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STICKNEY, IL - Thursday night at Hawthorne kicked off the opening legs of the Beulah Dygert Memorial Trot and Erwin F. Dygert Memorial Trot. The Beulah Dygert is for Illinois-bred harness racing three-year-old fillies while the Erwin F. Dygert is for Illinois-bred three-year-old colts and geldings. The Thursday opener was the first division of leg one of the Beulah Dygert as Powerful Princess was sent off as the 4-5 favorite. Breaking at the start was Powerful Princess, leaving Vengeful to lead the field around through fractions of :29.0, :58.2, and 1:28.1 for three quarters. Tracking the entire way was 24-1 shot Roma Falls for driver Matt Krueger. Moving late, Roma Falls took over and drew clear by four lengths, stopping the clock in 1:58.3. Trained by Ray Hanna for owners Mary Jeffers and Adele Everett, Roma Falls returned $51.80, $9.00, and $4.80. Vengeful held place, coming back $3.20 and $2.10 while More Than Likely finished third and returned $3.00 to show. The second division of leg one of the Beulah Dygert went as race three on Thursday night with Rocknprincessabbie as the even money favorite. At the start, second-choice Awfully Emotional left for the lead through the opening quarter in :29.2. Moving quickly on the backstretch to the lead was the favorite Rocknprincessabbie and driver Todd Warren. Following a half in 1:00.1 and three quarters in 1:29.4, Rocknprincessabbie and Surviver Di battled the length of the stretch. Prevailing in the end was the favorite Rocknprincessabbie over Surviver Di with Fox Valley Bugatti a late closing third. Owned by Danny Graham and trained by Nelson Willis, Rocknprincessabbie returned $4.00, $2.60, and $3.00. Surviver Di came back $7.20 and $4.80 while Fox Valley Bugatti returned $9.80 to show. The boys were the focus later in the evening as two divisions of leg one of the Erwin F. Dygert Memorial Trot took place. In the first division, Mr Strata was the 4-5 favorite, coming off a victory in the recent late closer series final. Driver Casey Leonard wasted no time getting early position with Mr Strata, leading the field through the opening quarter in :29.3. On the backstretch, second-choice Fox Valley Diamo took over through a half in 1:00.1. Into the lane, longshot Storm Winds led briefly before breaking stride while Mr Strata took over a two-length lead late. All out to the wire, Mr Strata held on by a nose over Wrightwood in 1:59.1. Psychic Survior finished third. Owned by Cynthia Willis and trained by Nelson Willis, Mr Strata returned $3.80, $2.60, and $2.60. Wrightwood returned $4.60 and $4.40 while Psychic Survior came back $7.80 to show. The second division of the Erwin F. Dygert, Primed N Powerful was the even money choice. Immediately from the start though it was Casey Leonard and Fear setting the early fractions through :29.1 and :59.1. Primed N Powerful made a move to contend through three quarters in 1:28.4 but Fear responded and opened up, winning by nine lengths at the wire in 1:57.2. Owned by Providence West Inc. and trained by Kenny Collier, Fear returned $6.20, $5.20, and $4.20 as the 2-1 second choice. Bands Ariston got up for second, coming back $8.00 and $6.20 while Dr Venkman was third, paying $14.80 to show. Jim Miller

STICKNEY, IL - Beginning this Thursday, June 2, Hawthorne Race Course and the United States Trotting Association have teamed up to offere guaranteed pools in a pair of pick 4 harness racing wagers at Hawthorne. Through the USTA Strategic Wagering Program, with assistance from Trackmaster.com, guaranteed pools for the Late Pick 4 at Hawthorne every Thursday and Sunday will be offered. On Thursdays, the guarantee in the Late Pick 4 pool will be $15,000, covering races 8-11. On Sundays, the guarantee in the Late Pick 4 pool will be $20,000, covering races 7-10. At Hawthorne Race Course, the Pick 4 wagers carry a $.50 minimum wager and a low 15% takeout. By joining with the USTA Strategic Wagering Program, bettors will receive free past performances through Trackmaster.com for both of these wagering sequences. Jim Miller

