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Sep 09, 2011

Hawthorne Gold Cup to offer doubled purse


Stickney, IL (Sports Network) - The Hawthorne Gold Cup, the premier event during Hawthorne's autumn race meet, has received a purse increase of $250,000, which doubles last year's total.

The 1 1/4-mile race for older thoroughbreds will be conducted on Saturday, October 8.

"The return of the Hawthorne Gold Cup to $500,000 was very important to us and I was pleased that our horsemen recognized the significance of this race as well," stated Hawthorne assistant general manager Jim Miller.

"The Gold Cup is the richest dirt race in Illinois and consistently sends horses to the Breeders' Cup," Miller added. "With the Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs this year, Hawthorne is a perfect spot for that final prep for anything from the Dirt Mile to the Marathon to the Breeders' Cup Classic."

In 1998 Awesome Again won the Breeders' Cup Classic after taking the Gold Cup. This year's Gold Cup comes four weeks before the Breeders' Cup.

Last year the Gold Cup's purse was reduced by 50 percent from $500,000 the previous four runnings. The race had a purse of $750,000 from 2003-05.

Hawthorne Race Course will open for the fall on Saturday, October 1 and conclude live racing on Saturday December 31.

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