Archive for November 2017

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 »

2017 Hawthorne Gold Cup Day Stakes Preview

Thanksgiving is here, and it’s time to show our gratitude for the return of three races to Chicago’s fall racing schedule this Saturday! Hawthorne’s flagship autumn race, the Grade 3 Hawthorne Gold Cup, returns after a one-year hiatus.  A handicap at the classic distance of a mile and a quarter, the race drew a field of... Read more »

Eagle, Scuba headline Hawthorne Gold Cup probables

This Saturday’s card at Hawthorne features the flagship race of the meet, the Grade 3, $150,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup.  The only graded stakes of the fall, it is also the only mile and a quarter race of the year. Picks and Ponderings will have full coverage of the Hawthorne Gold Cup, including a handicapping preview,... Read more »

PASS THE GRAVY makes it three Sun Power Stakes in a row for Rivelli

This year, the Sun Power Stakes was run for the first time since 2014.  Leading into the hiatus, trainer Larry Rivelli had dominated the race, with wins by Rambling Richie in 2013 and Dom the Bomb in 2014.  Three years hence, Rivelli picked up right where he left off, as Pass the Gravy rolled to an easy... Read more »

2017 Sun Power Stakes Preview

The stakes calendar continues at Hawthorne this week with the Sun Power Stakes, a six-furlong test for Illinois colts and geldings.  It will be run this year for the first time since 2014, when Dom the Bomb romped to an easy 11 3/4 length victory.   Dom the Bomb, trained by Larry Rivelli at the time, is... Read more »

Showtime Deb Stakes: RICHIE'SLILWILDCAT Becomes Third Stakes Winner for Dam Richiesgirlgotgame

Trainer Larry Rivelli has been a force in Illinois-bred two-year-old stakes races in recent years, and much of that success has come from the progeny of the Five Star Day mare Richiesgirlgotgame.  Richiesgirlgotgame started her racing career on fire for Rivelli and owner Richard Ravin.  On debut she beat eventual Grade 1 winner Tiz Miz Sue... Read more »

2017 Showtime Deb Stakes Preview

For the first time since 2014, Hawthorne will host the Showtime Deb Stakes: a six-furlong sprint for Illinois-registered juvenile fillies. The race fills an important gap in the Illinois-bred stakes program, one that has existed since the Showtime Deb and the Sun Power (its colts’ and geldings’ complement, which will be revived next week) dropped... Read more »