Hawthorne set for 130th anniversary

Stickney, IL — Standardbred racehorses will return to the track at Hawthorne Race Course for a summer of live harness racing beginning Friday (May 7).

“Chicago’s hometown track” will host racing every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night beginning at 7 p.m. Capacity is currently limited to 50 percent, but now includes expanded outdoor seating in the new First Turn Terrace.

“There’s a lot of pent-up demand for live sports entertainment and with harness racing you can get so close to the action,” said Tim Carey, president and general manager of Hawthorne Race Course. “The view from the new First Turn Terrace is amazing because the horses are coming right at you and then go spinning away through the turn.”

In addition to the trackside views, the outdoor space, including along the railing, provides for easy social distancing and pod seating at picnic tables. Night racing at Hawthorne also features outdoor barbecue and bars.

Founded in 1891, Hawthorne is celebrating its 130th year of live racing. Harness racing first debuted at Hawthorne in 1970 and the track is now the only one in the United States to host both Thoroughbred and Standardbred horses. Hawthorne features the longest homestretch in North America for harness racing, allowing drivers and horses to rally late in come-from-behind victories.

Admission and parking is free at Hawthorne Race Course.

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