Horse Racing

Pair of Hawthorne Turf Stakes Compliment Breeders’ Cup Weekend


Pair of Hawthorne Turf Stakes Compliment Breeders’ Cup Weekend

As much of the focus this weekend will take place on the Breeders’ Cup action at Del Mar, a pair of nice cards have been assembled this weekend at Hawthorne. On Saturday, co-featured turf stakes will take place with the running of the Illini Princess and Buck’s Boy Handicap. Each race is slated to be run at 1 1/16 miles on the turf course and both carry a purse of $100,000.

Illini Princess Handicap

Going as race two on the Saturday card, the Illini Princess Handicap has a field of eight entered, led by Prado’s Sweet Ride from the barn of trainer Chris Block. Owned by Darrell and Sadie Brommer, Prado’s Sweet Ride is a six-time winner on her career for over $300,000 in career earnings. This year she has raced exclusively in stakes-company, winning the New Orleans Ladies overnight stakes in April, and finishing second in the Grade 3 Modesty Handicap at Arlington on July 8. Prado’s Sweet Ride is the 9-5 morning line favorite and will be ridden by Jose Lopez.

Second choice at 3-1 is Lovely Loyree from the barn of trainer Michele Boyce. A winner seven times from 19 career starts, Lovely Loyree is lightly raced in 2017, making only a pair of starts. In her first race back off an 11 month layoff, she defeated Prado’s Sweet Ride while winning the Mike Spellman Memorial Handicap at Arlington on June 17. She most recently finished second in the Steve Morgan Memorial Stakes on Sept. 23. Victor Santiago gets the mount on Lovely Loyree. 

One Liz is one of a pair from the barn of Wayne Catalano as he also has Stormin Elle in the Illini Princess. After a winless 2016 season, One Liz grabbed a pair of victories on the polytrack at Arlington to open her 2017 campaign. She had a pair of near misses on the turf in optional claiming allowance races at Arlington before most recently finishing sixth in the Grade 1 First Lady Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 7. Edgar Perez gets the call as One Liz is 7-2 in the morning line.

The field for the Illini Princess Handicap:

Buck’s Boy Handicap

Named for the Illinois-bred Breeders’ Cup Turf winning and Eclipse Award Champion Turf Horse of 1998, the Buck’s Boy Handicap has a field of nine entered. The talented group is led by trainer Brian Williamson’s Oak Brook. The 3-1 favorite in the morning line, Oak Brook won the state-bred Black Tie Affair Handicap at Arlington on June 17. He moved up off that race, finishing a close second in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap before running sixth, beaten only 2 ¼ lengths in the Grade 1 Arlington Million. Oak Brook will be ridden on Saturday by Edgar Perez.

Trainer Chris Block runs a pair in the Buck’s Boy as Cammack and Bold Rally will both make starts in the race. Cammack is the 7-2 second choice in the Buck’s Boy as he has won three times on the year. He put together back to back wins in Florida early in the season, winning the Old Man Eloquent Stakes at Gulfstream in February, followed by a starter score at Tampa Bay Downs in April. He enters the Buck’s Boy off a win in the Les Ahrens Memorial at Arlington on Sept. 23, defeating Oak Brook in that race.

Bold Rally is the second Chris Block entrant in the Buck’s Boy as he makes his first stakes start of the year. A three time winner in 2017, Bold Rally scored in optional claiming races on the polytrack and turf during the summer Arlington meet. He was claimed away from the Block barn on Aug. 17, but recently claimed back into the barn on Oct. 20.  He will be ridden by Julio Felix and is 4-1 in the morning line.

The field for the Buck’s Boy Handicap:

HandiKapping presented by Xpressbet

HandiKapping presented by Xpressbet

In the latest edition of HandiKapping presented by Xpressbet, NBC Sports Chicago's David Kaplan makes his picks for the weekend.

Kap made his picks with the help of Eddie Olczyk this week.

Ghaaleb’s Winner Leads Becker Trio into Sun Power Stakes


Ghaaleb’s Winner Leads Becker Trio into Sun Power Stakes

Trainer Scott Becker sends out a trio of geldings for owner William Stiritz in the $100,000 Sun Power Stakes on Saturday at Hawthorne. The Sun Power is for Illinois-bred juvenile colts and geldings and will be contested at six furlongs on the main track.

Leading the way for the Becker trainees is Ghaaleb’s Winner as the 2-1 morning-line favorite will be ridden on Saturday by Chris Emigh. An impressive debut winner at Fairmount Park on Aug. 15, Ghaaleb’s Winner shipped to Arlington Park to contest the Arlington Washington Futurity in his next start. After being bumped at the start and dropping back to last early, he rallied to finish a solid third in that seven furlong event. His most recent start came at Hawthorne on Oct. 19 as he got a perfect trip en-route to a two-and-a-half length victory against optional claiming allowance company. Ghaaleb’s Winner will be joined in the race by Becker entrants Gita’s Lad (8-1) and Caleb’s Heir (15-1).

The second and third choices in the morning line come from the Larry Rivelli barn in Demand Ransom and Pass the Gravy. Demand Ransom was a solid winner on debut at Arlington on Aug. 3, defeating $25,000 maiden claimers by nearly seven lengths. His most recent race was a third-place effort behind Ghaaleb’s Winner after contesting the pace with Pass the Gravy on Oct, 19. Julio Felix gets the call once again on Demand Ransom, who is the 9-2 second-choice.

Pass the Gravy is the second Rivelli entrant in the Sun Power Stakes as Rodney Prescott gets the call on the 5-1 morning-line third choice. Pass the Gravy also got off to a fine start on his racing career, winning at first asking over the polytrack at Arlington on Sept. 2. After a six-week break, he was pushed along in his most recent race by Demand Ransom, tiring in the lane to finish fifth to Ghaaleb’s Winner.

Sir Anthony is the 6-1 fourth choice in the line in the Sun Power for owner Richard Otto Stables, Inc. and trainer Anthony Mitchell. Sir Anthony debuted at Arlington on Sept. 2, finishing third in a maiden race won by Pass the Gravy. He tried the turf at Hawthorne on Oct. 20, chasing the early pace around two turns before tiring to finish fifth in that spot. He enters the Sun Power off a maiden score at Hawthorne on Nov. 1. Santo Sanjur takes the return ride on Sir Anthony.

The field for the Sun Power Stakes:

PP           Horse                                 Jockey              Trainer                 M/L

1              Run for Charlie                  J. Lopez                S. Manley            20-1

2              Gita’s Lad                            V. Santiago         S. Becker             8-1

3              Ghaaleb’s Winner            C. Emigh               S. Becker             2-1

4              Mr. Luv Maker                  F. Giles                 T. Dorris               8-1

5              Im The Best I Know         E. Perez                W. Catalano        12-1

6              Demand Ransom             J. Felix                   L. Rivelli                9-2

7              Caleb’s Heir                        V. Bailon              S. Becker             15-1

8              Sir Anthony                        S. Sanjur              A. Mitchell          6-1

9              Pass the Gravy                  R. Prescott          L. Rivelli                5-1