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Illinois Derby at Hawthorne Racecourse

5 April 2009 No Comment

For the first time I attended the Illinois Derby at Hawthorne Racecourse. I chose this event rather than attend the Chicago Bulls game which tipped off Saturday afternoon at 1 pm. The reasons I chose to attend the Illinois Derby were:

1) I had never attended the Illinois Derby which is a prep race for the Kentucky Derby.
2) I had never attended an event at Hawthorne Racecourse.

Obtaining Tickets and Parking
Parking at Hawthorne is free unless you want to park close to the entrance. Entrance to Hawthorne Racecourse is only $3. Most people had cutout an advertisement from either the Chicago Tribune or Chicago Sun-Times which gave people free entrance to the race.

The Event
I arrived at the track just before Race 2. The race started as I was walking through the parking lot so I stopped and watched the race from the parking lot. After the race, two guys hopped the fence rather than pay through the turnstile.

Race 7 was the Illinois Derby. I bet on Muscat Man to win and Giant Oak to show before the race. Muscat Man did win and Giant Oak placed so I won both of my bets. With the win, Muscat Man qualified for the Kentucky Derby with his fifth win in six starts.

Hawthorne Racecourse
After attending five racing days this past summer at Arlington Park, I expected Hawthorne Racecourse to have a similar feel. However, Hawthorne is much more run down than Arlington Park. Most of the seats are indoors since Hawthorne races during the fall (October, November, December and early January) and the spring (March and April) – cold weather months in Chicago where most people would not attend the event if they had to sit outside.

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