• By Mike Paradise   After a hotter than normal June weather wise, we begin July on Friday night with the weekend opening of Hawthorne’s summer meet. With a smaller than usual warm weather session, the more

  • By Mike Paradise   The winter in between and a two-year-old horse and a three-year-old looms large in the horse racing industry.   You’ve read countless times how a horse “matured” over the winter or more

  •   By Mike Paradise   When I was printing out of past performance lines for Friday’s and Saturday’s Springfield races, I thought something went awry with my printer.   It just kept going and going more

  • By Mike Paradise   With a highly successful lunching of its Juneteenth Celebration race last year this season’s go around moves to Springfield and a day early because of racing being Dark on Sunday, June more

  •   By Mike Paradise   The road to Hawthorne’s Night of Champions in mid-September begins Friday at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield for pacers and trotters ages three and up.   It began a more

  • By Mike Paradise   When the 2022 Summer Classic for ICF two-year-old horses were announced for June 15th there was no scarcity of sceptics that a shortage of horses being entered was possible because of more

  • By Mike Paradise   Triple ZZ Stable’s Kizzzmelikeumissme passed her first major sophomore test with a convincing victory in Saturday night $30,000 ICF event for three-year-old pacers.   Nicely handled by the meet’s leading driver more

  • By Mike Paradise   The last Saturday program of Hawthorne’s winter meet is a good one with a pair of $30,000 ICF events, the Open Trot, the Open for filly and mare pacers, and with more

  •   By Mike Paradise   The 2021 ICF freshman champion Fox Valley Ozzy looks to pick-up where he left off last year against strictly other state-bred pacers.   The Gary Rath trained pacer was perfect more

  • By Mike Paradise   It was one cold Saturday night for racing (20 degrees); however, the Gerald Hansen Stable and driver Travis Seekman didn’t mind. They were red-hot when it counted.   To say that more

  • By Mike Paradise   “Times change and we change with them.”   This old phrase pretty much describes why Hawthorne this year has announced it’ll have no series legs that lead up to a Night more

  • By Mike Paradise   The calendar says it’s “Spring” but if you’re a horseman residing in the northern part of Illinois the last thing on your mind is putting away your winter clothing.   It’s more

  • By Mike Paradise   We had to wait for a four-horse photo to be unraveled before it was determined that It’s Time For Fun became the first mare to win Hawthorne’s $13,700 distaff Open for more

  •   By Mike Paradise   The beginning lyrics of the nursery rhyme “round and round we go” seems to fit what is going on in the Chicago circuit’s filly and mare Open division.   Unlike more

  • By Mike Paradise   “No Takers”   Those two words pretty much explain why tonight’s Hawthorne’s scheduled Open Pace is a “no-go” and why two-time Illinois Harness Horse of the Year He’zzz A Wise Sky more

  • By Mike Paradise   The eighth filly and mare Open Pace of the Hawthorne meeting produced its seventh different winner last night when the Illinois bred mare Fox Valley Exploit pulled off an upset victory more

  •   By Mike Paradise   Back on January 29th I wrote that this year’s Open Pace for fillies and mares “isn’t likely to have the same dominance that we had in 2021” when Maggie Rhee more

  •   By Mike Paradise   We’re already in the homestretch of Hawthorne’s winter harness racing meeting. After Sunday’s card there are only three weekends of racing left (9 programs) and its now rather obvious that more

  • By Mike Paradise   Sometimes a horse seemingly comes out of nowhere to earn the role as the betting favorite in a feature race. That’s the case tonight in the $22,000 Winter Wonderland trot series more

  • Series Sweeps in the Cards?

    By Mike Paradise   It’s showdown time this weekend for the Winter Wonderland Series with a pair of $22,000 pacing championships for fillies and mares and another for colts and geldings to be decided tonight more

  • By Mike Paradise   While the increased purses on the Late Closer series didn’t bring the desired number of out-of-state horses that Hawthorne management wanted, it nevertheless was a big hit with Illinois based horsemen. more

  • By Mike Paradise   If you’re a harnessillinois.com reader you should have a smile on your face this morning. I do, and a big one at that.   Call it luck. Call it good handicapping. more

  • New Local Trotting Kingpin

    By Mike Paradise   There’s a new number one atop the Hawthorne Open trot division and his name is Burrow, trained by Ross Leonard.   The Ohio bred four-year-old made an auspicious local debut last more

  • By Mike Paradise   While watching current Illinois champion pacer He’zzz A Wise Sky demolish yet another Hawthorne Open field last weekend, it was obvious that the Race Office has no answer at this time more

  • By Mike Paradise   “Maggie’s Back in Town!”   In this case we’re talking about the Todd Warren trained seven-year-old pacing mare Magee Rhee who thoroughly dominated Hawthorne Open ranks last year.   In fact, more

  • Talk About a Turnabout

    By Mike Paradise   In just a two-week span Hawthorne’s Open trot division has done a 180-degree turnaround.   It wasn’t that long ago that the Illinois bred trotter Simply Swan carried a seven-race winning more

  • By Mike Paradise   During the offseason Hawthorne management deliberated how to spend the purse money for this year’s meets.   Should all the money be spread around or should some be put into some more

  • That’s Why They Race

    By Mike Paradise   There are no certainties in horse racing. That’s been proven time and time again.   No matter how good a horse looks in a particular race there’s always the possibility of more

  • By Mike Paradise   We’re only into our fourth week of filly and mare Opens at the Hawthorne meet so it’s probably too early for any comparisons between this season’s top distaffers on the grounds more

  • On the Comeback Trail

    By Mike Paradise It’s gratifying back covering Illinois harness racing for this my 49th consecutive season. Hopefully the health issues that were responsible for my belated start are behind me.   Catching Up: I wonder more