March 13, 2017
Hawthorne Race Course, where horsemen are represented by the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, has joined the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.
Hawthorne, in a March 13 release, said it has become one of the leading destinations for NTRA National Handicapping Championship qualifying contests in recent years and will further expand on that position because of discounted NTRA-member pricing. The NTRA organizes the contest and related tour each year.
“This year has really been a year of change at Hawthorne, in a good way, and part of those changes include our return to the NTRA,” said Tim Carey, Hawthorne President and General Manager. “We are off to a great start for the racing season as handle has grown due to our later post (time) and support of our horsemen in the entry box.
“With our overnight purses solidified from last year, we are pleased to return the Illinois Derby to the racing schedule as well. With all of this in place, the player remains a main focus for us at Hawthorne. Our NHC qualifiers have grown through the years in popularity and exposure. With our partnership with the NTRA, we expect to further grow these tournaments into the place to be nationally when we host them.”
The Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, at its board of directors meeting March 10, reaffirmed its support for the NTRA.
Hawthorne is in the midst of its winter/spring meet, comprised of 22 twilight racing programs on Fridays and Saturdays in March and Thursdays through Saturdays in April. First post is 4:10 p.m. CDT. Following a one-year hiatus to solidify the purse account, the $250,000 Illinois Derby, a grade III event, is back on the stakes schedule and set for April 22.
(Hawthorne photo courtesy of ITHA)