The Hawthorne website is good so check for changes as post time approaches. For anyone that wants to understand what it's like to hang around Hawthorne, with its VERY different crowd and culture from Arlington, try reading Ted McClelland's excellent 2005 book "Horseplayers-Life at the Track."
The weather could play a factor. The Hour by Hour forecast shows a serious storm to hit in the 4 PM CT hour, and with post time at 4:14 CT, it's going to be close.
Hawthorne Race 7 Post Time 5:14 PM ET; The Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap Grade II; 1 1/4 miles on Cicero Ave. dirt for 3 YO and Up.
7 YO Jonesboro can still crank it up, as evidenced by a 109 BSF in late June. 25 of 35 in the money on dirt and owner of the race best BSF. A tepid chalk.
Awesome Gem comes in needing a change in fortunes, with only 1 win in the last 14 trips to the gate. No wins at the distance but is capable of a three digit BSF when stretched out to the classic distance.
Nite Light drops back in distance from 1 1/2 miles and that should help the grade III winner who will provide speed and pace. On the flip slid, Shadowbdancing still has to prove himeself at the classic distance. 6 of 6 in the money in 2009 including 3 wins.
For all my nominations today, a bet strategy is forthcoming, but 10 cent supers are in fashion and exotic is my preference.
As always, watch the tote board, check the weather, the changes, and only bet what you can afford and not a penny more. I know I'm wasting my breath on most horseplayers, but the best bets you make are the ones you pass on. If you ain't feelin' it, pass. This is a big field and it's competitive in a mediocre way for a grade II event. The payouts will be healthy and that's what interests me.
I'll be watching Belmont as a fan more then a horseplayer today.
Have fun, Turk Out!