Hawthorne Racecourse (4/6/11)
Contact: Jim Miller
Watch Me Go Heads Full Field in Illinois Derby
STICKNEY, IL – Grade II Tampa Bay Derby champ Watch Me Go headlines a full field of 12 entered for the 54th running of Saturday’s Grade III $300,000 TVG Illinois Derby at Hawthorne. The TVG Illinois Derby has been carded as the 7th race of a 10-race card with a post time of 4:37 CST.
Owned by Gilbert Campbell and trained by Kathleen O’Connell, Watch Me Go broke his maiden at first asking as a two-year-old last May. He followed with allowance wins in September and again in January. Stretching out for the first time in the Grade III Sam F Davis at Tampa, Watch Me Go ran a good third behind Brethren before turning the tables on that runner in the Grade II Tampa Bay Derby on March 12. Watch Me Go is the 7-2 morning line favorite. He drew post position four. He will be ridden by regular rider Luis Garcia.
Trainer Todd Pletcher has had a run of success in recent years at Hawthorne and he sent another promising sophomore with Joe Vann on Saturday. After a four-length maiden score on February 17, he stretched to 1 1/16 miles in impressively winning a $40,000 optional claiming allowance race on the front-end on March 9. He’ll be taking on stakes rivals for the first time but after two dominating efforts, he certainly deserves the chance. Rider Florent Geroux picks up the call for the Zayat Stables, LLC runner. He’s been pegged as the 6-1 co-fourth choice.
Coming off a recent fifth-place performance in the Grade III Gotham in his last, trainer Richard Violette, Jr.’s The Fed Eased, 5-1 in the morning line, comes to the TVG Illinois Derby looking to gain some graded stakes earnings. The Gotham was the first time around two turns for Klaravich Stables Inc. and William Lawrence’s The Fed Eased. He’ll have to cover an extra sixteenth at this 1 1/8 mile distance but could conceivably move up with experience.
The Field for the Grade III $300,000 TVG Illinois Derby
Race 7, 4:37 PM Post, 1 1/8 Miles, Dirt
||Lagoon Of Diamonds
||Smarter Than Ever
||Watch Me Go
||Vouch For Victory
||A. Stall, Jr.
||B. Hernandez, Jr.
||The Fed Eased
||R. Violette, Jr.
||J. Valdivia, Jr.
||Roman Flame (S)
||Southern Sculptor (S)
Hawthorne Race Course is in its 102nd year of racing under Carey family ownership. Hawthorne races Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday in April. First post daily is 1:30 pm with Friday’s first post at 2:35 pm. For more information on racing at Hawthorne, visit our website at www.Hawthorneracecourse.com.