Day At The Track

Hawthorne's Thomas F. Carey passes

03:52 AM 18 Dec 2019 NZDT
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Tom Carey, Sr., harness racing
Thomas "Tom" Carey, Sr.

STICKNEY, IL - Hawthorne Race Course patriarch, Thomas F. Carey, passed away Tuesday at the age of 87 years-old in Florida.

Born November 11, 1932, Tom turned heads in the sporting world as an All-State quarterback at Mt. Carmel High School. Tom then went on to play football for four years at Notre Dame under legendary coaches Frank Leahy and Terry Brennan.

Tom earned his B.S. in Business Administration from Notre Dame in 1955. He graduated again three years later, this time with a degree from Northwestern University Law School.

From 1956 to 1960 Tom coached the Mt. Carmel football team to four sectional titles, as well as one City Championship and one Co-Championship.

In 1969 Tom began assisting his father, Robert F. Carey at Hawthorne and assumed control of the racing operations after his father's passing in 1980.

After an early morning fire destroyed the Hawthorne grandstand on November 19, 1978, Tom was instrumental in the rebuild of Hawthorne, with the facility reopening in the fall of 1980.

Tom was inducted into the Chicago Sports Hall of Fame in 1998 and served his role as President and General Manager of Hawthorne for nearly 30 years. Additionally, Tom was instrumental in the formation of the Racing Industry Charitable Foundation, serving as that organization's President and was active in many community programs. Tom is survived by his wife Susan and six children.

Hawthorne Race Course, Chicago's Hometown Track, concludes live thoroughbred racing on Saturday, January 4. The 2020 harness season begins on Saturday, February 15 and races through September 20. Live thoroughbred racing resumes October 2 and races through the end of the year. For more information, visit or contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700.

by Jim Miller, for Hawthorne Race Course

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