Hawthorne Racecourse (4/6/12)
Contact: Jim Miller
Illinois Derby updates
The calm before the storm! A beautiful weekend expected ahead as we have the 55th running of the Grade III $500,000 TVG Illinois Derby just one day away. The final three entrants are expected to arrive today as Saturday Launch scratched at Keeneland and is planning to race here tomorrow. The 14 in the body of the Derby are all planning to run and Explain and Arm Force have already scratched for tomorrow. Defiant Flyer is stabled on the grounds, so expect that one to wait until the AM to see if they can get in.
Many of the Illinois Derby horses have been onsite for the majority of the week and have gotten to get a feel for the Hawthorne surface. Ring It Up, Done Talking, Pretension and Z Rockstar were the first ones in along with locals Fastestwhogetspaid and Frankie is Rock. Pretension has gotten out to gallop a few times and has looked very strong. Currency Swap was in Wednesday and has looked tremendous on the track as well.
The TVG Illinois Derby will have quite a bit of on-air exposure tomorrow with all day coverage on TVG as Mike Joyce will be on site to cover all of the racing action while also conducting interviews with connections of the Illinois Derby runners. Additionally, there will be a one hour live show on WGN which will have both the Cryptoclearance Stakes and the Illinois Derby. The weather is supposed to be great, and the Saturday card is excellent with the two stakes, and a trio of turf races, including a pair that will be included in the late Pick 4.
Today we have sunny skies, a fast main track and a firm turf course. On Wednesday, jockey Francisco Torres won 4 races, moving him within 6 of 2,500 on his career. Also, jockey Tim Thornton is only 12 victories away from 1,000 for his career.
Only a few scratches on the Friday card:
Todays Early Changes
Main Track Fast
Scratch #2 Aviyah Shines
Scratch #5 Retail Reger
Scratch #3 Camp Fairfax R N
Scratch #8 Circular Street
Scratch #9 Abuela Emma