Posts in category "Illinois Derby"

A Tangible Reminder of Tough Times

News broke Wednesday that Hawthorne will probably cut stakes races from their spring schedule. I have spent the last few days trying to find a way to talk about this.  I’m still not sure I have the right words, so much as I have sadness.  Frustration.  Anger. I have a litany of feelings that I... Read more »

Conquest Stables: From Chicago to the Pinnacle of Horse Racing

“When you do something well, and with passion, people are going to notice.  That’s just the way it is.” After Conquest Curlinate finished second in the Illinois Derby on April 18 at Hawthorne, the time has come for Chicago to take notice of Conquest Stables, based in Highland Park.  Though they have only owned horses... Read more »

California Runners Conquer Hawthorne's Graded Stakes

STICKNEY/CICERO — The sun shone, the band played, and far more people in spring suits and Derby hats graced the Hawthorne apron than on any day all year.  Today’s ten-race card featured the only two graded stakes of the spring meet at Hawthorne, the Illinois Derby (GIII) for three-year-olds and the Sixty Sails Handicap (GIII)... Read more »

2015 Illinois Derby Day Picks and Analysis

Saturday, April 18 is the highest-profile day of the fall Hawthorne meet: Illinois Derby day.  The only graded stakes races of the meet take place on this card, but the card consists of eight other races as well.  It drew some solid fields, particularly in the three turf races on the card.  Though Hawthorne took... Read more »

2015 Illinois Derby Day Stakes Preview

Picks & Ponderings this week stays true to its roots with a look at the first graded stakes of the year in Chicago.  Paired together once again, the Grade Three Illinois Derby and Grade Three Sixty Sails serve as the focus of this week’s analysis.  Both races are set for nine furlongs on the Hawthorne... Read more »

Wide Ranging Group Aim for Hawthorne's Stakes

STICKNEY/CICERO — There are only two graded stakes in the Spring at Hawthorne Race Course, the Grade Three $400,000 Illinois Derby and the Grade Three $150,000 Sixty Sails Handicap. Yet, according to Hawthorne’s Stakes Coordinator Debby Lindsay, the equine cast will be one from all corners.  From locals to the East Coast to the West... Read more »

2014 Illinois Derby Day Recap

STICKNEY/CICERO — Spring came to Chicago with the year’s first turf race and the year’s first stakes at Hawthorne Race Course.  Four stakes, two for Illinois-breds sprinting and two Grade Three stakes, were contested on a picture-perfect Spring afternoon. Third Chance Handicap: C’MON FEET Steps Up in Stakes Triumph Early tote action saw G3 winner... Read more »

2014 Illinois Derby Day Preview

The most important race of the Hawthorne spring meet is upon us.  It’s Illinois Derby Day, with the feature set for race nine on a ten race card set for April 19th, the day before Easter Sunday.  In a twist to the stakes schedule this year, two Illinois-bred stakes from next week’s Illinois Champions Day... Read more »

Kid Cruz, Midnight Hawk Eyeing Illinois Derby

STICKNEY/CICERO — Hawthorne Race Course will kick off its brief two-week stakes season on April 19 with the Grade 3, $500,000 Illinois Derby, to be run at one and one-eighth miles on the dirt at Hawthorne for strictly three-year-olds. The race was excluded two years ago from the Kentucky Derby points qualification list but now... Read more »

2013 Preakness Stakes Picks and Ponderings

The Preakness Stakes.  The Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. A big thank you to all the readers and twitter followers that found “Picks and Ponderings” for Kentucky Derby week. So whether this is your first time reading or your hundredth time, we hope you have fun with the picks and enjoy the ponderings. Onward... Read more »