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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (3/31/08)

Contact: Mitch Demick (708) 222-4542

Denis of Cork Headlines 51st Illinois Derby

Stickney, IL – The undefeated Denis of Cork was installed the morning line 2-1 favorite, and will head a field of seven three-year-olds, for the 51st running of the Grade II $500,000 Illinois Derby, this Saturday, April 5 at Hawthorne Race Course.

Denis of Cork has not raced since improving his lifetime record to a perfect three-for-three, after a convincing win on February 18, in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park. His owners Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren of Tulsa and trainer David Carroll opted to bypass the Rebel Stakes in favor of a single prep leading to Kentucky, and that prep lands the son of Harlan’s Holiday in Chicago.

Atoned figures to offer Denis of Cork the most serious challenge. Atoned comes off a hard fought neck loss to Big Truck in the Tampa Bay Derby, making it four consecutive second place finishes, all in stakes competition. Todd Pletcher trains the son of Repent, for Dogwood Stables.

Others who figure to factor strongly are Z Humor, beaten in his last two by Nick Zito trained horses; Golden Spikes, a speedy son of Seeking the Gold; and Instill, who will be one of only two entrants (Recapturetheglory is the other) who have won, let alone, raced, over the Hawthorne track.

The field in order of post position, with morning line odds and jockey:

Recapturetheglory, 8-1, E.T. Baird; Instill, 15-1, Chris Emigh; Z Humor, 3-1, Rene Douglas; Atoned, 4-1, Joe Bravo; Denis of Cork, 2-1, Julien Leparoux; Golden Spikes, 5-1, Tim Thornton; Real Appeal, 8-1, James Graham.

The Illinois Derby is the only Kentucky Derby prep race run in the Prairie State. In fact, the last six winners of the Illinois Derby have gone on to compete in the run for the roses, beginning with War Emblem (2002) who completed the Illinois Derby/Kentucky Derby double in 2002. Sweetnorthernsaint, who won this race in 2006, was the post time favorite in that year’s Kentucky Derby.

The race is a Grade II $500,000 one mile and one-eighth event for three-year olds, and is run on a traditional dirt surface.

Hawthorne Race Course’s Spring Thoroughbred meet begins on Friday, March 7 and will continue through Monday, April 28. Live racing will be conducted Thursday through Monday, regular first post 1:35 pm central time. Hawthorne Race Course is located at 3501 Laramie Avenue, Cicero, IL 60804, gates open daily at 7 am. Call (708) 780-3700 or visit the Web site at




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