12/11/2004 12:00AM

Meadow Bride runs away with Illinois Debutante

Four Footed Fotos
Meadow Bride wins the Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante on Saturday at Hawthorne Race Course.

STICKNEY, Ill. - The place to be Saturday at Hawthorne Race Course was the inside part of the track. It was from there that Meadow Bride broke in the Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante, and the race was no contest.

Pressing the pace from the start, Meadow Bride edged up two paths wide on the backstretch, took the lead on the far turn, and ran by herself through the stretch, winning the $116,175 Debutante by 5 3/4 lengths.

Victories of any sort have not come easy this meet for legendary trainer Richard Hazelton, who entered the day with 3 wins from 66 starters. But this one did. Meadow Bride, a homebred owned by Richard Radke's Asiel Stable, had finished second to a nice horse, Bluesbdancing, here in the Nov. 13 Showtime Deb, another stakes race for Illinois-bred 2-year-old fillies. The Debutante was her first start at two turns, and she aced the test.

The 49-1 Stef's Inheritance was gunned to the lead, with Cart's Turn hot on her heels just outside Meadow Bride. The opening quarter-mile went in 24.25 seconds - slow considering the track conditions - the half in 47.92, three-quarters in 1:12.96, and by then Meadow Bride and jockey Carlos Silva were gone. You Heard Me Cart came from 11th to finish second, while Capistrano rallied from 12th to get third. Meadow Bride was timed in 1:45.92 for 1 1/16 miles on a fast track.

Meadow Bride, by Runaway Groom out of the stakes winner Bonita Meadow, paid $5.20 to win as the favorite.