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Big Weekend Ahead; Don't Fall Asleep On Hawthorne


While the eyes of many handicappers will be gazing at Keeneland and Belmont this weekend, as the former offers two graded stakes Friday and another seven Saturday and Belmont matches stride with four Grade I events Saturday, Hawthorne Race Course will hold the opening day of its fall meet on Friday beginning at 2:20 p.m.

Those that spent the summer playing Canterbury races await the Cicreo, Ill. meet as several Shakopee runners resurface. Ample attention must be paid to Kentucky and New York as the races there may have a profound impact on Breeders’ Cup and will feature some of the best in the business, however a glance over the Hawthorne entries, which for the first two days are healthy, could be fruitful.

At the very least, tracking the progress of the Canterbury shippers makes sense. The fields are largely composed of Arlington horses with a few Kentucky and Fairmont Park horses scattered in.

On Friday’s card there are two Canterbury horses with recent action entered at Hawthorne.

Race 1 – #10 Gray Cotton – speedy maiden that finds the right distance and is 9/2.
Race 6 – #3  Tiz Prime Time – back-to-back wins before the meet concluded. 6-1 morning line. Trainer Gary Scherer at Hawthorne is good enough to bet in the blind.

Saturday offers six possible plays. If you decide to simply bet them all and hope for a flat bet profit, you will be taking a hold of some horses that look awful on paper and thus will be long odds. Note post time is 5 p.m. so you can get your fill of graded stakes action early and then dive in to Hawthorne for the evening.

Race 1 – #7 – Look Out Baby drops from MSW to maiden claimer after losing by 29 and 13 lengths.  One of a few Brinson has entered. This one is 8-1.
Race 2 – #8 Aaron’s Belt. The 2015 Princess Elaine Stakes winner now on sale for $8,000 after a winless seven-race Canterbury campaign this season. Morning line says 20-1. She will make a late move as usual.
Race 3 – #3 That’s Awe Mine never been close in career and only raced twice in Shakopee with long breaks. The 5-1 morning line seems short.
Race 4 – #4 Victory Colors and #6 Spirit Grabber are 15-1 and 20-1 respectively, the longest odds on the morning line.  Victory Colors has not won for nearly two years. Spirit Grabber broke through in a maiden claimer on the dirt but is now back on the turf.
Race 9 – #8 Drinkinatthebar is a MN bred now facing open company and will be all of the 10-1 morning line.

Don’t forget the free-to-enter Countdown to the Cup Contest as well as the $10 Hawthorne Qualifier Super Satellite.

Get Ready for Breeders’ Cup

Breeders’ Cup post times were announced earlier this week. With Santa Anita again hosting the event, it will be a later day for those of us in the Midwest. While for some that means stopping at Canterbury after work Friday to play, keep in mind that advance wagering on both the Friday and Saturday card will be available on Thursday.

All times listed are central.

Friday, November 4
Race 1      1:25 PM
Race 2      2:00 PM
Race 3      2:35 PM
Race 4        3:10 PM
Race 5        3:45 PM
Race 6     4:25 PM
Race 7     5:05 PM
Race 8     5:50 PM
Race 9     6:35 PM   Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff
Race 10      7:10 PM

Saturday, November 5
Race 1      12:15 PM
Race 2      12:50 PM
Race 3      1:25 PM
Race 4   2:05 PM
Race 5   2:43 PM
Race 6     3:21 PM
Race 7     4:05 PM
Race 8     4:43 PM
Race 9     5:22 PM
Race 10   6:01 PM
Race 11   6:40 PM
Race 12   7:35 PM   Breeders’ Cup Classic

*BOLD are Breeders’ Cup World Championships races