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Stakes Action Returns to Hawthorne Turf Course

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jim Miller (708) 780-3700


Stakes Action Returns to Hawthorne Turf Course


STICKNEY, IL – After rain dominated the first two weeks of racing for the fall thoroughbred meet at Hawthorne Race Course, leaving races unable to be contested on the turf course, clear skies and warm temperatures have prevailed this week as three stakes races will return to the Hawthorne turf.  On Saturday afternoon a pair of turf stakes have been carded as the $60,000 added Illini Princes Stakes and $100,000 Hawthorne Derby, presented by BetMakers will be run.  On Sunday, the newly named The Pizza Man Stakes will be contested.  The Illini Princess is for Illinois-bred females, three-year-olds and up to go at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.  The Hawthorne Derby, presented by BetMakers is an open stakes event for three-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles on the grass.  The Pizza Man Stakes is for Illinois-breds, three-year-olds and up, also to be run at 1 1/16 miles on the Hawthorne turf.  A look at the three turf stakes:


Saturday – Race 4 - $60,000 Added Illini Princess Stakes

To be contested at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, the $60,000 added Illini Princess Stakes is for Illinois-bred females, three-year-olds and upward.  The 2019 champ of this race returns as Bramble Queen is the 2-1 morning line favorite for owner Ballybrit Stable, LLC and trainer Mike Dini.  A ten-time winner from 36 career starts, the well-traveled Bramble Queen has earned over $330,000 on her career.  This summer, Bramble Queen became graded stakes placed when she rallied to finish third in the Grade 3 Modesty at Arlington Park.  She followed that race with a victory in the Mike Spellman Memorial Stakes on August 14.  Jareth Loveberry rides on Saturday.  Emmanuel Esquivel returns to Hawthorne to ride 4-1 second-choice W W Fitzy for trainer Cipriano Contreras. Despite only a couple of turf starts, W W Fitzy has been excellent on the main track, winning a tough optional-claiming allowance race this spring at Oaklawn and most recently taking a starter race at Belterra.  Three-year-old filly Katie M’Lady has been excellent on the turf for owners Cherrywood Racing Stables, II & Oak Rock Racing LLC.  Trained by Michele Boyce, Katie M’Lady has won four of five turf starts on her young career, including a front-end score in the Sharon Kirby Memorial Stakes at Arlington on August 7.  Regular rider Julio Felix will be aboard once again as Katie M’Lady is 5-1 in the morning line.


PP          Horse                                Trainer                Jockey                 M/L

