With the inevitable closure of Arlington Park, owned by Churchill Downs Inc., Hawthorne is going to increase sharply the number of racing days.
"With Arlington International Racecourse up for sale and track owner Churchill Downs Inc. declining to apply for racing dates, the Illinois Racing Board Sept. 23 approved a 2022 schedule that has Hawthorne Race Course hosting both Thoroughbred and harness racing. Barring a purchase of Arlington by an owner interested in continued racing or a change in CDI's plans, Arlington's last day of racing is Sept. 25. The plan, developed with input from both horsemen's groups, provides for 76 Thoroughbred programs, a sharp drop from the 120 dates split between Hawthorne and Arlington in 2021, and for 75 Standardbred programs.
The Hawthorne Thoroughbred schedule includes racing from April 2 through June 25 and from Sept. 23 through the end of the year. Harness racing will take place between those dates. Hawthorne takes up and replaces the Thoroughbred racing surface when the action switches between the breeds."