Hawthorne Race Course

corporate Name: Hawthorne Race Course, Inc.
Mailing Address: 3501 S. Laramie Avenue, Stickney/Cicero, Illinois 60804 (click for map)
Telephone: (708) 780-3700
Fax: Racing Office: (708) 780-3757; Simulcasting: (708) 780-3790; Press Box: (708) 780-3753
Website: www.hawthorneracecourse.com

Founded by Edward Corrigan, Hawthorne Race Course first opened on May 20, 1891. Only four racetracks–Saratoga, Churchill Downs, Fair Grounds, and Pimlico–predate its existence. Four years after racing was banned in Chicago in 1905, Corrigan sold the Hawthorne property to Thomas Carey. Hawthorne has remained Carey-family owned ever since and, in 2009, Hawthorne celebrated its 100th anniversary under their leadership.

Back in 1909, Thomas Carey repeatedly tried to revive Chicago racing. On Labor Day of that year, Carey attempted to stage a racing program. After only two races had been run, deputy sheriffs stopped the card. An attempt to race in 1911 was met with similar resistance.

In 1916, the Illinois Jockey Club was granted permission to run a 13-day “experimental” meet. Despite the success which ensued, it would be another six years before Thoroughbreds would race again in Chicago.

In 1928, Hawthorne’s most prestigious race, the Hawthorne Gold Cup, was inaugurated. The honor roll of great Thoroughbreds who have won the Gold Cup includes Sun Beau, Equipoise, Round Table, Kelso, Dr. Fager, Black Tie Affair, Buck’s Boy and Awesome Again.

Robert F. Carey took over as managing director of Hawthorne in 1947 and held that post until his death in 1980. His son, Thomas F. Carey, assumed the role of President and General Manager of Hawthorne Race Course, and still serves as Chairman Emeritus. Before the 2005 meeting, Robert’s nephew, Tim Carey, was named President and General Manager.

A multi-million dollar renovation was completed in 1998. The new look for Hawthorne included the addition of four new party rooms, plush outdoor box seats with individual television monitors, a full-service food court, a new teletimer system, new floors and ceilings, and a new lighting system to accommodate evening harness racing.

In recent years, Hawthorne has seen a complete redesign of the grandstand and the addition of more than 300 Hi-Def televisions. A new sports bar and video wall have been added and work continues every year. On the track, drainage systems on both the turf and dirt courses were upgraded with more turf improvements in 2010.

In 2013 and 2014, the popular finish line box seating area was expanded to allow the close-up experience for more fans. Additionally, a new dining area on the first floor of Hawthorne’s grandstand was designed for easier access for players to the racetrack viewing area along with the paddock.

President & General Manager: Timothy S. Carey, [email protected]
Assistant General Manager: John Walsh, [email protected]
Chairman Emeritus: Thomas F. Carey
Racing Secretary: Allen Plever
Director of Mutuels: John Demy
Director of Simulcasting: John Walsh, [email protected]
Director of Security: Dennis Taylor
Director of Maintenance: Dave Benhart
Director of Marketing: Dakota Shultz, [email protected]
TV/Communications: Jim Miller, [email protected]
Chief Financial Officer: Jeff Kras
Track Superintendent: Gregorio Cardenas
Track Photographer: Four-Footed Fotos, (425) 271-9424
Seating capacity: 15,000
Track Data: Main course, 1-mile oval with 6½-furlong chute; turf course, 7 furlongs, 184 feet; stall capacity, 2,050
Nearest Cities: Chicago, 6 miles; Oakbrook, 10 miles
Nearest Airport: Midway Airport, 2 miles
Price of Admission: $2.00