The second night of the late closer series finals took place on Friday at Hawthorne as five harness racing finals were contested on a track that started the night as fast, but quickly became sloppy. The first final of the night was the opener on the card as Bucklegirl Bobette and driver Casey Leonard were sent off as the even money favorite. At the start, the favorite broke stride and was shuffled to last. Likeafireballshot carved out the early fractions of :29.2 and :58.1. As Bucklegirl Bobette broke stride again on the backstretch, Likeafireballshot and Jared Finn continued to lead through three quarters in 1:27. Game to the wire was Likeafireballshot, holding off Ashlee's Fine Lady and True To My Heart in 1:55. Likeafireballshot is owned by Finn Racing LLC and Tami Michl and trained by Jared Finn. The second choice in the race at 5-2, she returned $7.40, $7.40 and $4.60. Ashlee's Fine Lady came back $16.40 and $15.20 while True to My Heart returned $5.20 to show. The second final of the night saw our second upset, this time on a larger scale. In the late closer final for fillies and mares that had never won two pari-mutuel races or $10,000 lifetime as of April 1, 2016, Jiggles the Clown was sent off as the favorite. After a contested early pace, 50-1 shot Rocknrol's Image emerged clear into the lane for driver Tyler Shehan and was able to hold off the late move of Jiggles The Clown. Vorst rallied for third as Rocknrol's Image stopped the clock in a career best 1:54.4. Owned and trained by Perry Smith, Rocknrol's Image returned $106.20, $36.20, and $10.80. Jiggles The Clown came back $2.80 and $2.20 while Vorst returned $3.20 to show. The third final of the night was for fillies and mares, non-winners of $1,000 per start in 2015-16. Carving out quick early fractions in the slop of :30.1 and :58.1, Young American led the field into the stretch in 1:27.3. Late in the lane, the field spread seven across the track as Matt Krueger and Joyful Game flew on the outside to get up in the shadow of the wire. Sure You Are finished second, while Lil Miss Knuckles was third. Owned by Orville Rursch and trained by Vince Affrunti, Joyful Game returned $13.60, $5.80 and $3.80. Sure You Are came back $6.00 and $3.20 while Lil Miss Knuckles returned $3.80 to show. The fourth final of the evening was for filly and mare paces, w/o $1,000 per start in 2015-16. A field of eight lined up with Fox Valley Charm as the heavy favorite at 2-5. Leaving quickly was Seeyouatthefinish and Kyle Husted, covering the opening quarter in the slop in :29.1. Seeyouatthefinish took the field through the turn in :58.2 and 1:26.2. In the end, it was Seeyouatthefinish drawing clear at 6-1. Feetonthedashboard was second, with Fox Valley Charm 3rd in 1:54.1 Owned by Bernie and Deb Paul and trained by Deb Paul, Seeyouatthefinish returned $15.60, $8.00 and $3.40. Feetonthedashboard came back $12.40 and $4.20. Fox Valley Charm returned $2.10 to show. The last final of the night was for fillies and mares, non-winners of four pari-mutuel races of $20,000 lifetime as of April 1, 2016. Favored at post time was LK's Nancy Lee for driver Dale Hiteman. Leaving for the lead was Faithful Friend but quickly moving was Awesum World through the quarter in :29.4. Dali Treasure took over on the backstretch, covering the half in :57.4 and three quarters and 1:27.1. Mid-stretch, Awesum World came on again for driver Ridge Warren and held on at 17-1 over Eva Bella and Duneside Perttie. Awesum World covered the mile in the slop in 1:56.1. Owned by David Falzone, Chris Mroz, and Steve Searle and trained by Steve Searle, Awesume World returned $37.60, $16.00, and $8.60. Eva Bella came back $9.60 and $6.40 while Duneside Perttie returned $4.60 to show. Jim Miller

