10/01/2010 3:47PM

Hawthorne: Opening day underway with tiring main track


Friday conditions are cloudy, 70 degrees, west wind (head in stretch) 5-10

First three races opening day all routes, two on dirt. Surprise, surprise (not): The Hawthorne main track is laboring as all get out. Pretty standard 24-second and change opening quarter-miles in the dirt races, but look at these six-furlong splits: 1:15.95 in race 1, 1:15.55 in race 3. Final time for one and one-sixteenth miles in race 1 was 1:49.70, and in race 3 a glacial 1:51.76. Both fields of pretty cheap horses, but still.

The turf's a totally different story. Sustained dry weather has left the ground in Chi-town quite hard at the moment. Race 2 winner Corrupt, who got a golden trip with big whole opening for him at top of stretch, went one and one-eighth miles in 1:50.40, with sub-12 second final furlong. Winner no. 1 for trainer Jamie Ness, with many more to come this fall, one presumes.