2014 Edgar Futurity & Whitworth Debutante Preview

Dec 13th Stakes

Image courtesy of Hawthorne Race Course.

Typically, the Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity and Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante are positioned as the last two stakes of the season in Chicago.  In recent years, the girls have gone a week before the boys and the Edgar is the year’s last stakes.  This year, both stakes share a single date.

Once again, the Edgar is the last stakes of 2014 at Hawthorne and for the Chicago circuit, whether for open runners or state-breds.  Both stakes covered, the Edgar and the Whitworth, are for the Illinois-bred two-year-olds and both have a pot of one hundred grand.  Both stakes will go at a mile and a sixteenth on the Hawthorne dirt.  As has been the case with all Illinois-bred stakes at the Hawthorne meet, they’ve been run two a piece on Saturdays, paired together on a program.  Both stakes are restricted by gender, with the filly girls in the Whitworth and the colt and gelding boys in the Edgar.  Like the Sun Power and Showtime Deb earlier in the meet, these stakes provide a look at potential stars of tomorrow among the state-bred ranks.

Also this weekend be sure to check out Picks & Ponderings‘s previews of the G3 Sugar Swirl Stakes from Gulfstream Park and the G1 Starlet Stakes from Los Alamitos.

At original publish time morning line odds were not available.  All races in this piece are scheduled for December 13th.

Updated December 11th with morning line odds.

Hawthorne Race Course — Race 3 — Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante — 1 1/16 Miles on Dirt — post time 1:55 pm CT

Patricia (Pat) A. Whitworth (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.  Notable winners include double G2 winner Rolling Sea (2005), double G1 runner-up Copper State (2006), and double G3 winner My Option (2012).

The second through fifth finishers of the Showtime Deb wheel back along with the eighth place finisher comprise the field.   So everyone is stretching out to two turns, but three are doing it for the first time, ROCK MY DREAMS, TURTLES SURPRISE, and RAZAMAJAZIL.  In this short field, TURTLES SURPRISE looks to be the speed, but ROCK MY DREAMS is perhaps moving towards the best race of his career, going third a small layoff and skipping the first month of the Hawthorne meet.  The dirt has produced better races and he’s been swung five wide in both sprint races over the Hawthorne strip.  Perhaps a more inside tracking trip sends this one to the winners’ circle, with being by Harlem Rocker (a G3 winner at a one turn mile, Prince of Wales winner at 1 3/16 miles) indicating that two turns won’t be an issue.  Chances are he gets a better stalking trip with TURTLES SURPRISE cutting the early splits.  TURTLES SURPRISE was the speed before getting swallowed up by Timeaday in the Showtime Deb, and that was a carbon copy of a first-level state-bred allowance before that.   So going two turns will likely put her on the front end.  While she retains Tim Thornton for this event, the fact RAZAMAJAZIL is stretching out too and in DiVito fashion will show speed prevents this one from getting a free lunch on the front end.  Still, she’s speed in a short field and that will carry her to a solid showing.  TIZGORGEOUS goes back to a route in this event, staying on the dirt.  She faced better in Kentucky on dirt and didn’t hit the trifecta in either case, and cut back to a one-turn sprint last out and was second in the Showtime Deb to Timeaday.  Bred well for grass, she is bred for two turns and perhaps finds it easier to hit the board on the Hawthorne dirt against in-state folk versus the saltier types in Kentucky.  Retains Julio Felix to ride.





Longshot: Sorry, I’ve got Christmas shopping to do.

Hawthorne Race Course — Race 8 — Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity — 1 1/16 Miles on Dirt — post time 4:25 pm CT

Born in Oklahoma in 1946, Jim Edgar served two terms in the 1990s as Governor of Illinois. Governor Edgar is a rare species: an honest Illinois politician, as the Prairie State would follow him with two consecutive governors who each have served time in prison.  Gov. Edgar has also has bred and campaigned horses in Illinois and you may see his name appear in the program occassionally at Arlington and Hawthorne.  Notable winners include 2007 victor Instill, who captured the following year’s Milwaukee Avenue Handicap.

IN THE CHAMBER gets to try dirt for the first time in an Edgar Futurity and recruits the meet’s top rider, Manny Esquivel to climb aboard.  With Eddie Perez down at Tampa Bay, we see Esquivel get aboard this Block trainee, a team that’s appeared infrequently (seven times in the meet, three money finishes).  Although Fort Prado was best on grass, a Fort Prado frosh product won last year’s frosh filly race over this course and the broodmare sire was a dirt graded stakes winner back in the day.  With breeding on both sides for dirt, this one will be a logical choice. Making it even more logical is the presence of DOM THE BOMB, who won the Sun Power by a zip code and stretches out in this spot with more one-way speed from another Rivelli product, MY MAN RICHIE.  IN THE CHAMBER should get the pace to attack, and trainer Block strikes at one out of four times going turf to dirt.  The other Block runner, OAK BROOK, also gets a hard look.  OAK BROOK is a full brother to thrice Illinois Horse of the Year Giant Oak, and appears at this stage in the game to be like his older brother, mainly, with not a lot of gears.  A one-speed plodding type who was beaten on the dirt two back on the dirt, he graduated on the Churchill grass and moves up to this race where everyone is eligible for an open-first level allowance.  OAK BROOK ‘s brother A Step Ahead finished second in this exact race last year.  CHADWICK goes back to two turns here in the Edgar.  A decent third when getting beaten by a zip code in the Sun Power, he graduated two back across town over at Arlington and acquitted himself well at Indiana Downs in an N2L allowance one state over.  Perhaps six furlongs was too short, but it is worth noting this hasn’t been Carlos Silva’s better meets as he’s only got one win picture and his stakes winning three-year-old filly Pistols Drawn suffered an injury earlier in the week.  Perhaps six furlongs was too shirt, but CHADWICK can like dirt as well as anyone in the field.


#5 IN THE CHAMBER (10/1)

#4 OAK BROOK (9/2)

#9 CHADWICK (6/1)

Longshot: #7 MARKET RAD (12/1) has quite a few negatives.  He’s trained by someone that’s 1-for-22 on the meet. He’s still a maiden. But before you say strike three, consider that he’s going two turns for the first time and being by After Market out of an Arch mare indicates two turns will suit him better than one. He’s the “other” one trained by Carlos Silva, and CHADWICK will come into this more with steam and reputation, so you’ll get a square price on this one.  MARKET RAD also puts on blinkers for the first time, which the conditioner has done eight times and posted four wins with two more money finishes and a sparkling ROI.  Rider switch to Sanjur away from the more patient Ocampo also could wake this one up.

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