Katie M’Lady Wins Her Namesake Race


STICKNEY, IL – Naming a race after a top state-bred horse isn’t always easy but in 2024 when it came to naming a race for an Illinois-bred female turf router the name Katie M’Lady rose to the top of the list. When the nominations for the race came up, a familiar name was on the list, Katie M’Lady. In her namesake race it would figure that she would run well, but what she did on Sunday at Hawthorne in the $75,000 event was impressive.

High weight in the Katie M’Lady was the very talented Oeuvre from the barn of Chris Block as she carried 130 lbs as the 3-5 favorite. Katie M’Lady carried 124 lbs as the 7-5 second choice. When the gates sprung, Katie M’Lady and jockey Julio Felix headed straight for the top, grabbing the lead through an easy opening quarter in :24.20. Stalked by Oeuvre through a half in :48.21, Katie M’Lady held a length advantage into the turn. That margin was unchanged heading to the top of the lane as Katie M’Lady covered three quarters in 1:11.96. In the stretch Felix said it was time to go and Katie M’Lady responded with a burst, opening up a three length lead mid-stretch that extended to seven and a quarter lengths at the wire. Katie M’Lady stopped the timer for the mile on the firm Hawthorne turf course in 1:34.60. Oeuvre held second, just a nose ahead of fellow Block runner Trail Ridge Road.

Owned by Cherrywood Racing Stables II of trainer Michele Boyce and Oak Rock Racing LLC of Margaret Burlingham, Katie M’Lady returned $4.80, $2.20 and $2.10. Oeuvre paid $2.10 and $2.10 while Trail Ridge Road paid $2.10 to show.

Coming off the lengthy layoff, Michele Boyce had to have Katie M’Lady just right, “I was concerned about the long layoff. But good ride, we trained hard and we have a good crew that made this possible. She loves Hawthorne. You have to let her do her thing. She’ll do it (show speed) no matter what you want her to do. She’s that kind of horse, you just have to let her do it.”

Jockey Julio Felix got a great effort, “Things sure worked out today. She’s a machine. Michele did an excellent job at getting her ready off almost a year layoff. She was telling me her late husband was the only one who could get a horse ready off that kind of layoff and I told her ‘No, you do too.’ It showed today. When we turned for home I knew we were going to go for it. I had no time to look in the rearview mirror.”

Hawthorne Race Course, Chicago’s Hometown Track, races three live meets in 2024. The winter harness season concluded on February 12. Spring/Summer thoroughbreds begin March 23 with live racing through October 13. Harness racing returns October 19 and races through the end of the year. Hawthorne is open daily for full-card simulcasting as well as for sports wagering in the Fanatics Sportsbook. For any information about Hawthorne Race Course visit our website www.HawthorneRaceCourse.com.