With no live tickets remaining in either the Late Pick 5 or Late Pick 4 on Thursday night at Hawthorne, a pair of carryovers lead into the Friday evening harness racing card. The carryover for the Late Pick 5 at Hawthorne on Friday night is $6,420 while the Late Pick 4 carryover is $7,278. For the Friday evening card, Hawthorne Race Course, and the United States Trotting Association are teaming up with the Strategic Wagering Program to offer guarantees on both pools Friday evening. The Late Pick 5, beginning on race 8, will offer a $25,000 guaranteed pool, including the carryover from Thursday. The Late Pick 4, beginning on race 9, will offer a $30,000 guaranteed pool. Both wagers are a $.50 minimum wager and each carries a low 15% takeout. For details or information, visit www.HawthorneRaceCourse.com or www.USTrotting.com. Jim Miller   ABOUT HAWTHORNE RACE COURSE Founded in 1891, Hawthorne Race Course is the 4th 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: www.HawthorneRaceCourse.com | Facebook.com/ClubHawthorne | @ClubHawthorne.      

As the summer harness racing meet has gotten into full swing at Hawthorne, the numerous late closer series reached their finals this weekend. Three series finals took place on Thursday over a fast Hawthorne track. The first series final was for trotters that had never won two pari-mutuel races or $10,000 lifetime as of April 1, 2016. Leading the field of eight for the final was Skyway Jaylo from the barn of Larry Lee Smith. Skyway Jaylo entered the final winning both legs by daylight. In the Thursday final, Skyway Jaylo was once again the favorite, sent away at 2-5 odds. Things weren't easy on Skyway Jaylo as he had to work through the first turn to beat Hey Marcel to the lead through an opening quarter in :28.4. After a half, Skyway Jaylo opened a two length lead in :57.0. Into the lane, Skyway Jaylo held the lead by a length in 1:26.2. Asked late, Skyway Jaylo had to work, but was unable to hold off the late move of All About Cowboys and driver Matt Krueger. All About Cowboys scored his first career victory by a head at odds of 7-1. Skyway Jaylo finished second while Hey Marcel was third. Final time for the $12,800 final was 1:56.1. All About Cowboys returned $17.00, $4.80, and $2.60 for owners Green Acres LLC & Mike Klimas and trainer Gregory Kain. Skyway Jaylo returned $2.10 and $2.10. Hey Marcel returned $2.40. The second final on the night was for colts, horses and geldings, $5,000 claimers with allowances. With a purse of $13,200, a field of ten lined up behind the gate. Sent off as the choice in the final was Bossa Nova Baby from the inside at 2-1. Into the first turn Donald Himself was sent away from the outside for the lead in :28.2. First over was Dontgetbyme as he was unable to make the lead while Donald Himself went the half in :56.2. Into the lane, Winning Dream angled out for the lead in 1:25.0 for driver Travis Seekman and never looked back, winning by a length in 1:53.2. Longshot Shhrayray got up for second, just a head ahead of Bossa Nova Baby. Sent off at 12-1, Winning Dream is owned by Niss Allen Inc. and trained by Ken Rucker. Winning Dream returned $27.00, $14.00, and $7.80. Shhrayray came back $18.60 and $8.00. Bossa Nova Baby returned $4.20 to show. The third final on the night carried a purse of $15,400 and was for Illinois conceived or foaled trotters that had never won two races or $10,000 lifetime as of April 1, 2016. Sent off as the even money favorite was Powerful Princess, who broke stride prior to the start and spotted the field five lengths early. Through the opening quarter PJ Boy held the early lead in :29.4. After a half in 1:00.1, both Mr Strata and Awfully Emotional were on the move. Into the lane, Mr Strata and driver Kyle Wilfong were just in front of Awfully Emotional through three quarters in 1:30.0 as Powerful Princess began to close down the center of the stretch. At the wire, Mr Strata held on over Awfully Emotional in 1:59.0 while Powerful Princess finished third. Owned by Cynthia Kay Willis and trained by Nelson Willis, Mr Strata returned $17.00, $7.80, and $3.80. Awfully Emotional came back $7.60 and $2.80 while Powerful Princess returned $2.80 to show. Jim Miller

