Hawthorne Racecourse (4/6/10)
Contact: Jim Miller
Looking back at the Illinois Derby
We are back at it for another week of racing as we kick off the Tuesday card with temps in the 70s and a fast main track. A passing shower this morning did nothing more than water down the surface and I expect another even track once again.
Looking back at Saturday, what a great day of racing with some tremendous performances. American Lion showed his heart as he dug in for a game victory in the Grade III Illinois Derby and he is being pointing on to a Run for the Roses. Yawanna Twist battled well in defeat, his second near miss in graded stakes company but we hope to see him move on as well. Although he was a well-beaten third, Backtalk may have been more of a victim of pace as he tried to close ground but it wasn’t enough. He does have enough earnings to qualify for the Derby right now and I feel that a quicker pace in the Kentucky Derby could benefit a horse like Backtalk with his last closing move.
The inaugural Cryptoclearance Stakes produced a good field and a tremendous effort by Shadowbdancing. A horse that is admittedly hard to ride, Shadowbdancing settled in comfortably under jockey Eddie Razo, Jr. and had enough left in the tank to hold off P D Q Kiddo and Marilyn’s Guy.
As we kick off another week, we will take a look at the standings. Currently, Tanner Riggs stands atop the rider standings with 37 wins, 10 ahead of Tim Thornton. Inez Karlsson is in third with 25 wins, followed by Eddie Perez (23), Inosencio Diego (16), and Ramsey Zimmerman (13).
Frank Kirby holds the training lead with 29 victories. Chris Dorris continues his fine meet as he has sent out 20 winners, followed by Roger Brueggemann (17), Larry Rivelli (13), Mike Reavis and Joel Berndt, each with 12 wins. Kirby’s Hondo Ranch, Inc. is trying to hold off Chris Dorris for leading owner as Hondo has 10 victories to Dorris’ 8 wins.
Don’t forget, we will be chatting online during the entire Hawthorne card today as Joe Kristufek, Katie Mikolay and myself (Jim Miller) will be covering the racing action from Hawthorne on HorseplayerNow.com. Also, I have been sending out tips galore (and some nice priced winners) based on observation and track tendencies through Twitter. You can follow the updates on Twitter by looking for HawthorneJim.
Main Track – Fast
Scratch #3 – Sunday Lane
Scratch #1 – Best Buddy
Scratch #7 – Silver Crush
Scratch #4 – Paddy Wak Wakie
Race 5 - #5 – That’s a Story – This is a tough race, but I love the heart that this runner shows. That’s a Story has a great record over this Hawthorne track and while she faces a solid field again, she should get a perfect trip while stalking a contested pace. She will need her best to beat these, but I expect a square price on her.
Race 6 - #2 – Joya Del Sol – This is one that could surprise as well as she ran a decent race only a week after arriving back to Hawthorne from the farm. She has since posted another drill and should be fit and ready for a better effort. Razo has been one of the hottest riders of late and she is another that should be in perfect stalking position.