NEW GIMMICKS ADD FLAVOR TO HARNESS MEET

05:59 PM 03 Jun 2005 NZST
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With the staggered schedule in Illinois harness racing to begin on Sunday, Hawthorne kicks off its 48-night racing meet with some new gimmicks will add spice to the summer meet.

Racing four nights a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, Hawthorne will again offer some of the best racing in the Midwest around the one mile oval.

In 2004, Hawthorne was showcased as one of the top tracks in the country as it played host to a pair of the top three-year-old trots with the Hudson Trot and Yonkers Trot.

This year, a strong stakes schedule looks to bring out the top names once again.

Some new gimmicks have been added for the summer harness meet.

The introduction of the 10 cent Superfecta, which proved so popular during the spring Thoroughbred meet will be offerd on all races where Superfecta wagering is allowed.

Plus, we will be introducing the new 50 cent Pick 4.

The 50 cent Pick 4 wager will begin with each night’s 7th race, covering race 7 – 10.

Both wagers allow bettors to use more combinations for far less outlay while still having the opportunity to make a good amount of money.

Three Friday nights during the meet look to be major focal points for the harness season as some of the top stakes contestants will be at Hawthorne to battle it out.

Things kick off on June 17 with the running of the Erwin F Dygert Memorial Trot.

Carrying an estimated purse of $100,000, the Dygert has been a mainstay at Hawthorne, bringing in many of the top trotters from across the country.

Eliminations for the Dygert will take place on June 10, carrying a $25,000 purse.

Friday, August 5 will be one of the biggest racing days in the state as Illinois-bred runners will be featured in eight stakes events, all carrying estimated purses of $100,000.

Each level will consist of three legs followed by the finals on August 5.

Finally, the season rounds out with the top pacers across the country coming to Hawthorne for the Robert F. Carey Memorial Pace.

With eliminations to take place on Friday, August 19 for a pot of $25,000, the $100,000 estimated final will go on Friday, August 26.

During the summer, Hawthorne Race Course is open daily for full-card simulcasting and will feature live racing four nights a week.

First post on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday will be at 7:40PM while Sunday’s first post is 6:30 PM.

JIM MILLER

awthorne Press Box

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