As the second full weekend of harness racing wrapped up at Hawthorne Race Course, the temperatures warmed and a couple of drivers heated up. Leading driver Casey Leonard had a big weekend in the bike as he guided home 13 winners over the four day racing week. Leonard opened the racing week with a three bagger on Thursday. On Friday evening, Leonard guided home five winners, some at big prices. Leonard won the fourth race with Little Miss Torie ($57.20), followed by favored Financial Effort two races later. In the ninth race Leonard was back in the winner's circle with the longest shot on the board as Dali Treasure ($51.00) rallied late. The following race Leonard drove home Sure You Are ($33.20) and closed out the evening with favorite Jiggles the Clown in the finale. Leonard won three more times on Saturday, including another impressive score by Ontario Success (1:51) in the Saturday feature. He closed the 13 win weekend with a pair of victories on Sunday evening. Driver Todd Warren also had a fine weekend, winning seven races over the four day span. Warren opened the week winning a pair on Thursday night. After going winless Friday, he came back with a trio of scores Saturday, driving home both Old Man River and KC Rambunctious Boy to their second wins each on the meet. On Sunday, Warren won twice more as John Jay and It'saswan both continued their fine Hawthorne form. Capping the Sunday card was a first for driver Juan Franco as he recorded the first pari-mutuel victory of his career in the Sunday finale. Franco drove 25-1 shot Parklane Dragon to a 2¼ length score for trainer Nelson Willis in Sunday's tenth race. Stakes Nominations for Two-Year-Old Races Posted The nominees for the four two-year-old stakes races have been posted on the Hawthorne website. Two-year-old filly trotters will compete in the Fox Valley Flan stakes as 31 fillies were nominated. The Kadabra Stakes for two-year-old colt trotters closed with 30 nominations. In the Incredible Tillie Stakes for two-year-old filly pacers, 72 were nominated. The Incredible Finale Stakes for two-year-old colt pacers ended up with 61 nominees. To view the full list of all stakes nominations, visit the Hawthorne website at www.HawthorneRaceCourse.com and click on the "Horsemen" tab. ABOUT HAWTHORNE RACE COURSE Founded in 1891, Hawthorne Race Course is the 4th 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: www.HawthorneRaceCourse.com | Facebook.com/ClubHawthorne | @ClubHawthorne. Jim Miller

In an effort to help horsemen prepare for the upcoming Hawthorne summer meet Harness Racing Secretary Pete Hanley has announced that Hawthorne will host a "second round" of qualifiers this week which be conducted on Saturday, May 7th, prior to the start of the regular Saturday night program. The qualifiers will get underway at 4:30 p.m. with the live card getting started at 7:20 p.m. Entries will be accepted until 10 a.m. on Friday, May 6th for the Saturday qualifiers. Drivers participating in qualifiers are reminded that training suits or colors are mandatory for all qualifying sessions. Hawthorne will host live racing on Friday, May 6th and Saturday, May 7th this week. Post time will be 7:20 p.m. each night. There will be no live racing on Sunday, May 8th. Hawthorne will then begin its four night a week schedule (Thur-Sun) starting on Thursday, May 12th. Tom Kelley

Racing Secretary Peter Hanley would like to remind all horsemen that stall applications for the 2016 Summer Harness Racing meet at Hawthorne Race Course are due by April 1st. Racing will kick off on Friday, May 6th and Saturday, May 7th which is Kentucky Derby weekend. The following week Hawthorne will move to a four day a week schedule with live racing being conducted on a Thursday thru Sunday schedule. Post time each night during the Summer meet will be 7:20 p.m. (central). Qualifiers will be held on Wednesday morning's throughout the summer meet with the first qualifiers tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, May 4th. The deadline for nominations to all the "Have Em Ready To Roll" late closing series races is April 15th. The entry fee for all those events is $200. More information and nomination forms can be found at www.HawthorneRaceCourse.com. The deadline for the ICF 2yo stakes program is also April 15th. Information on that can be found on the Hawthorne website and also on the Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association website at www.harnessillinois.com Tom Kelley  

