HAWTHORNE RACE COURSE
|Hawthorne Racecourse (3/22/04)
Contact: Jim Miller
Add 10 More to Illinois Derby Nominations
STICKNEY, IL -- Friday March 19 closed the nominations for the Illinois Derby as ten more runners were nominated to the Grade 2, $500,000 event which will take place on April 3. The late nominees are listed below:
Chaseur - Tom Amoss
Pure American Ready For Derby
A runner that has been on the grounds for 10 days already is Al & Sandee Kirkwood's Pure American. Trained by Grant Forster, the three-year-old gelding has shown he should be able to handle this track with little problem, based on Sunday's workout. Working five-eights of a mile under jockey Jesse Campbell, Pure American went through fractions of :23 4/5, :36 4/5, :48 and crossed the wire at :59 2/5. He galloped out in 1:13 3/5 for three-quarters. The work was the best of 33 for the day.
After a pair of second place efforts as a two-year-old at Emerald Downs, Pure American moved to Kentucky where he broke his maiden last November. After a pair of middle of the pack runs in allowance company, Pure American broke through for a big victory around two turns at Oaklawn on February 28. His rider that race, Greta Kuntzweiler, is slated to ride Pure American in the Illinois Derby.
Meza, Baird and Tomillo Heating Up
A pair of riders got hot this weekend, hooking up for some longshot winners as both Nick Meza and E.T. Baird got on track. On Saturday, Meza guided home his third winner of the meet to pay over $30 as his lone mount of the day, E Z Line, came off a year long layoff to win the day's final race, paying $33.60.
Meza was back at it on Sunday as he and eight-year-old maiden Princess Leal got together for a win in the day's third race. It took 49 starts for Princess Leal to break through, but the Louis Hunkapiller trainee posted another big mutuel, paying $32.60 for the victory. The win gave Meza four for the meet from only 19 starts, and he has hit the board with eight of those 19 runners, all aboard longshots.
Local favorite E.T. Baird is also getting back into the mix as he had a good day as well on Saturday. After finishing second aboard Shandy in Saturday's fourth race, Baird won the sixth and seventh races, both aboard longshots as he guided home One Upman ($27.40) to the win in the sixth and Garrard ($28.00) in the seventh.
Trainer Tom Tomillo also ahs a good weekend as his barn had three wins for the weekend. On Saturday, both longshot winners ridden by Baird, One Upman and Garrard ran for Tomillo and on Sunday, Tomillo's Go Margo ($8.20) grabbed the win in the day's fifth race.