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PoloUK6108
11-17-2017, 07:23 PM
Going to Chicago the first part of December and figure what hell? Let's go to the races at Hawthorne. Dont say "it's a dump don't go" because I'm going to see a new track and add another to my list. I'm 26, surely I can rack up a decent number before they all shut down or I kick the bucket. :rip:But chime in on what I'm in for as well as pointers for a Saturday at Hawthorne.

PoloUK6108
11-17-2017, 07:26 PM
Whoops thought I was in General discussion not Selections. Move or delete please

SkunkApe
11-18-2017, 02:40 PM
My sister lives in Chicago.

I've been to both Arlington and Hawthorne.

Arlington is gorgeous (but has a Poly track.)

Hawthorne seems more like "the low side of the road." The hole-in-the-sneaker guy, the guy reading the program at the urinal, cheap beer and brat combo deals. I much prefer Hawthorne.

PaceAdvantage
11-18-2017, 05:12 PM
Whoops thought I was in General discussion not Selections. Move or delete pleaseMoved...

Afleet
11-18-2017, 06:29 PM
Going to Chicago the first part of December and figure what hell? Let's go to the races at Hawthorne. Dont say "it's a dump don't go" because I'm going to see a new track and add another to my list. I'm 26, surely I can rack up a decent number before they all shut down or I kick the bucket. :rip:But chime in on what I'm in for as well as pointers for a Saturday at Hawthorne.

I have only been once about 3-4 years ago. Not a lot of people there, it was in November. A filly I had a small stake in won a MSW there-so I love it, fond memories!

thaskalos
11-18-2017, 11:32 PM
The best advice that I can give you is...don't indulge in the 3-card Monte game that a tall, skinny black guy deals in the parking lot after the races. Take my word for it...it's a no-win situation.

stuball
11-19-2017, 10:12 AM
The best advice that I can give you is...don't indulge in the 3-card Monte game that a tall, skinny black guy deals in the parking lot after the races. Take my word for it...it's a no-win situation.

LOL LOL :D That is so funny Thask I saw him about 20 years ago or was it his dad? Ahhhhh Memories they are all I have left....:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:!!!!!!!

Stuball

olddaddy
11-19-2017, 10:26 AM
LOL LOL :D That is so funny Thask I saw him about 20 years ago or was it his dad? Ahhhhh Memories they are all I have left....:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:!!!!!!!

Stuball


20 years? Heck I remember this going on at sportsmans and Hawthorne 50 years ago.

Striker
11-19-2017, 12:11 PM
They are only racing on Fridays and Saturdays this year in December which is a little different from last year.

Milkshaker
11-20-2017, 01:49 PM
Hawthorne is an awesome old-school track in all of its gritty glory. Definitely go!

Haven't been myself for abt. 8 years, but highlights at my last visit were....

1) Great selection of old winner's circle & Hawthorne Gold Cup photos all around the clubhouse.

2) The outdoors "nosebleed" seats in the grandstand third floor have to be the steepest trackside seating I have ever encountered. Definitely go up there to watch the start of a route race. You are practically looking down on the starting gate from directly above and you will hear the pre-race chatter like you are in the gate with the horses.

3) In a perverse way, I enjoyed the apocalyptic outdoors view from the back mezzanine (people went out there pretty much just to smoke when I visited). It looks directly out onto where the old Sportsman's Park used to be (yes, the two tracks were once side by side, I believe separated by the city limits borders of Cicero & Stickney). It was converted to an auto racetrack in the 1990s, and then left to decay/ruin.

A heads up: You can take public transportation to & from the track if you are staying in downtown Chicago, but numerous people at the track warned me away from going back into the city via the shuttle buses & trains after dark. Cab ride was only about $30 on an early Saturday evening w/ no traffic and well worth the money in terms of saving time (and perhaps from a safety standpoint too). I am very used to being around "sketchy" racetracks at night, but Hawthorne was the one track in my life where I had won abt. $700 and felt compelled to go into a men's room stall, take off a shoe, and hide the money in my sock until I got back to my hotel.

chiguy
11-20-2017, 05:40 PM
The best advice that I can give you is...don't indulge in the 3-card Monte game that a tall, skinny black guy deals in the parking lot after the races. Take my word for it...it's a no-win situation.

Seen that same guy too. He had a couple of partners who would pick the right card to draw you in. Also back then there was a guy selling polish sausages on the way out. He barked so convincingly that my friend and I each got a polish even though we weren't really hungry. It was almost like an order from him.

wisconsin
11-20-2017, 05:42 PM
A beverage distributor warehouse now occupies old Sportsman's land.

The upper deck seats are awesome. Best view of any track anywhere that I have been to, over 50 of them.

Always thought the old brick tote board was pretty cool.

Any track you have not yet been to is worth a visit!

Knowclew
11-20-2017, 09:50 PM
Good advice on the location, as far as being safe. If you are smart commuting, you will be safe.