After a seven-year absence from the harness racing scene at Hawthorne Race Course the trotters and pacers returned to the Stickney spa for a short four-week meet which kicked off on Jan. 8th. If the numbers that were put up are a sign of things to come racing fans will be in for a treat when the standardbreds return to Hawthorne in May for an extended five-month meet.    With “mother-nature” cooperating and fans throughout the country embracing the very competitive racing the 22-card meet averaged more than $916,000 on the mainly 10 race programs with $50,000 of that total coming on track.  Those numbers far exceeded management’s expectations lending further hope for a very successful summer meeting.    “The support we received from everywhere around the country was just tremendous,” said Publicity Director and Racing Analyst Jim Miller. “I would also like to thank TVG Network for all the support they gave us showing every card from start to finish. That is something we haven’t had for harness racing here in Illinois and that had a great impact on the handle.”    Longshot players enjoyed the non-stop action at Hawthorne as favorites clicked at less than a 36% clip. There were several $100 + win mutuels throughout the meet with the highlight being the $110,906 payout in the 20 cent Jackpot High Five on Friday, Jan. 29th.    The horsemen certainly did their part to support the product as well filling the entry box night after night for Racing Secretary Peter Hanley.  The meet featured three 11-horse fields, 174 10-horse fields, 36 nine-horse fields, 12 8-horse fields, and just one 7-horse field and one 6-horse field.    “Considering the fact this was my first time working in the Chicago market the horsemen were just super to work with,” said Hanley. “I really think we developed a great relationship with them and we did our best to get everyone raced as much as possible. It’s pretty amazing when you can say that 97% of your races featured full fields.”    Casey Leonard continued to dominate the local driving ranks taking home his first Hawthorne title over Simon Allard and Todd Warren. The training title came down to the final races of the Saturday card with veteran Jim Ellison edging out Ronnie Roberts, Terry Leonard and Alex Adam by a single win. The fastest mile of the meet was recorded by Burke Racing & Weaver Bruscemi’s Ontario Success who stopped the clock in 1:51.1 for trainer Roger Welch.    ABOUT HAWTHORNE RACE COURSE   Founded in 1891, Hawthorne Race Course is the 4th 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: www.HawthorneRaceCourse.com | Facebook.com/ClubHawthorne |     

STICKNEY, IL - Friday night at Hawthorne had the final two series finals for the winter harness racing meet as the females were featured in the Pretty Direct and Ohyouprettything Pacing Series. Race seven was the Pretty Direct Pacing Series final as a field of eight lined up. The favorite was Whiskersonkittens as she had driver Robert Smolin had won each of the first two legs of the series. At the start of the Pretty Direct final it was Pacifire that tried to leave for the lead but had to work a bit to clear Fox Valley Brooke. Lovethewayoulook made an early move on the backstretch to take over into the far turn. After a half in :57.3, Lovethewayoutlook was challenged by If I Didn't Dream while Whiskersonkittens circled five wide. In the stretch, the momentum of Whiskersonkittens carried her to the victory as the 7-5 choice in 1:55.1. Fox Valley Gypsy finished a half-length back in second while If I Didn't Dream was third. Whiskersonkittens swept all three races in the series for owner Ronald Knupp. She is trained by Kimberly Roth. The following race was the final of the Ohyouprettything Pacing Series as a field of ten lined up. The heavy favorite was Mystical Nectar as she looked to sweep the series. Early on, there were numerous lead changes as eventually second choice Fox Valley Bailey led the field into the turn. While favorite Mystical Nectar was starting to move from far back, Lollipop and Todd Warren got the jump and grabbed the lead into the stretch. The 38-1 shot Lollipop was able to hold off the late move of 55-1 shot Girls Girls Girls for the victory. Mystical Nectar finished third. Lollipop is owned by James Reynolds and Combs Investments, Inc. and trainer by Ronnie Roberts. Jim Miller

