Patricia (Pat) A. Wentworth (1936-2011) served for many years as an executive board member of the Illinois Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Foundation, ITBOF, a “not-for-profit service corporation, representing Illinois breeders and owners and dedicated to the growth and development of the Illinois state-bred incentive program for Thoroughbreds.”
While President of the ITBOF board, the Illinois Debutante was renamed in her honor in 2003. Restricted to Illinois-bred two-year-old fillies, it offers a $125,000 purse and a peek at the future stars of the state-bred ranks.
Hawthorne Race Course — Race 5 — Whitworth Debutante — 1 1/16 miles on dirt — Post Time 4:10 pm CT
Ten frosh fillies will see the starter, but six of them will be seeking career win one. The star power in this two turn dirt race comes from the one-two finishers from the Showtime Deb (JULMAE, INDYGO KISS).
Picks and Ponderings looks to the rail-drawn MY OPTION to take the honors in the Whitworth. Beaten a neck at first asking across town on Arlington’s synthetic, she won last time going two turns at Hawthorne on grass. Send off at 13-10 that afternoon, she pressed a moderate pace and made a sustained long run in the stretch to graduate on the green. Eddie Perez takes the return call, and he teams up with familiar trainer Chris Block. The team is hitting in the mid-twenty percent range, and this one is going turf a dirt, a situation that Block hits for 28% winners. JULMAE closed on the outside last time to win the Showtime Deb on a warm afternoon in the mud last out. The Homeister/Wainwright team reunite. Did nothing the first time around two turns at Keeneland, but perhaps dirt is this filly’s best surface (three starts, a stakes win and a stakes third). Worth noting that she was jostled turning for home in the Showtime Deb, and duplicating that race makes her quite possible. Trainer Tammy Domenosky has had a yucky meet, with two wins in thirty-eight Hawthorne starts. But when rider Seth Martinez works with her, they’ve hit the board at about forty percent. Maiden SUGAR KATE could be a factor here, as she was second twice on turf-once at Arlington, once at Hawthorne. In the Arlington start, she was second to I O Ireland (who won an allowance at Keeneland) and at Hawthorne second to our top pick MY OPTION. Like the fact trainer Domenosky has a >50% in the money percentage and very good financial return in two year old races.
#1 MY OPTION (3/1)
#6 JULMAE (10/1)
#9 SUGAR KATE (4/1)
Longshot: Yours truly won’t get fooled again. Trainer Chris Block sends out a pair for different owners. One is MY OPTION, and the other one of the two we tip our hat to is #2 SEND THE CHECK (9/2). A maiden, this one’s works (with respect to the clock) match up to those of MY OPTION, and she also goes turf to dirt (like MY OPTION). While this appears to be a one-speed plodder (like another Tarra Trust-owned horse of yore, Giant Oak), these are two-year-olds stretching out and the pace might get crazy fast on the front end. Out of Speightstown, dirt could certainly be well within her scope.