Posts in category "Hawthorne"

Voting for 2017's Illinois Champions

Picks & Ponderings is proud to announce that it is voting once again for equine champions in Illinois. Both Paul Mazur and Nicolle Neulist are casting ballots — as always, we each do so independently. Votes are made for Illinois Horse of the Year, as well as in a number of categories organized by age, sex,... Read more »

Hawthorne Closing Day Picks and Ponderings

Hawthorne’s closing day has come upon us even more quickly than expected: in light of Saturday’s anticipated high of eight degrees, Saturday’s card has been cancelled.  Friday’s ten-race program will thus mark closing day of the Thoroughbred meet. Hawthorne will not be without horses for long, since the winter harness meet starts on January 5.  But... Read more »

Hawthorne Carryover Late Pick 4: December 16, 2017

After a day of speed, speed, and more speed, Jochero rallied furiously from last to run down pacesetter The Mess in Friday’s Hawthorne finale.  A 50/1 longshot, Jochero enabled a single astute handicapper to scoop the late Pick 3 pool to the tune of over $10K.  The longshot’s victory was also enough to trigger a... Read more »

Pass the Gravy sweeps Illinois-bred two-year-old male stakes

Before today, just two horses had won both the Sun Power Stakes and the Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity.  Rambling Richie did it for trainer Larry Rivelli in 2013, and Dom the Bomb performed the same feat for Rivelli in 2014.  This year, lightning struck thrice.  Rivelli sent out Pass the Gravy to victory in the... Read more »

2017 Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity Preview

Saturday’s card features the final stakes race of the Hawthorne fall meet, the $50,000 Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity.  The race is the second stakes of the meet for Illinois-registered two-year-old colts and geldings.  The first, named after 1982 Futurity winner Sun Power, was won by Larry Rivelli trainee Pass the Gravy.  The son of Afleet... Read more »

COWGIRL CALLIE fights to victory in the Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante

Those who think of Hawthorne in the late fall as a dreary place would have had a hard time recognising it during today’s Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante.  The mercury rose into the mid-fifties, light bathed the fast dirt course, and the enthusiasm of Bob and Lynda Esposito beamed more brightly than the sun as their filly Cowgirl... Read more »

2017 Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante Preview

The Hawthorne stakes calendar rolls on this Saturday with the feature event for Illinois-bred juvenile fillies: the Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante.  The race, instilled in 1983 as the Illinois’ Breeders’ Debutante, has carried the name of the name of longtime Illinois Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Foundation (ITBOF) board member Pat Whitworth (1936-2011) since 2003.  This... Read more »

Thursday, November 30: Carryover Pick 5 at Hawthorne

Though 11/1 shot Bubuzela was the longest shot to win any of the first five races on Saturday at Hawthorne, no favourites crossed the wire first.  That was enough to confound the Pick 5 players: no one got the sequence right, so there’s a $8,866 carryover into Thursday’s sequence.  The minimum wager is $0.50, and... Read more »

Scenes from 2017 Hawthorne Gold Cup Day

Racing didn't get underway until late afternoon, but I was at the track bright and early.  I volunteer with CANTER Chicago, a racehorse retirement organisation, and we were there to take photos and get listing information for this beauty, Eben Zabeel.  Regally bred, and with the strongest neck I've ever seen in a Thoroughbred, he's just a little too slow to be competitive anymore.  Fortunately, off-track thoroughbreds are versatile, and Eben Zabeel will turn heads in whatever riding career he does next!
The Hawthorne Gold Cup (G3) made a thrilling return this past weekend.  We’ve already reviewed the stakes races themselves — but if you want to look a bit closer at the horses, stories, and curiosities that made Saturday such a good day at the track, you’ve come to the right place.

SCUBA resurfaces in the Hawthorne Gold Cup

The Hawthorne Gold Cup (G3) came back to the calendar today after a year’s absence.  In its glorious return, it was only fitting that its winner was a horse who returned to graded stakes glory after some time out of the limelight.  Scuba dominated the long-distance dirt division last year, but entered today’s Hawthorne Gold Cup... Read more »