Hawthorne Racecourse (4/8/11)
Contact: Jim Miller
Looking ahead to the Illinois Derby
My apologies for not posting stable notes the past couple of days as we were compiling our field for the TVG Illinois Derby. As the morning went on for entries on Wednesday, the amount of entrants in the Derby continued to swell to the point of a full field. For name horses, it is great to have Grade II Tampa Bay Derby winner Watch Me Go as the favorite for the race. We also get horses that ran in the Grade III Gotham (The Fed Eased) and Grade II Fountain of Youth (El Grayling) entered in the race. For a gambler, this is a tremendous wagering race. You can practically make a case for any runner in here and regardless of who wins, the TVG Illinois Derby is going to provide value on Saturday.
Overall, the Saturday card is tremendous! We have full fields and very competitive races all day long. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous and there is money to be made!
We luck out for today’s card as well. We had some rain overnight, but with the rain passing quickly, the track will dry out nicely for a fine 9-race card.
Looking at the standings, things have been shaking up a bit as Jozbin Santana was under the weather for a couple of days and a few riders are heating up. Heading into today’s card, Tanner Riggs has taken back the lead in the standings with 34 wins, three ahead of Santana. Florent Geroux is third with 25, while Tim Thornton has 21. The two hottest riders of late have been Julio Felix (20 wins) and Seth Martinez (19 wins).
For trainers, Joel Berndt continues to win at a 31 percent clip with 23 winners on the meet. The Frank Kirby barn has been solid of late too with 16 wins and 56 runners that have finished in the money.
Today we have a pair of online chats on HorseplayerNow.com as we will be covering the races during the afternoon, providing selections and insight into the TVG Illinois Derby. Tonight, we will have another chat to look at the Saturday Hawthorne card, with a focus on the TVG Illinois Derby.
Main Track – Fast
Race 1 – No Show, No Superfecta Wagering
Scratch #4 – Maymeister
Scratch #5 – Prairie Academy
Scratch #1 – Evette
Scratch #4 – Wild About Boys
Scratch #3 – Sharp Trick
Scratch #4 – Embalo (Brz)
Scratch #2 – Canadian Lynx
Scratch #1 – Algonquin Posse
Scratch #5 – Dontbetellinme
Scratch #4 – Proud Osceola
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.