STICKNEY, IL - Thursday night at Hawthorne featured the final in the Dygert Trotting Series. The series was for harness racing colts, horses, and geldings that were non-winners of three pari-mutuel races or $15,000 lifetime as of December 1, 2015. The first two legs of the series were dominated by Topville Avatar as he won both legs by daylight. The final would be no different. From the outside, Riet's Kid left early and rushed to the front. Second choice Maple Grove Joe had settled in fourth while the 1-5 favorite, Topville Avatar sat sixth early on. Coming off the turn, Maple Grove Joe tipped three wide to rally up to the lead while Topville Avatar and driver Dale Hiteman quickly moved behind that one. In the final sixteenth, Topville Avatar took command and went on to win in a lifetime best 1:57.2. Maple Grove Joe finished second, All About Cowboys was third. Topville Avatar is owned by Paula Smith and James Runyan and trained by Joel Smith. Jim Miller  

STICKNEY, IL - A pair of harness racing series finals, along with a consolation final took place on a breezy Wednesday night at Hawthorne Race Course. Race six on the Wednesday card was the Whizzer R. White pacing series consolation final as a field of nine lined up after the scratch of Big Moon Rizing. Early in the consolation final JDs Brent N Sheree took the lead and led the field into the lane. At the top of the stretch he lost his action and dropped back. Dale Hiteman and Ocaptain Mycaptain ducked to the inside to avoid traffic and kept their momentum, winning in 1:57 over the track listed as good. First Frost made a sustained move to finish 2nd, while Mr Mark Patrick was third. Ocaptain Mycaptain is owned by Megan Rogers Racing Stables, Inc. and is trained by Carl Porcelli, Jr. Race seven was the $16,600 Suburban Downs Pacing Series final with a full field of ten. Leaving for the early lead was Tyron My Gigolo and Kyle Husted but they quickly gave up the early lead to Freedomformysoul. Freedomformysoul led the field into the lane as favorite Kolt Power looked for room while second choice Valiente Stride made a three wide bid. Late in the stretch, Freedomformysoul battled on but Tyron My Gigolo dove to the inside and rallied for the victory at 26-1. Freedomformysoul finished second, just holding off Valiente Stride. Tyron My Gigolo covered the mile in 1:54.4. Tyron My Gigolo is owned by Quaid Racing LLC and trained by James Ellison. Race eight was the $22,200 final of the Whizzer R. White Pacing Series as Over Friskie looked for a clean sweep of this series. The field of nine, after the scratch of Mr Pickpocket, saw Trace Tetrick move early to take the lead with 4-5 favorite Over Friskie early as John Jay tracked him the entire way. Into the stretch, Over Friskie opened up, winning by daylight in a lifetime best 1:53.2. John Jay held second, One To Draw To finished third. Over Friskie is owned by Ervin Wickey and trained by Tom Tetrick. Jim Miller

The final week of the "winter" harness racing meet at Hawthorne Race Course kicked off in a big way on Friday, Jan. 29th as one lucky fan nailed the $84,000 + carryover and Friday's additional pool monies taking home a whopping $110,906 on the 20 cent minimum jackpot wager. The winning ticket was sold at the Oregon "hub". Friday's very competitive 11-race program along with the carryover on the Jackpot High Five wager also helped produced the third $1,000,000 handle in the past week alone at the Stickney plant. "Looking at our projections based on the fact that you never know what kind of weather you will be dealing with in the Chicago area at this time of the year and the fact we did not know just how great the horse population would be we went into this hoping to be somewhere in $800,000 ballpark when it came to nightly handle," said Hawthorne's Director of Publicity and Racing Analyst Jim Miller. "Thanks to everyone on the staff working so hard together and the horsemen continuing to show their support we have far exceeded those goals and we're looking forward to a very big final week of action here." Included in that final week of action will be series finals and consolations for the Whizzer R White, Suburban Downs, Ohyouprettything, Pretty Direct and the Dygert Trotting Series. Racing Secretary Peter Hanley has reported that horsemen have continued to fill the entry box for the final week with more than 500 horses being dropped into the box for just the second to last weekend alone, prompting Hawthorne management to add an 11th race for Friday and Saturday. "I've said it already but I would like to say it again," said a smiling Hanley. "The horsemen have been great to work with here and have been more than willing to get their horses into the box as much as possible. I certainly look forward to seeing them again for the summer meet which starts in May and I really hope that momentum we've picked up as this has gone along will continue to roll right into that meet." Racing is conducted on a Wednesday through Sunday schedule with the final night of the meeting scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 6th. Post time each night is 7:20 p.m. (central). ABOUT HAWTHORNE RACE COURSE Founded in 1891, Hawthorne Race Course is the 4th 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: www.HawthorneRaceCourse.com | Facebook.com/ClubHawthorne | @ClubHawthorne.      

