Sportsman's Park & Hawthorne Race Course, Cicero/Stickney, IL, Fall, 2005

Hey hey hey! At least there was a little bit more excitement for the Fall Hawthorne meet.

They changed the weekend contests, so on Saturday there's a free Pick 5 contest for everyone, with $2500 prizes on the line, and then every Sunday there's a $20 buyin handicapping contest. So those are pretty cool and keep your interest. And the day after Thanksgiving they had a Really Big Day. The Bud Girls, the Hooters Girls, and the Beulah Twins were all in the house, displaying their special talents. Unfortunately for me, I was in Montana at the time, but the effort was still appreciated. They launched a new website, too, a nice upgrade from the old. Downstairs grandstand got rearranged a little for better access to wagering machines, thank you very much. And the racing was pretty good for betting. First time all year we've seen decent sized fields. Tragically the promised apron BBQ never materialized. Oh well.

It was a good thing there was all this excitement at the running racetrack, too, because things came to a screeching halt at Sportsman's out back. It seems that the city government of Cicero turned over, and the new administration has different ideas about what to do with one of its proudest possessions, the abandoned Sportsman's Park. Whereas the previous admisnistration had been into demolition and stuff, this new one seemed to be more inclined toward providing a home for neighborhood pigeons and a target for neighborhood vandals. So the track just sat there, collecting pigeons, and broken windows, and boarded up windows, and an infield full of junk. A full blown eyesore, to add to Cicero's many other eyesores. Nice work!