What You'll Get
Elections are often referred to as "horse races," but at the end of an election, the winner is never rewarded with a trough full of milk. Cast your vote for a day of excitement with today's Groupon: for $20, you get admission, live race programs, $25 worth of race-day fare and beverages, and two $5 bets at Hawthorne Race Course in Cicero (a $39.50 total value). Today's deal is only valid on live racing days, which take place Wednesday through Saturday through December 31. On most days, the first race starts at 1:35 p.m.; check the schedule for more details.
Hawthorne Race Course has entertained Chicagoans for a century with the power and pageantry of live horse racing. Use your $5 wagers conservatively for a tiny taste of the sport's signature thrills, or surprise your neighbor by picking a trifecta and then buying his living room. Groupon customers can park their soul sacks in the stands or do their equestrian eyeballing from the luxe confines of the Gold Cup Room, where more than 60 flat-screen TVs display horse races from around the world—which fans can follow using their simulcast programs—as well as all the day's major matches in football, baseball, and other sports in which horses play only a minor role. A variety of comestibles is also on-hand to help visitors outpace their hunger, with à la carte options such as hot dogs ($2.50), chicken wraps ($6.25), and beer ($2 for a 12-ounce draft).
Although the Gold Cup Room is sold out on November 6, the day of the famous Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs racetrack in Kentucky, fans can still come enjoy the live racing and camaraderie of other race-rooters from the grandstand. The track is currently holding a contest to give one hoof-hearted horse supporter a $5,000 Breeders' Cup bet—winnings from which can be taken to a casino and re-wagered on a game of chance, such as blackjack, or invested in a sure thing, such as roulette.
- Unique probably describes Hawthorne the best. For in an industry dominated by corporate ownership and constant expansion, Hawthorne this year is celebrating its 100th anniversary of being family owned, the oldest continually family run race track in the United States. – Chasse Rehwinkel, Windy City Rounder
- Check this place in Cicero out for an alternative night out. It's something different and can be surprisingly cheap – Jen N., Yelp
The Fine Print
Promotional value expires Dec 31, 2010. Amount paid never expires. Valid only on live racing days, Wednesday-Saturday. Not valid for Gold Cup room on 11/6. Not valid with other offers. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.
About Hawthorne Race Course
On May 20, 1891, an estimated 6,000 people attended the first-ever Opening Day at Hawthorne Race Course in Stickney, Illinois. The event featured the Chicago Derby—a quarter-mile race won by a horse named Brookwood. Since that day, the family-owned facility—celebrating over 125 years in business—has thrilled Chicago-area racing fans season after season with live competition and full-card simulcasting. The track hosts standardbred harness racing in January and the summer months, while thoroughbred racing dominates the rest of the year. But it hasn't always been easy. In 1905, for instance, racing was banned in Chicago for more than 15 years after several of the facility's horses became mired in a political scandal. And Hawthorne Race Course itself has had to overcome its fair share of adversity, including two fires, but continues to enthrall thousands of fans each year.