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: