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Successful Fall Meet Concludes

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jim Miller (708) 780-3771


Successful Fall Meet Concludes at Hawthorne


STICKNEY, IL – With construction on the new casino and racing facility at Hawthorne Race Course just around the corner, the fall thoroughbred meet concluded with increases in handle and field size.  Additionally, a pair of new Hawthorne champions were crowned in the leading rider and trainer categories for the 32-day fall season.

              Removing two partial cards from the 2018 season, handle averages for the 32 – 2019 fall meet complete cards were compared to handle averages from the 41 – 2018 fall meet complete cards.  Despite a turf season that was cut short this year due to an early winter burst, daily average handle on the 2019 fall Hawthorne live cards was $1,517,883.  This was a 12.11% increase compared to $1,353,875 per card which was wagered in 2018.  Onsite handle increased 16.84%, rising to $48,602 per card this fall compared to $41,596 in 2018.  There was a slight uptick in instate wagering from $84,744 in 2018 to $85,048 in 2019 while out of state handle rose 12.77% from the 2018 figure of $1,227,534 per card to $1,384,232 this fall.

              Average starters per race for the 2019 fall meet rose to 8.12 starters/race, compared to 7.85 in 2018.  On the dirt, that figure was 7.98 in 2019, compared to 7.72 in 2018 while the turf figure rose from 9.34 in 2018 to 10.05 this fall. 

              In his first full Hawthorne meet, jockey Jareth Loveberry captured to riding title, winning 43 races.  Chris Emigh finished second in the standings with 37 wins, followed by Julio Felix (33 wins), and Constantino Roman (27 wins).  Taking his first Hawthorne training title was Hugh Robertson as he won at a 27% clip for the meet, saddling 23 winners.  Mike Reavis finished second in the standings with 17 victories, followed by Manny Perez and Scott Becker, each with 15 wins apiece.  Perennial leading owner William Stiritz won another title with 15 victories on the meet.  Second was In His Favor Stable of Michael Kostich with 11 victories, and RSR Racing Services, LLC of Robert Rhoads with 9 winners.

              A pair of horses had big meets, going undefeated in multiple races.  RSR Racing Services, LLC’s Slick Silver was the standout of the meet, winning all five of his starts.  A claim in the summer at Ellis Park of $7,500 by trainer Brittany Vanden Berg, Slick Silver started the meet with a $6,250 maiden claiming score on October 10.  He followed that with a pair of daylight victories against conditioned claiming company before closing out the meet defeating $32,500 optional claiming allowance runners twice.  Codetowin was four for four for trainer Scott Becker and owner William Stiritz.  Codetowin opened the meet defeating conditioned claiming runners, followed by an allowance score, a starter allowance win, and closing the season with an open claiming victory.

              The state-bred stakes schedule returned to Hawthorne this fall.  The Illini Princess Handicap was won on the turf by Bramble Queen to open the stakes season for Illinois-bred females.  The next day, Blue Sky Kowboy caught Cammack on the wire in the Buck’s Boy Handicap on the Hawthorne turf course.  Itsarollofthedice grabbed her first stakes victory on November 1, winning the Showtime Deb Stakes for juvenile fillies.  Two weeks later, older state-bred females were featured in the Powerless Handicap as multiple stakes winner Jean Elizabeth was game in victory over Puntsville.  Male sprinters were the focus the following day in the Lightning Jet Handicap as Devileye won going away.  Cowgirl Kimmie wired the field in the Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante on December 6.  Mind Your Own Biz closed out the stakes season with a score in the Jim Edgar Illinois Juvenile.

              Live racing at Hawthorne takes a brief break, as the only track remaining in the United States to convert racing surfaces for multiple breeds does so once again in preparation for harness racing to return on February 15.  The harness meet races through September 20.  Thoroughbred racing returns October 2 and is conducted through the end of the year.  While conducting live racing, a massive construction project will be taking place as Hawthorne’s facility will see a complete renovation.  The entire facility will be under construction for much of 2020 as Hawthorne prepares for a new racing, casino, sports wagering, and entertainment facility.  Big things are ahead for racing at Hawthorne Race Course.

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