In 1890 Edward Corrigan purchases 119 acres of land in Cicero Township and construction begins on the Hawthorne grandstand. The following year, Hawthorne Race Course opens with a five-race card featuring the Chicago Derby, a 1/4-mile race won by Brookwood, owned by Edward Corrigan. The Chicago Tribune estimated the crowd at 6,000.
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The grandstand burned to the ground on May 30, 1902. Corrigan immediately transfered the balance of the Spring meet to nearby Harlem Racetrack and on July 21 the first of two summer meets opens. On August 18 racing returned to Hawthorne for the start of a 12-day late summer session
Hawthorne also hosts harness racing meets during summer and has two race courses: