Gold Cup headlines Hawthorne fall stakes schedule
The marquee race of the fall meet, the Grade 2, $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap will again headline the stakes schedule for the fall meet which was approved by the Illinois Racing Board on Tuesday morning. With the release of the funds from the casino impact fees last fall and on the heels of an extremely successful spring meet, the stakes for the fall have been increased, totaling $1.9 million.
This fall there will be stakes events taking place every weekend in October. Opening weekend gets the traditional fall kickoff with the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup as the feature. This race has been placed as a stepping stone for horses looking for a final prep to both the Breeders’ Cup Classic and Breeders’ Cup Marathon.
In addition to the Gold Cup on October 6, a pair of traditional turf races return to their $100,000 purse mark. The Indian Maid Handicap and Robert F. Carey Memorial, both taking place on the turf, will be run on Hawthorne Gold Cup day. The following week will feature three-year-old runners on the turf in the running of the Grade 3, $200,000 Hawthorne Derby.
The following weekend will begin the first of three weekends of Illinois-bred stakes races with older sprinters taking to the track in the $125,000 added Powerless Handicap for females and the $125,000 added Lightning Jet Handicap for males. The next weekend, October 20, will feature older state-bred route runners on the turf with the Illini Princess Handicap for females and Buck’s Boy Handicap for the boys, each at 1 1/16 miles and carrying a purse of $125,000 added.
Taking a week off from local stakes to focus on Breeders’ Cup weekend on November 2 and 3, state-bred two-year olds are in the spotlight on November 10. That day the young fillies will sprint in the $125,000 added Showtime Deb Stakes while males compete in the $125,000 added Sun Power Stakes.
A pair of late season races for younger horses received a boost to $125,000 as the Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante will be run on December 1. The following week the boys will go two turns in the $125,000 Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity.
The complete stakes schedule for Hawthorne’s fall meet:
Sat, Oct. 6 Hawthorne Gold Cup (Grade 2)
Sat, Oct. 6 Indian Maid Handicap
Sat, Oct. 6 Robert F. Carey Memorial
Sat, Oct. 13 Hawthorne Derby (Grade 3)
Sat, Oct. 20 Powerless Hcp. (IL)
Sat, Oct. 20 Lightning Jet Hcp. (IL)
Sat, Oct 27 Illini Princess Hcp. (IL)
Sat, Oct 27 Buck’s Boy Hcp. (IL)
Sat, Nov. 10 Showtime Deb Stakes (IL)
Sat, Nov. 10 Sun Power Stakes (IL)
Sat, Dec. 1 Pat Whitworth IL Debutante (IL)
Sat, Dec. 8 Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity (IL)
“We felt that the stakes schedule had some great anchor races in the Hawthorne Gold Cup and the Hawthorne Derby,” stated Assistant General Manager Jim Miller. “At a half million dollar purse, the Grade 2 Gold Cup has become a focus for horsemen as they prepare for the Breeders’ Cup Classic and the Marathon.”
“Our main changes came in breaking up the Illinois stakes to cover three weekends instead of all being run the same weekend. We did this for a few reasons. First, we wanted to create stakes event weekends every weekend in October. Second, with the older Illinois-bred runners, we are hoping the fields will be larger with the races moved to the turf. Finally, by moving the two-year-old stakes to the second weekend in November, we will allow for more young horses to break their maidens and make allowance starts, also allowing those horses to get starts over the Hawthorne dirt surface.”
Live racing returns to Hawthorne on Wednesday, October 3 and concludes Sunday, December 30. Live racing will be conducted every Wednesday-Sunday. First post daily is 1:40 PM with Friday post time at 2:40 PM through November 23. Hawthorne Race Course is located in Stickney IL at 3501 S. Laramie Ave. For information on live racing or groups at Hawthorne Race Course, contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700 or visit Hawthorne online at www.Hawthorneracecourse.com