For Immediate Release
Contact: Jim Miller (708) 780-3700
The Rarest of
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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
contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700.