As for the track experience, it is definitely 1980 all over again. Old school all the way, mostly in a good way. Sight lines are poor in most spots, but it's still the track!!! You gotta go.

Prepare for it to be cold inside, it's kind of an old industrial feeling building. When the doors open, cold blasts in. If the weather is ok (30's or up) walk down to the paddock area, and near the winners circle. A lot of the local horseman hang around, and typically are pretty good with the fans.

Every track is an experience, and Hawthorne is no exception. Also a few good bars inside, the one near the wire just inside the entrance has plenty of players there, and always some good drink specials.

BIG49010
11-21-2017, 12:04 PM
Last time I was there, I got stuck on elevator, the place is in serious need of repairs. Casinos have not been kind to Illinois racing in general, and if you want to see this place you better do it, because most likely it is heading the way of Sportsmans! RIP! Those of us that were around for the old Hawthorne that burned, were shocked at what a they built years ago.

You might want to go see Arlington, even though they are not racing, but you can bet at Trackside which as some people know, is the model for Kentucky Downs.

Track Collector
11-21-2017, 05:34 PM
Any track you have not yet been to is worth a visit!

Exactly! :jump:

illinoisbred
11-21-2017, 07:40 PM
Friends in my small group refer to Hawthorne as Fairmount Park North. Personally, I have not been to Hawthorne for 5 or 6 years but it is worth a visit. You'll pretty much have the place to yourself unless you attend on a Saturday.

dilanesp
11-21-2017, 08:17 PM
I went to Hawthorne way back in the late 1980's. It was a perfectly functional track, but nothing more.

Valuist
11-21-2017, 08:20 PM
The best advice that I can give you is...don't indulge in the 3-card Monte game that a tall, skinny black guy deals in the parking lot after the races. Take my word for it...it's a no-win situation.

:lol:

Scanman
11-22-2017, 06:46 PM
Going to Chicago the first part of December and figure what hell? Let's go to the races at Hawthorne. Dont say "it's a dump don't go" because I'm going to see a new track and add another to my list. I'm 26, surely I can rack up a decent number before they all shut down or I kick the bucket. :rip:But chime in on what I'm in for as well as pointers for a Saturday at Hawthorne.Excellent, Polo. Try to see them all. I'm visiting #358 on Saturday, Garrison Savannah in Barbados.

I visited Hawthorne about 8 years ago, so my recollection is dodgy. I remember it being in a pretty rundown area, but once I was inside the track, no worries. My experience at the track was favorable (caught a nice sunny day in November). I had a rental car, so I can't speak of public transport. I did make sure not to stop in the local vicinity.

Lots of good advice on offer by other posters. Hope you have a great day and cash lots of tickets!!!

Track Collector
11-22-2017, 07:07 PM
Excellent, Polo. Try to see them all. I'm visiting #358 on Saturday, Garrison Savannah in Barbados.

I visited Hawthorne about 8 years ago, so my recollection is dodgy. I remember it being in a pretty rundown area, but once I was inside the track, no worries. My experience at the track was favorable (caught a nice sunny day in November). I had a rental car, so I can't speak of public transport. I did make sure not to stop in the local vicinity.

Lots of good advice on offer by other posters. Hope you have a great day and cash lots of tickets!!!

I visited Hawthorne about 20 years ago. I was able to get in the visit after a work trip to a supplier. Nothing special that I recall. Weather was chilly. Not a successful day of handicapping. I do remember the better than average looking toteboard with stone/brick portions.

Hey Tom, how about posting some pictures of Garrison Savannah went you get back. Should be a neat track visit!

Scanman
11-22-2017, 09:57 PM
Hey Tom, how about posting some pictures of Garrison Savannah went you get back. Should be a neat track visit!Chris - Will do. I've already arranged for a course walk and tour of the facilities on Friday morning. Looking forward to a fantastic day!

PoloUK6108
12-13-2017, 05:51 PM
Went to Hawthorne on Saturday and had a pretty awesome time. Uber'd there from Trump tower (which was an amazing place to stay) and arrived for the 3rd. It was so much what I expected :D . So outdated and rundown but I still loved it. Wished they hadn't closed the upstairs so I could've gotten some better pictures but that's ok. The paddock was very unique. Extremely run down and dirty, but unique nonetheless. I met up with a friend I met on Twitter who lives in Chicago and he shared lots of Chicago circuit knowledge with me which was awesome, but my handicapping at Hawthorne was awful. Cashed a few elsewhere and had a great Uber driver who happened to be from Louisville take me back to the tower. Fun weekend in the city.

Valuist
12-13-2017, 07:02 PM
I was in the Chicago area around T-giving and went to Hawthorne for the first time in about 5 years. It was Hawthorne Gold Cup day, their biggest race, and it looked and felt like a ghost town.

