Jim Miller

Return of Illinois Derby Highlights Hawthorne Meet

The $200,000 Illinois Derby will return for Hawthorne's spring/summer Thoroughbred meet, which begins Saturday, Mar. 23. The racing season will extend six weeks longer in comparison to the 2023 year as racing concludes Sunday, Oct. 23. The Illinois Derby, scheduled for Sunday, Apr. 21, will serve as an official prep for this year's GI Preakness S. Hawthorne Race Course will pay for the Illinois Derby winner's entry fee into the Preakness if they choose to run. The Illinois Derby, previously a Grade III, was most recently contested in 2017. "We...

[ Read More ]
Air Quality Concerns Cause Midwest Cancellations

Dangerous air quality conditions caused by wildfires in Canada have forced the cancellation of the live racing programs at Hawthorne Race Course in suburban Chicago and at Horseshoe Indianapolis further to the south and east. "Based on the poor air quality in Indiana today's races have been canceled," a tweet from the track read. "This decision was made mutually with our horsemen based on the safety of the participants in our racing program coming first. A decision on bringing today's races back will be made shortly." Track announcer John Dooley...

[ Read More ]
The Week in Review: Hawthorne Proving that Lowering Takeout Works

The handle on Thursday's nine-race card at Hawthorne was $2,080,655. That may not seem like much, but at Hawthorne, which opened Mar. 5, it was a cause for celebration. It was the fourth time this year that the Chicago-area track had topped the $2-million mark in handle, something that happened just once all of last year. What's going on? The answer, says Hawthorne Racing Analyst Jim Miller, is that bettors are gravitating towards the track's 12% takeout in the win, place and show pool, an industry low. "The lower takeout...

[ Read More ]
Hawthorne Swaps Saturdays For Thursdays For Remainder Of Season

Hawthorne Race Course will swap out Saturdays in favor of Thursdays for the upcoming June-through-Labor Day portion of its season, continuing a schedule switch that the Chicago-area track began with the current spring meet. The Illinois Racing Board (IRB) granted the change with a unanimous vote at its Apr. 20 meeting. Right now Hawthorne is racing on a Thursday-and-Sunday schedule. The changes will go into effect starting May 31, when the meet expands to three days: Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Post times are 2:30 p.m. Central. Jim Miller, Hawthorne's racing...

[ Read More ]
The Week in Review: Handle Falls Sharply Again in February… What's Going On?

Figures released last week by Equibase showed that U.S. handle declined by 5.21% in February. This comes after handle declined by 7.19% in January. For the year, that's a drop off of 6.22% and, if those numbers hold up throughout the year, total handle will be off by $750 million and the year-over-year percentage decline will be the worst the sport has suffered since 2010. And it's not just that racing has gotten off to a slow, reversible start this year when it comes to wagering. Whatever is going on,...

[ Read More ]

Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.