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Hawthorne racing returns Friday

For racing fans who appreciate seeing horses run on actual dirt, here's mud in your eye: Hawthorne Race Course opens its fall meet on Friday afternoon.

And it won't take long to get right down to the nitty-gritty because a day later the track will host the 74th running of the Grade II $250,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup, a stepping stone for older horses prepping for the Breeders' Cup Classic.

"I believe we will have a tremendous meet this fall," Hawthorne assistant general manager Jim Miller said. "The backstretch is full and our strong opening-day entries should be a sign of what we will see for the entire meet.

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