12/08/2009 1:00AM

Hawthorne cancels Wednesday, Thursday


STICKNEY, Ill. - Hawthorne Race Course has cancelled its racing programs for Wednesday and Thursday in anticipation of a winter storm's arrival in Chicago late Tuesday. Morning training also has been suspended until Friday, but the track will remain open for simulcast wagering.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the area around Hawthorne was forecast to receive 2 to 4 inches of snow, with much heavier storm totals forecast for northern Illinois and Wisconsin. Cold, blustery conditions are forecast for Thursday.

"It is always tough to call off training and races prior to weather arriving," said Hawthorne assistant general manager Jim Miller. "My concern is that the high winds and snow will create dangerous conditions for our jockeys and horses. Additionally, the cold temperatures on Thursday could cause the track to freeze if we allow too much moisture to mix into the racing surface."

The cancellations could help rejuvenate the flagging pace of entries at the meet. Just 67 horses were entered on Wednesday's nine-race program; 73 were entered for the same number of races Thursday. Miller said in the release that Hawthorne planned to bring back races that had been scheduled for the cancelled programs.

"We will add races beginning with Saturday's card, and I expect us to make up all of those races that are cancelled," Miller said.