1            Bramble Queen               M. Dini                J. Loveberry       2-1

2            Northern Alliance           H. Rodriguez      A. Rodriguez      30-1

3            Embarrassing                   H. Rodriguez      J. Lopez               30-1

4            White Lies                        P. Miller              A. Quinonez       20-1

5            W W Fitzy                         C. Contreras      E. Esquivel          4-1

6            Launch Away                   M. Perez             V. Santiago         12-1

7            Twelve Red Roses           C. Banks              E. Perez               50-1

8            Summer Day                    A. Mitchell          R. Bowen            8-1

9            Cat Attack                         M. Boyce            C. Roman           6-1

10          Beyond Proper                C. Block               J. Tavares           10-1

11          Katie M’Lady                    M. Boyce            J. Felix                 5-1


Saturday – Race 6 - $100,000 Hawthorne Derby Presented by BetMakers

After a three-year break, the Hawthorne Derby returns to the turf course to be contested at 1 1/8 miles.  A competitive field of seven is led by 5-2 morning line favorite Last Samurai from the barn of trainer Dallas Stewart.  Owned by Willis Horton Racing, LLC, Last Samurai just began his turf career this summer with a near miss in a Churchill allowance on June 6.  He won his next out, a turf allowance score at Colonial before running ninth in the Dueling Grounds Derby on September 5.  His most recent race was a near miss, losing by a neck in the Grade 3 Greenwood Cup at Parx on September 25. Jon Court rides on Saturday.  Trainer Brad Cox sends 7-2 second-choice Royal Prince for owner Steve Landers Racing, LLC.  A winner of four of 11 starts in his career on the grass, Royal Prince has scored three times this year, taking the Black Gold at Fair Grounds, Bayou City at Sam Houston and most recently the Caesars via disqualification at Indiana Grand on September 8.  Fernando De La Cruz rode in the Caesars and gets the return ride Saturday.  After four starts in Ireland to open his career, Modus Operandi (Ire) makes his second turf start in North America for trainer Brendan Walsh.  The son of Frankel (GB), Modus Operandi started two weeks ago on the Keeneland turf, closing late after a slow start to finish sixth.  The 4-1 third-choice in the Hawthorne Derby, Modus Operandi will be ridden on Saturday by Alonso Quinonez.


PP          Horse                                Trainer                Jockey                 M/L

1            Grey Streak                      G. Arnold, II       D. Carroll            9-2

2            Last Samurai                    D. Stewart          J. Court               5-2

3            Temper Tantrum            A. Hernandez    C. Emigh             8-1

4            Modus Operandi (Ire)    B. Walsh             A. Quinonez       4-1

5            Battle Scars                      C. Block               D. Parker            20-1

6            Royal Prince                     B. Cox                 F. De La Cruz      7-2

7            Mohs                                 P. McBurney      J. Loveberry       5-1


Sunday – Race 5 - $60,000 Added The Pizza Man Stakes              

Best known for his victory in the 2015 Arlington Million, Illinois-bred The Pizza Man broke his maiden over the Hawthorne turf course in 2012 and later that fall won The Buck’s Boy Handicap, the namesake of this stakes event until this year.  Weather could be a factor for the Sunday event as rain is in the forecast for this 1 1/16 mile turf event for Illinois-bred three-year-olds and up.  The wide-open field of 11 is led by 4-1 morning line choice Fly Nightly for owners Marsico Brothers Racing and trainer Brittany Vanden Berg.  Fly Nightly has found the board in 10 of 11 starts on the year, including five victories.  Claimed for $20,000 in May, Fly Nightly won a state-bred allowance in his second start for his new connections and followed that race with an open-allowance score.  He finished fifth in the state-bred Black Tie Affair stakes on the Arlington turf before running a good third in another tough open allowance in his last out. Chris Emigh rides on Sunday.  15-time turf winner Cammack runs for owner Team Block and trainer Chris Block. The 2018 winner of this race and 2019 runner-up, Cammack is still going strong at 11-years-old as he was second two starts back in the Black Tie Affair.  Jose Lopez will be aboard Cammack once again. 


PP          Horse                                Trainer                Jockey                 M/L

1            Land Mark Deal               C. Block               D. Parker            6-1

2            Ioya Again                        C. Block               J. Tavares           5-1

3            Fly Nightly                         B. Vanden Berg C. Emigh             4-1

4            One Way Home               M. Perez             R. Bowen            15-1

5            Cammack                         C. Block               J. Lopez               9-2

6            What’s Up Dude              M. Cristel            V. Santiago         12-1

7            Readthecliffnotes           M. Boyce            E. Perez               15-1

8            Blue Sky Kowboy             M. Boyce            C. Roman           6-1

9            Richiesgotgame               L. Rivelli              J. Loveberry       12-1

10          Iwillpersevere                  M. Slager            S. Uske                30-1

11          Coming Up Aces              P. Miller              A. Quinonez       12-1


Hawthorne Race Course, Chicago’s Hometown Track, races three meets in 2021.  The spring thoroughbred meet concluded on April 25. The summer Suburban Downs at Hawthorne harness meet began Friday, May 7 and concluded on September 26.  The fall thoroughbred meet opened October 8 and races through December 27. First post daily in October and November is 3:10 PM. In December, first post moves to 12:55 PM. For any information about Hawthorne Race Course visit the website

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