12/28/2013 7:59PM

Hawthorne cuts short Saturday card after track thaws quickly


Hawthorne Race Course outside Chicago canceled the last six races on its Saturday card, citing thawing of its dirt main track.

The track was officially rated fast for the first two races on Saturday, but changed to wet-fast for the third race. With a gusty south wind funneling air from the Gulf of Mexico, high temperatures around Chicago soared Saturday afternoon into the 50s, the warmest weather since early November.

Spurring the cancellation was a spill in race 4. Hitthelights, stalking the pace on the inside, either clipped heels or stumbled partway around the far turn and fell, unseating jockey Heidi Rose. A trailing horse, Miraculous Mike, fell over Hitthelights, sending jockey Inosencio Diego to the ground. Both horses walked off the track, according to the official chart of the race. Rose and Diego were transported to Loyola Medical Center for evaluation, though neither rider appeared to have sustained critical injury, according to a Hawthorne news release.