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Hawthorne's family tradition hits century mark
By Mike Spellman | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 10/1/2009 12:03 AM | Updated: 10/1/2009 12:14 AM

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Who says there aren't any more family-owned businesses anymore?

When Hawthorne Race Course kicks off its fall thoroughbred meet Thursday (1:20 p.m. first post), it will mark the 100th year of Carey family ownership of the historic track.

"It has been a true honor to continue my family's legacy and I'm pleased that the tradition my great-grandparents began at the turn of the century continues to thrive today," said track president Tim Carey, who is the fourth-generation of the Carey family at the helm of Hawthorne. "Hawthorne has been home to many of my own family's memories, and we want the community to share in that experience; to come together and celebrate the success and thank those who have helped get us to this triumphant point in Hawthorne's history."

The track won't have to wait long to make a little more history thanks to a high-octane opening weekend of stakes racing, highlighted by the 73rd running of the $500,000 Grade II Hawthorne Gold Cup on Saturday.

The Saturday card also includes the $100,000 Grade III Carey Memorial and $100,000 Indian Maid Handicap on the turf.

And after a summer of occasionally smallish fields at Arlington Park, the folks at Hawthorne are hoping for plenty of full fields this fall.

"We have many more horses stabled on track, much earlier than with previous meetings," said racing secretary Gary Duch. "I realize that having a real dirt racetrack has been a positive for us at Hawthorne. Our barn area is full and I am expecting a great meet, as long as the weather cooperates."

Hawthorne will be racing live every Wednesday through Sunday this fall with a first post of 1:20 p.m. On Fridays through Nov. 20, post will be 2:30 p.m., with special twilight cards (5:30 p.m. post) on Oct. 9 and 16.

Arlington Park wrapup: The just concluded Arlington Park meet ended with owner Frank C. Calabrese and trainer Wayne Catalano in their familiar positions atop the standings in their respective divisions while jockey Junior Alvarado picked up his first Arlington riding title.

The white and black diamond silks of Calabrese were displayed in the winner's circle on 38 occasions. Calabrese has been the leading owner in races won at Arlington Park every year since sharing the title with Lothenbach Stables in 2000.

Following a bit of a slow start, Catalano quickly gained momentum to win 51 races to easily capture his fifth straight training crown and his eighth in the last 10 seasons.

Chris Block took down the money title for trainers with his starters earning $1,201,000 with Catalano in the runner-up spot with $1,096,063.

Alvarado won the race for leading jockey, which went down to the meet's final day with 110 victories, three more than runner-up James Graham, who did take the title in purses earned with $2,752,816. Alvarado finished second in money earned with $2,486,559.