Illinois’ most historic thoroughbred race returns to Hawthorne Race Course after a one-year hiatus. The state’s namesake race was first run in 1923 at Hawthorne as traditional prep race for the Triple Crown and is currently the richest traditional dirt track thoroughbred race in Illinois. The 59th Illinois Derby presented by Xpressbet will be held on Saturday, April 22, 2017 as a Grade III race run at a mile and 1/8th.
“When so much in sports entertainment continues to change, I think it’s amazing that generations of fans still have so much passion for a historic sport like horse-racing,” said Tim Carey, president and general manager of Hawthorne Race Course. “So much can happen in a race in such a short amount of time and you can still get so close to the action; it’s truly heart-pounding excitement and sports fans are clamoring for that kind of entertainment, especially when it comes with so much nostalgia.”
The Illinois Derby is the state’s oldest stakes race. Hawthorne Race Course is Illinois’ oldest sporting venue, and horse-racing is America’s oldest sport.
Admission is just $ 2. Prepaid Illinois Derby Day packages inclusive of buffet and bar packages in either Hawthorne’s historic dining room or newly remodeled grandstands begin at $ 45. The first 1,000 guests with paid admission after 2 PM will receive a complimentary t-shirt. Scheduled entertainment also includes live music.
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