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The Rarest of Training Feats

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jim Miller (708) 780-3700


The Rarest of Training Feats


STICKNEY, IL – One of the rarest of training feats occurred on Thursday afternoon and evening.  35-year-old trainer Chris Banks kicked off his afternoon in fine fashion when the five-year-old mare Sperling won the opening race at Arlington Park by a half-length.  The five-year-old mare was claimed by Banks last fall at Hawthorne and is owned by Banks Racing LLC.

                The win was the first training victory in Banks’ career as a thoroughbred trainer, but Chris couldn’t waste much time as he had to drive across town to get ready for the evening harness card at Hawthorne. 

                In race six at Hawthorne, Banks sent out second choice Vegas Bomb in the non-winners of one lifetime event.  The race got off to a poor start as Vegas Bomb encountered early trouble but was able to rally late for the victory.  Vegas Bomb was also owned by Banks Racing LLC.

                “In my 39 years of race calling, I cannot ever remember such a feat happening,” said Hawthorne track announcer Peter Galassi.  “I know for sure this is a first in Illinois, and until someone proves us wrong, it may be the first time it has ever occurred.”

                “I have always loved horses and being around horses,” trainer Chris Banks said after the wins.  “With the summer meet ending last year and the uncertainty of harness racing in Illinois, I wanted to get involved with thoroughbreds and Sperling was a great one to jump into the mix with.  I talked with my dad when I claimed this horse last fall and said ‘wouldn’t it be great to win in the afternoon at Arlington and then win the same night at Hawthorne’ and we just laughed about it at the time.”

                “When Sperling was able to get to victory today at Arlington I thought it was a definite possibility.  Then tonight Vegas Bomb gets wiped out into the first turn and it was like getting mugged out of the gate in a thoroughbred race.  Fortunately Casey Leonard was very patient and the horse responded late for him.  A lucky day and a very fun day indeed.”

Hawthorne Race Course, Chicago’s Hometown Track, continues the summer harness season through September 24.  Fall thoroughbreds close out the year, running from October 5 through December 29.  For more information, visit or contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700.


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