Day At The Track

Hawthorne gearing up for Winter Meet

09:56 AM 22 Dec 2017 NZDT
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Hawthorne Race Course, Harness Racing
Hawthorne Race Course
Nation's only dual breed horseracing track will host winter racing beginning Friday, January 5, 2018 - 7:05 PM Post Time
Hawthorne Race Course, the only dual breed race track in the US,  is gearing up for their winter harness racing meet which includes removing over 11,000 TONS of sand as they convert their track from thoroughbred to harness racing. Beginning New Year's Eve, a crew of 100 people will work from sun up to sun down for 72 hours on a massive construction undertaking to remove the sand with a fleet of trucks including; 2 front end loaders, 6 dump trucks and 2 graders revealing a crushed limestone surface, as well as removing 1 mile of fencing at Illinois' most historic sporting venue.
The winter meet begins with extreme harness racing in the snow and ice on opening night Friday, January 5, 2018 with a 7:05 PM post time at Hawthorne Race Course.  Featuring the longest home stretch in North America, horses racing at Hawthorne are able to sprint to dramatic finishes on the crushed limestone surface, even in Chicago's slippery winter weather conditions.  This meet will feature more live racing dates, gate giveaways, a Road to the Derby contest, and the Gold Cup Dining Room will be open Friday and Saturday nights.


Harness racing returns at Hawthorne Race Course for their 2018 meet featuring more live racing dates.


"Harness racing is such a dynamic exciting sport that is so uniquely American," said Tim Carey, president and general manager of Hawthorne Race Course.  "My great grandfather had a vision when he first brought harness racing to Hawthorne over a hundred years ago, and we continue to have the best drivers in the country come to Hawthorne to compete. This winter, come snow, ice or cold, fans will have the chance to see the best of the best race."


Hawthorne is also hosting a contest to provide fans with the truly unique experience of owning an actual race horse.  "Anyone who has ever placed a winning bet knows the thrill of your horse coming down the stretch in the lead," said Carey.  "When you own that horse the excitement is ten-fold!"  Fans will win a 2% stake in two harness horses, "Ivanka" and "NotNAngel."  The contest runs January 5 through February 17, 2018.  Participants can enter by tagging friends on Hawthorne's Facebook and Instagram pages, wagering with their Club Hawthorne Players Card, or registering in person at Hawthorne Guest Services on February 17th.    

Hawthorne Race Course is located at 3501 S. Laramie in Stickney, IL (½ mile north of I-55 on Cicero Avenue). Live harness racing begins on January 5 through February 19, 2018. For the complete 2018 racing schedule:


  • Stunning HD b-roll video packages and HQ digital photos available for immediate use
  • Interviews with track management, horsemen and drivers can be easily coordinated on all schedules
  • Stable/paddock tours and Harness Racing 101 information available
Founded in 1891, Hawthorne Race Course is the 5th oldest racetrack in the nation and the oldest sporting venue in Illinois.  Located in Stickney, Illinois on the edge of Chicago's city limits, the 125 year old facility hosts thoroughbred racing in the Spring and Fall/Winter, and standardbred harness racing in January and the Summer.  The family-owned and operated business has been an innovator in horseracing for more than 100 years and features the nation's most rewarding players program.  For additional information: | | @ClubHawthorne.
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