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Hawthorne Racecourse (3/30/06)

Contact: DAK Productions
(708) 222-4540

Illinois Derby Field Taking Shape

The field for the Grade II $500,000 Illinois Derby, to be run at Hawthorne Race Course on Saturday, April 8, is beginning to take shape. According to stakes coordinator Debbie Lindsay, the horses whose connections have expressed considerable interest in the race are as follows (alphabetical order with trainer):

Cause to Believe (Hollendorfer) – First or second in all nine of his career starts, and recent winner of the Grade III El Camino Real Derby at Bay Meadows and the California Derby at Golden Gate.

Devilofarush (M. Maker) – Winner of two consecutive allowance races, including the Hawthorne’s Illinois Derby prep on March 14. Mike Maker won the 2004 Grade II Hawthorne Gold Cup with 27-1 longshot Freefourinternet.

Itsallboutthechase (G. Sims) -- Runner-up in Gulfstream’s Aventura stakes and a competitor in both the Grade III Holy Bull (5th) and Fountain of Youth (9th).

Lewis Michael (W. Catalano) – A minor stakes winner on turf, he was third in the Grade III Tropical Derby over the Calder grass in Jan. 1. Campaigned by Chicagoland’s leading owner Frank Calabrese.

Malameeze (B. Barnett) -- Most recently third in the Grade II Lane’s End at Turfway.

Mister Triester (G. Stute) -- Most recently fourth behind divisional leader Brother Derek in the Grade II Santa Catalina at Santa Anita. Owner B. Wayne Hughes paid $10,000 to supplement eventual winner Greeley’s Galaxy to the 2005 Illinois Derby.

More Than Regal (Asmussen) – Winner of a minor stake at Evangeline Downs, and most recently fourth in the Grade II Lane’s End at Turfway.

My Golden Song (Pletcher) -- A close-up fourth in the Grade II Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park in his most recent run, he is trained by Todd Pletcher, a conditioner who has won two of the last five Illinois Derbies (2001 with Distilled and 2004 with Pollard’s Vision). His Monarch Lane finished second behind Greeley’s Galaxy in 2005.

Rackateer (Frankel) – Most recently a close fourth in the Grade II San Felipe at Santa Anita. Trainer Bobby Frankel won the 1984 Illinois Derby with Delta Trace.

Sweetnorthernsaint (Trombetta) – Winner of Laurel Park’s minor Miracle Wood Stakes by ten lengths, and most recently a close third despite a very wide trip in the Grade III Gotham at Aqueduct.

Hawthorne’s spring 2006 Thoroughbred meet runs February 24 through May 4 with live racing five days per week: Friday through Tuesday. Post time is 1:10 p.m. Saturday through Tuesday and 3 p.m. on Friday. Hawthorne is dark Wednesdays and Thursdays and Easter Sunday April 16, but full card simulcasting from racetracks across the country is offered every day.

The Grade II $500,000 Illinois Derby, a prestigious prep for the world famous Kentucky Derby, will be run at Hawthorne on Saturday, April 8.

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