WHAT: Opening day, March 6th, 2009, will mark the 100th year of family-owned horseracing at Hawthorne Race Course under the proprietorship of the Carey family. This anniversary distinguishes Hawthorne as the oldest continuously family-owned and operated race track in the nation. The races will kick off at 12:20 p.m. with a special, local celebrity 1/16th mile sprint in the style of racing from 100 years ago with a rope line start. Racing in this special event will be radio “jockeys” John “Jurko” Jurkovich, Harry Teinowitz and Carmen DeFalco of the Afternoon Saloon show and Tom Waddle of Waddle & Silvy on ESPN 1000. Morning show host Marc Silverman will call the race live on-air.

In celebration of this historic event, Hawthorne will be hosting a jockey autograph session. Jockeys Brandon and his father Randy Meier of Winfield, Illinois, will make a special appearance. Randy Meier is Hawthorne Race Course’s all-time leading jockey and his son, apprentice Brandon, currently stars in Animal Planet’s hit show Jockeys. The father and son will race each other at 3:20 p.m. on March 6.

The autograph party will also include winner of Hawthorne’s 2008 fall meet, Inez Karlsson. Karlsson capped her strong season in Illinois with national honors as well as becoming a finalist for the prestigious Eclipse Award, finishing second in the voting as leading apprentice rider in North America.
WHERE: Hawthorne Race Course—3501 S. Laramie in Stickney, Illinois
WHEN: Jockey Party- 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. in first floor grandstand
Celebrity race to kick off 100th anniversary at 12:20 p.m. (This is a non-betting, promotional race.)
Races start at 1:25 p.m.
Randy and Brandon Meier race at 3:20 p.m.