At the end of the day, I went to a teller to cash in my voucher. While she's counting out my money, she proceeds to cough all over it. As I'm leaving the window, she mutters "gee, thanks a lot" in a sarcastic tone, apparently because I didn't tip her.

PoloUK6108
12-14-2017, 12:32 AM
Yeah it wasn't the most welcoming place..when I first walked in it reminded me of a strip joint it was so dark. Felt like I was stepping into the Godfathers study. The whole place felt as if it had been unchanged since the 60s or 70s. Fun to see it before it's gone. Although, it could outlast many simply because it's in such a terrible area there's no foreseeable threat to the land anytime soon you wouldn't think. It's a rough part of town. I thought the neighborhood around Churchill was bad...

Valuist
12-14-2017, 01:11 AM
Yeah it wasn't the most welcoming place..when I first walked in it reminded me of a strip joint it was so dark. Felt like I was stepping into the Godfathers study. The whole place felt as if it had been unchanged since the 60s or 70s. Fun to see it before it's gone. Although, it could outlast many simply because it's in such a terrible area there's no foreseeable threat to the land anytime soon you wouldn't think. It's a rough part of town. I thought the neighborhood around Churchill was bad...

Driving down Cermak thru Berwyn and Cicero, I thought I time traveled back to 1965.

wisconsin
12-14-2017, 04:45 PM
The whole place felt as if it had been unchanged since the 60s or 70s.

The place opened in 1979 after the fire. The 3rd floor was vastly different back then and had been changed a few times over the years.

Pretty much an industrial looking plant as it was when it opened.

clocker7
12-15-2017, 06:03 AM
The ghosts of racehorses past at Haw. It is an amazing lineup.

Proctor Knott, Morello, Riley, Yo Tambien, Clifford, Chant, Lamplighter, Lookout, MacBeth II, Rey del Carreres (!), Paul Kauvar, Imp, His Eminence, Garry Herrmann, Endurance by Right, Hermis (ran his first race there), Savable, Flocarline, Judge Himes, Bad News, Ort Wells, Elwood, Dick Welles, Hindus, Go Between, Colonial Girl, Exterminator, Paul Jones, Sarazen (ran his first race there), In Memoriam, Black Gold, Princess Doreen, Mad Play, Easter Stockings, Neddie, Clyde Van Dusen, Display & Mike Hall & Crusader & Misstep & Sun Beau (all in one race), Current, Plucky Play, Rose of Sharon, Whiskery, Diavolo, Victorian, Alcibiades, Jim Dandy, Battleship, Burning Blaze, Mate, Risque, Dr. Freeland, Faireno, Head Play, Ted Clark, Gusto, Mata Hari, Equipoise, Mr. Khayyam, Sarada, Barn Swallow, Myrtlewood, Clang, Discovery, Whiskolo, Reaping Reward, Forever Yours, Marica, Calumet's Nellie Flag, Lawrin, Esposa, Challedon, Occupy (ran his first race there), Durazna, (ran her first race there), Occupation, Equifox, Spy Song (ran his first race there), Fighting Step, Delegate (ran his first race there), Cover Up, Billings, Pellicle, Inseparable, Oil Capitol, Vulcan's Forge, Ruhe, Black George, Bernwood, To Market, Ari's Mona, Sickle's Image, Berseem, Big Stretch, Princess Lygia, Hill Gail, Crafty Admiral, Sea O Erin, Rejected, Swoon's Son, Romanita, Dedicate, Summer Tan, Find, Aspidistra, Eddie Schmidt, Bornastar, Round Table, Stan, T. V. Lark, Tudor Era, Whodunit, Lady Golconda (Forego's dam), On-and-On, Kelso, Old Hat, Crimson Satan, Winonly, Beau Purple, Hurry to Market (ran his first race there), Admiral's Voyage, Donut King, Olden Times ran his last race there, Abe's Hope, Bold Bidder, Gummo, Gold Digger (dam of Mr. Prospector), Garwol, Diplomat Way, sprinter Zip Pocket, Dancer's Image, Dr. Fager (!), Al Hattab, Nodouble, T.V. Commercial, Drumtop, Verbatim, Hydrologist, Pattee Canyon, My Charmer (Slew's mom), Bee Bee Bee, Twice Worthy, Wing Out, Our Native, Shecky Greene, Tri Jet, My Juliet, Elocutionist, Royal Glint, Gallant Bob, Dave's Friend, Family Style, Creme Fraiche, Cryptoclearance, Cutlass Reality, Black Tie Affair, Buck's Boy, Awesome Again, Volponi, Dollar Bill, Ten Most Wanted, Perfect Drift, Evening Attire, Benny the Bull, Eldaafer, Work all Week, Mongolian Saturday .... whew.

Brass Hat
12-15-2017, 11:33 AM
The book "Horseplayers" by Ted McClelland is based mostly on anecdotes of Hawthorne characters.

Visited there about 10 years ago, it was fine; a track to check off your list but probably not one you would visit regularly if you don't live in the area.