STICKNEY, IL - Leg 2 of the Ohyouprettything and Pretty Direct pacing series for harness racing fillies and mares took place on Friday evening at Hawthorne. The Ohyouprettything went in three divisions while the Pretty Direct was a full field of ten. In the first division of the Ohyouprettything, longshot JD's First Lady left and tried to steal things through a quick opening half. She led the field into the stretch but then things bunched up as heavy favorite Mystical Nectar took over with a quick three wide move. She continued her bid for driver Simon Allard as Mystical Nectar rolled to a four length victory in 1:55.2. Tamarac Smoochie finished second while Savoya Cruiser was third. The second division of the Ohyouprettything saw Lollipop carving out the early fractions while Gossip Model tracked her into the turn. Into the lane, Lucky Dali ranged up to challenge while Fox Valley Bailey tipped three wide to contend. It was Fox Valley Bailey who sustained her move and held off the late bid of Gossip Model, winning in 1:56.4. Lucky Dali finished third. The third division of the Ohyouprettything saw Backwoods Barbie sent off as the favorite. She moved early to challenge leader I Y Q Too on the backstretch but was unable to clear and eventually broke stride. In the end it was bombs away as 75-1 shot Don't Dali Around got up in the shadow of the wire for driver Brian Carpenter. Girls Girls Girls finished second while Sandy Win was third. Final time for the mile was 1:56.2. A full field of ten lined up for the second leg of the Pretty Direct pacing Series. Fox Valley Brooke set the early pace, tracked by favored Lovethewayoulook. In the stretch Lovethewayoulook grabbed the lead but couldn't hold off the late charge of Whiskersonkittens and driver Robert Smolin. Whiskersonkittens stopped the clock for the mile in 1:54. Lovethewayoulook was second, If I Didn't Dream finished third. Jim Miller

STICKNEY, IL - As temps started to warm (into the 30's) for the final two weeks of the Hawthorne winter harness racing meet, times have sped up as has the competition. On Wednesday night at Hawthorne, a fast track welcomed pacers for the second leg of the Whizzer R. White and Suburban Downs Pacing Series. The Whizzer R. White was divided into four series for leg two while the Suburban Downs went with one field of eleven for the second leg. The Wednesday evening card opened with the first division of the Whizzer R. White Pacing Series as a field of eight featured leg one division winners Pillage and Burn and Over Friskie. Those two were sent off as the favorites in the first division. Much like in leg 1, Over Friskie moved early to take the lead as Party Falls chased. Pillage and Burn tipped out at the top of the stretch and started to rally with Party Falls. At the wire there was no splitting Party Falls and Over Friskie as there was a dead-heat for the victory. Pillage and Burn finished third. Final time was 1:55. Race three on the Wednesday card was the second division of the Whizzer R. White that matched up another pair of leg one winners in Prince Bayard and Always Kenzer. Early on, favorite Prince Bayard was first to move as he took the lead into the far turn. Second over was John Jay as he raced for the first time with Lasix. John Jay was able to sustain his bid and drew clear late, winning in 1:55. Prince Bayard finished second, Always Kenzer was third. In race 4, the third division of the Whizzer R. White, a field of eight lined up as Caffeine Kid was a scratch. Early on, One To Draw To grabbed the lead but was pushed along through a strong opening half. First over was Mr Pickpocket and driver Casey Leonard as they moved three wide into the stretch. One To Draw To battled on while First Frost rallied up the rail but Mr Pickpocket held on by a head over First Frost. One to Draw To finished third. Final time was 1:55.4. The final division of the Whizzer R. White saw Lyons Jimmydean sent off as a strong favorite as he tucked in just behind the early pace. In the stretch, he tipped out to move and grabbed a brief lead but it was Macho Burbon who moved three wide to swoop for the victory. Lyons Jimmydean held second, Mr Mark Patrick was third. Final time was 1:55.1 In the second leg of the Suburban Downs Pacing Series, Why Ask Why was looking for his fourth victory of this winter meet. Early on, Kolt Power was sent for the lead and backed things down a bit on the backstretch. Pressed by Valiente Stride in the turn, Kolt Power dug in gamely. Late in the stretch, Why Ask Why found room along the inside but it was too late as Kolt Power held on for a neck score over Why Ask Why. Valiente Stride finished third. Final time was 1:54.4. Jim Miller

