08/13/2009 11:00PM

Hawthorne, Arlington cut stakes


Bowing to harsh economic realities, both Hawthorne and Arlington announced reductions to their 2009 stakes programs this week.

Hawthorne has eliminated the $200,000 Bill Hartack Memorial Handicap on Nov. 21, and has cut $50,000 from the purses of the Robert F. Carey Memorial and the Hawthorne Derby. Arlington, meanwhile, slashed the purse for the Sept. 5 Washington Park Handicap from $300,000 to $200,000, and has eliminated a couple of overnight stakes races from its remaining 2009 schedule.

Jim Miller, Hawthorne's assistant general manager, said the track plans to run the Hartack as an overnight stakes race in 2009, and will consider bringing the race back as a regular stakes in 2010. The new purse for the Carey is $100,000, while the Hawthorne Derby is worth $200,000 this year. Hawthorne's barn area opens Sept. 10 and training begins

Sept. 14 in advance of its fall-winter meeting.

Miller also said that Hawthorne has requested to run two 6 p.m. programs this October. The Illinois Racing Board will approve the evening cards if Hawthorne can reach an agreement with Chicago harness-racing interests - which currently control night racing - before Sept. 1.