-restricted horses. The stakes schedule culminates on closing
weekend as over $1 million in purses will be distributed on Night of Champions
weekend. Opportunities for open-company
horses will be aplenty though as a strong overnight program will offer up to 12
races per night, with the focus on larger field size and quality racing.
driver Casey Leonard returns in 2020 as he comes off a great 2019 campaign that
saw him win 188 races at Hawthorne. Kyle
Wilfong is back as he compiled a strong 122 win meet
in 2019. While Kyle Husted is briefly sidelined,
he will return to the driving colony early in the racing season. Travis Seekman
returns from a good 2019 season while the father son combo of Todd and Ridge
Warren will both be in the bike to open the meet.
Terry Leonard has his stable ready early as he returns off a great 2019 season
that saw his horses find the winner’s circle 70 times. A couple of Leonard’s top trainees have
already been back on the track as both Fox Valley Gemini and Fox Valley Triton
qualified last week. Nelson Willis is
back as well as large contingents from the barns of Mike Brink, Steve Searle,
Kyle Husted, and Brett Wilfong.
bettor, Hawthorne returns the low 15% takeout wagers,
offering a $.50 Pick 5 which begins with the night’s opening race, and a pair
of $.50 Pick 4 wagers, starting in race three and then on the final four races
on each night’s card. Both the Pick 5
and Pick 4 will have carryovers attached to them if nobody selects five or four
winners for the respective wagers. The $.20
Jackpot High 5 returns for each night’s final race.
This year, a $2 Pick 6 wager has
been added to the Hawthorne wagering menu.
The Pick 6 is not a Jackpot wager as any carryover and major pool will
pay out any time six winners are selected in the sequence. A consolation pool has been attached to the
Pick 6 nightly and will also be paid whenever there is a winner of the major
pool in the Pick 6. The Pick 6 will have
a 20% takeout with 50% of the major pool going to either a winning ticket with
six winners or the carryover and the other 50% being paid to that night’s minor
or consolation pool. Win, Place, and
Show wagers will again have just a 17% takeout rate.
Hawthorne Race Course, Chicago’s Hometown Track, returns for
live harness racing on Saturday, February 15 and races through Sunday,
September 20. Post time nightly is 7:10
PM. Fall thoroughbreds close out the
year, running from October 2 through December 26. For more information, visit www.Hawthorneracecourse.com or
contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700.