STICKNEY, IL - The harness racing ladies were the focus on Friday evening at Hawthorne as divisions of the Ohyouprettything and Pretty Direct Pacing Series took place. The Ohyouprettything went in four divisions and was for fillies and mares that had not won two pari-mutuel races or $10,000 lifetime as of December 1, 2015. The Pretty Direct was also for the females, non-winners of five pari-mutuel races or $25,000 lifetime as of December 1, 2015. The opener on Friday was the first division of the Ohyouprettything series as Flight on Time was sent off as the choice. Much like Thursday's card, speed did not hold though as Tamarac Smoochie settled behind the early pace and found room in the stretch to win going away. Driven by Casey Leonard, The Ft Apache Hanover mare was 5-1 and covered the mile in 1:58.3. A Very Nice Dragon was second and Going Shooten finished third. The second division of the Ohyouprettything was a very tight finish and proved to be some tense moments for those playing the favorite. A big late wager pushed Mystical Nectar down to 1-5 favoritism. She tipped out late in the lane and moved late, but just held on to win by a head over Backwoods Barbie. Simon Allard drove the Charley Barley mare for trainer Tyler Nostadt as they covered the mile in 1:56.4. Nashville Nasty rallied late to finish third. The Pretty Direct Pacing Series kicked off in race 3 on the Friday Hawthorne card as a field of seven lined up. Colorful Sky left and set the early fractions as she tried to back down the pace. The field bunched at the top of the stretch as Casey Leonard and favorite Fox Valley Gypsy angled out from sixth and began to rally. The Yankee Skyscraper filly got up in time to win in 1:55.3. Fox Valley Brooke was second while Addie Rose finished third. The third division of the Ohyouprettything Pacing Series proved to be another race where the winner closed from well back. Savoya Cruiser carved out the early fractions but in the lane LK's Nancy Lee angled out and closed strongly to win with Dale Hiteman in the sulky. Burry Me Inthesand rallied late for place as Our Miss Leah finished third. Final time for the mile was 1:58.1 as the Yankee Skyscraper filly was bet down to 2-1 favoritism. The second division of the Pretty Direct followed on the Friday card and featured a heavy favorite in Lovethewayoulook. She was in a tough spot early as she settled at the back of the pack from the start. She was first to move and swept up to the lead into the far turn. She wasn't able to sustain her rally though as Whiskersonkittens and driver Robert Smolin closed for the victory. Pacifire gained late for place while Lovethewayoulook was outfinished for third. The Party At Artsplace filly paced the mile in 1:55.4. The final division of the Ohyouprettything looked to be a wide open race going in and ended up being more than that way in the end. While favorites Gossip Model and Lollipop were contesting things into the lane, 99-1 Luvly Lil Terror found room late and squeezed through for the victory. Driver Pat Curtin won for trainer Loralee Johnson as the Western Terror filly paid $266 for the victory. The final time for the race was 1:55.2. Jim Miller    

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