STICKNEY/CICERO - - The first stakes races of the season at Hawthorne were originally scheduled for the turf. But afternoon thunderstorms drenched the southwest suburban oval before the day's first race, and that created a sloppy, sealed main dirt track and a "soft" turf course. Two stakes were contested in the wet conditions.
Indian Maid Handicap: TWIST OF SILVER up in time
The rain took the $75,000 Indian Maid Handicap off the turf course, onto the sloppy sealed track. A field of eleven was originally set to see the starter, but scratches and a surface switch working hand-in-hand reduced the field to six.
So when the half-dozen older fillies and mares traveling 1 1/16 miles on the dirt broke from the gate, it would be KATIE THE LADY that dictated the early terms, cutting sloppy splits of :23.64 for the opening quarter and :47.36 for the half mile. GOLDWAY would be in close attendance, along with SOFT WHISPER. The 19-10 wagering favorite would soon throw out the anchor and backpedal, eventually finishing last of the sextet. Forwardly placed GOLDWAY (who had the lead at three-quarters timed in 1:12.05) and SOFT WHISPER would slog on through the slop, the former still around and the latter flattening out in the stretch.
But the eventual winner would make a wide closing run, that winner being TWIST OF SILVER. Fifth in the early stages, she came four-wide in the stretch, closing to be third at the top of the lane and getting the victory by a neck. TWIST OF SILVER was piloted to victory by Eduardo Perez and trained by Sharon Wilson. A five-year-old by Silver Train, she stopped the clock in 1:45.64 for the 1 1/16 miles on a sloppy sealed track. Sent off at 11-1 odds as the second longest choice on the board, she paid $24.40 to win.
A winner last time in a hybrid $16,000 starter allowance/$30,000 optional claimer, she took advantage of a fast pace that afternoon and would do so once again to take the $75,000 stakes. Winning trainer Sharon Wilson after the race "was anticipating the race would fall apart. She had been training good." Wilson wasn't concerned about the mud, but did enter TWIST OF SILVER in the Indian Maid as the owners were eager to run in a stakes. Trainer Wilson (also a co-owner) did not disclose immediate next race plans.
Behind TWIST OF SILVER by a neck was GOLDWAY. SOFT WHISPER was third, 2 1/4 lengths behind the top two. Another 3 1/4 lengths behind them was VIVA BERTHA. HONEY HUES and KATIE THE LADY completed the field.
The $2 3-7 exacta of TWIST OF SILVER and GOLDWAY yielded $105.40. The fifty-cent 3-7-9 trifecta of TWIST OF SILVER, GOLDWAY, and SOFT WHISPER netted $102.55. Dime superfectas with VIVA BERTHA in the fourth slot paid a light $56.19.
Hawthorne Derby: KID DREAMS Wins With Authority
A rainy night turned rainier as the sky opened with another downpour just before the Grade 3, $200,000 Hawthorne Derby. Contested at a mile and an eighth and restricted to three-year-olds, it would be the night's only turf race. The course would be denoted "soft" before the day's races, and when the field crossed the finish line in a time of 2:01.49 for the nine furlongs--sixteen plus seconds off the track record set over two decades ago--the course description would be spelled in bold capital letters.
None of the ten entered runners defected, all intent on the prize despite the swampy sod. While MORO TAP would not break alertly, MONGOLIAN SATURDAY would. And he was on the lead, as he had been in prior appearances across town at Arlington. He would be controlling the early terms, with FIVE IRON and ULTIMO TRAGO not far behind. The pair were 1-2-3 around in the early stages, through a slow opening quarter of :25.85, a marshy half in :52.20, and a soggy three-quarters in 1:18.85. At the three-quarters, the early pace and testing turf took their toll in MONGOLIAN SATURDAY and ULTIMO TRAGO.
Traveling mid-pack were CHARMING KITTEN and KID DREAMS, both looking to make their bids for graded stakes victory. Both would swing wide turning for home, with KID DREAMS taking a short lead in the stretch that he would soon extend, pulling away and leaving no doubt who won the G3, $200,000 Hawthorne Derby. KID DREAMS, victorious by 7 3/4 lengths, a three-year-old by Lemon Drop Kid, was sent off as the fourth choice in the wagering at 9-2 odds and paid $11.20 to win. Francisco "Cisco" Torres was aboard for trainer Neil Drysdale.
CHARMING KITTEN reported home second, 1 3/4 lengths to the good of early pace presence and 5-2 post time favorite FIVE IRON. Another 2 1/2 lengths behind the top three was DORSETT.
Assistant trainer John O'Donoghue, like many other trainers in the race, "didn't know how he would handle the soft [course], we were concerned about it. He obviously liked it. [Winning rider] Cisco [Torres] gave a great ride." No immediate next-race plans were disclosed.
The $2 1-10 exacta of KID DREAMS and CHARMING KITTEN paid $61.60. The fifty-cent 1-10-8 trifecta of KID DREAMS, CHARMING KITTEN, and FIVE IRON returned $82.75. Dime superfectas with DORSETT in the fourth position yielded $94.84.
All photos courtesy Four Footed Fotos.
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