New Racing Analyst: OptixEQ’s Emily Gullikson Joins Hawthorne For Fall Meet by Press Release|09.19.2022|4:13pm Emily Gullikson, a founding partner in the equine analytics company OptixEQ, will join the team of on-air analysts at Hawthorne Race Course for the Fall Thoroughbred meet beginning Sept. 23 and running through Dec. 31, racing Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. A highly respected handicapper and racing analyst, Emily is also an experienced contest player who has qualified multiple times for the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) and will use this expertise to provide valuable insights to players throughout the Club Hawthorne network of off-track betting bars and within Hawthorne's race day simulcast. “Emily has a unique perspective on handicapping that goes beyond identifying the opinions about why selections will finish in the money. She wants to help players build better tickets to win more money no matter how the race sets up. By expanding our team of on-air analysts we can have real integration of wagering expertise at our OTBs and at the track,” said John Walsh, assistant general manager of Hawthorne Race Course. Since the closure of Arlington Park and its off-track betting facilities, Hawthorne has opened and remodeled eight new betting bars, bringing its total number of venues to 16 throughout Chicagoland, Rockford (northwest Illinois) and Peoria (central Illinois). As the track itself prepares for a $400 million redevelopment to add casino gaming, Club Hawthorne betting bars have become high-impact destinations for horse players and sports bettors. Three of Hawthorne's facilities include cash sports betting through its partnership with PointsBet, with a fourth location set to open in October pending final regulatory approval. “I think Hawthorne has a really bold outlook on the future of horse racing overall and is approaching long-term player development with a lot of innovation,” said Gullikson. “From contests to content marketing, I'm excited to join a team that is so clearly dedicated to re-establishing Illinois racing and showcasing the excitement of handicapping for new kinds of bettors in such a big market.” HAWTHORNE INVITATIONAL Gullikson will join Hawthorne's lead analyst and Director of Racing, Jim Miller, and guest host Nancy Holthus from Oaklawn Park, for a live stream of the Hawthorne Invitational presented by the Daily Racing Form on Saturday, October 1st. 50 of the top players in the country, including NHC and BCBC winners, Tour Champions, and Hall of Famers, will share their selections and betting strategies in real-time for anyone watching on Hawthorne's YouTube channel. The contest will focus on 6 mandatory races, culminating with the $100,000 Hawthorne Derby. Top prizes include entries to the NHC, BCBC, Pegasus Betting Challenge, $10,000 cash, and a $1,000,000 bonus for winning the 2023 NHC. OPTIXEQ Throughout its Fall meet, Hawthorne and Gullikson will feature OptixEQ plots for every Hawthorne race and Club Hawthorne players will have special access to OptixEQ subscriptions of proprietary handicapping data. “If you're a player who loves data and sees each race as a puzzle to solve, the trip notes and analysis behind the OptixEQ race graphs are really compelling. I've been betting races for 40 years and this is a whole new way of looking at pace dynamics that reveals betting opportunities that I might not have considered otherwise. I'm really excited for more of our players to see this,” said Walsh.