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HAWTHORNE RACE COURSE

Hawthorne Racecourse (4/9/05)

Contact: Jim Miller
(708) 780-3700

Greeley’s Galaxy Runs Away With Illinois Derby

STICKNEY, IL -- In a race with many looking to make their mark on the Kentucky Derby trail, one runner did just that in winning the Grade 2, $500,000 Illinois Derby Saturday at Hawthorne. In only his fourth career start, B. Wayne Hughes’ Greeley’s Galaxy ran away with the Derby as he crushed the field by 9 ½ lengths.

Breaking from the inside, Greeley’s Galaxy and jockey Kent Desormeaux broke sharply but had to settle in behind Daddy Joe and Kansas City Boy as those two contested a quick early pace. Battling through the opening quarter in :22.74 and the half in :46.50, both runners were still head and head while Greeley’s Galaxy sat a length back in third.

Turning for home through three-quarters in 1:11.59, Greeley’s Galaxy took command as he ranged up on the outside of the tiring leaders. Monarch Lane and Magna Graduate had both begun their moves as well, but this race was over as Greeley’s Galaxy extended on the lead and drew away to the impressive victory, stopping the clock in 1:49.62 for the 1 1/8 miles.

Monarch Lane rallied to run second while Magna Graduate was third, another two lengths back. Following Magna Graduate were Rikman, Win Me Over, Daddy Joe, Medigating, and Kansas City Boy.

Not nominated to the Kentucky Derby, the connections of Greeley’s Galaxy stated they will supplement for the race as the $300,000 winner’s share boosted his earnings to $358,480. Trained by Glen Stute, Greeley’s Galaxy returned $5.60, $3.80, and $2.80. Monarch Lane came back $5.00 and $3.40 while Magna Graduate returned $3.00 to show.

Making the cross-country flight to ride Greeley’s Galaxy, jockey Kent Desormeaux had faith in his runner, “Mr. Stute has done a great job with him. He rates with experience for as many times as he has been out there. He has got a great mind. Mr. Stute has done a great job with him in the mornings teaching him everything he needs to do out here in the afternoon and today it took a lot a patience on the horses’ part because I had to drag him back on the first turn. He wanted to go to the fight and be a racehorse and do what they learn to do, like outrun the horses next to them, but I needed him to wait, I thought we were going honest enough to where I could get him back in a nice gap where I could slide him out when I was ready and he handled that. I think that’s the part that sets him apart from the rest.”

While the connections of Greeley’s Galaxy have to supplement to the Derby, they may have a runner on their hands as trainer Glen Stute was equally impressed, “I think we will head in the direction of the Kentucky Derby. The problem with that is that nominated horses have preference over supplemented horses. He sure looks like the type of horse. I think we have a runner. We have always had a lot of faith in this horse but Mr. Hughes had another horse he thought was a little better that is running in a couple of minutes (Don’t Get Mad in the Santa Anita Derby) so he just went ahead and nominated that one but we will make the supplementation now. I love the way he works, how he runs with his head down. He’s just a real hard knocker.”

Jockey Chris DeCarlo had no excuses as Monarch Lane ran a big race as well, “He ended up a little wide up the back side. He was trying to get away from the dirt so I just wanted to keep him in the clear. When we hit the stretch I had the winner in my sights but he just had too much horse. This was a huge race. He will definitely move forward from here.”

Magna Graduate also ran a game race in the Illinois Derby, “The race set up good for me,” stated jockey Eddie Razo Jr. “Up the backside I was sitting in good position and I thought I had a shot. I was sitting nice and easy. In the stretch he flattened out a little and at the eighth pole the other two horses just ran away from me.”

Trainer Patrick Byrne was satisfied with the race as well, “Eddie had him exactly the way I wanted him. The horse flattened out a little in the stretch. I’m not sure if I came back too quickly with him or if the distance just wasn’t right for him. I’m still very pleased with him.”

Live racing for the spring meet takes place from February 25 to May 10. Racing is conducted every Friday through Tuesday with first post at 1:10 PM. For any questions, our Group Sales office can be contacted at 708-780-7050 and general questions can be directed to 708-780-3700. Visit Hawthorne on the web at www.hawthorneracecourse.com.

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