The Sport of Kings has returned to Hawthorne Race Course. The horse racing track re-opens on Saturday, Oct. 1, with Rocktoberfest, followed-up by the Gold Cup Stakes on Saturday, Oct. 8, featuring contenders for the Breeders’ Cup National Championships.
Roctoberfest at Hawthorne
Rocktoberfest is set to be a fun day of food and music. Live local rock cover bands like bifunkal (Oct. 1) and Sunfallen (Oct. 2) are slated to perform. Come to the track, located in Cicero, IL, that weekend to enjoy an outdoor barbeque and pig roast, and beer will be just $5 for a 30oz mug. Perhaps you can win a prize, because Hawthorne is giving away additional cash and prizes all weekend after every race, plus the first 500 fans through the gate will receive a free beer mug.
The Gold Cup Stakes at Hawthorne
Interested in some serious horse racing? The Gold Cup Stakes are on October 8, and it looks like four horses in this race may be major contenders in the November championship stakes this year. You can take it all in from the Gold Cup Dining Room, complete with table-top HDTVs, an all-you-can-eat buffet, and a bottomless Bloody Mary bar on Sundays.
Additional Happenings at Hawthorne Race Course
That’s not all Hawthorne Race Course has to offer. Friday admission is just $2 from now until Thanksgiving, with $2 draft beers, $2 hot dogs and a 3 p.m. late post so fans can start the weekend early. The Camel and Ostrich Derby will be on Oct.16. Although you can’t gamble, there are 1000-1 odds you won’t enjoy jockeys hopping on these animals for a homestretch sprint.
Chicago Blackhawks’ head coach Joel Quennville will be at Hawthorne Race Course on Sunday, Oct. 23. He’ll be signing autographs and he will be sitting-in during the race preview telecast to offer his analysis on the day’s races. The man has won the Stanley Cup, so he knows a thing or two about winners.
For spooky fun, come to the track on Oct.29 for a race between the Headless Horseman and Ichabod Crane. Fans can pick the winner for a chance to win $666 in free bets. This Halloween event also features a pumpkin catapult, where guests can aim at targets for a chance to win prizes, including tickets to Widespread Panic’s Halloween concert at the Aragon Ballroom.
Live racing is held at Hawthorne Race Course Wednesdays through Sundays from now until the end of the year, with a daily post time of 1:30 p.m. The best way to get to the course is to take I-55, the Stevenson Expressway, to Cicero Ave and go north for a half-mile.