HAWTHORNE RACE COURSE
|Hawthorne Racecourse (3/29/04)
Contact: Jim Miller
11 Probable for Illinois Derby
STICKNEY, IL -- Saturday's running of the Illinois Derby looks to possibly be a coming out party for a top Kentucky Derby candidate once again as 11 runners are listed as probables for the Grade 2, $500,000 event.
In 2002, War Emblem won the Illinois Derby in its final running at Sportsman's Park and then went on to victories in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Last year the race transferred over to Hawthorne Race Course and another Triple Crown contender emerged as Ten Most Wanted grabbed the victory in the Illinois Derby before going on to a second place finish in the Belmont and wins in the Travers and Super Derby.
Pollard's Vision, who finished third in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby in his last start, heads the list of probables for the Illinois Derby. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Pollard's Vision is scheduled to arrive at Hawthorne Thursday.
Undefeated Song Of The Sword will be coming from New York on Thursday as well. Trained by Jennifer Pedersen, Song of the Sword defeated recent Lane's End winner Sinister G in his last start in an allowance race at Aqueduct. Also arriving on Thursday are Anthony Reinstedler's Farnum Alley, who finished fifth in the Florida Derby in his last start, and Paul McGee's Suave.
A pair of runners arrived from California on Saturday. El Camino Real Derby winner Kilgowan and fourth place finisher O.K. Mikie both shipped in. Golden Gate Derby winner Skipaslew is expected to arrive from California on Tuesday.
Phil Schoenthal's White Mountain Boy arrived this afternoon. The winner of four of five starts ran third to Silver Minister in the John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway in his last start.
Pure American has been at Hawthorne for three weeks. He makes his first start off an impressive allowance win at Oaklawn in his last. Getting a pair of workouts over the track, Pure American posted the bullet drill for the day on Monday, covering five-eighths of a mile under jockey Greta Kuntzweiler in :59.0.
A pair of local horses are also expected for the Illinois Derby. Terrel Gore's Chrome Soldier and Eddie Cole's Dancefortyniner are both expected to run in the Grade 2 race.
Illinois Derby to be Part of Magna Pick 5
Saturday's running of the Grade 2 Illinois Derby will go as the seventh race at Hawthorne, with a 4:22 CDT post, and will be included as part of the Magna Pick 5 wager. The Magna Pick 5 offers a guaranteed pool of $500,000 and covers five races in a one and a half hour time period. The Illinois Derby will be the second leg of the Magna Pick 5. Also included in the Magna Pick 5 will be the Aventura from Gulfstream and the Santa Anita Derby.
Lost Code Breeders' Cup, Meafara Stakes on Saturday
Saturday, in addition to the Illinois Derby, two additional stakes races will be run. Sprinters will compete in the $100,000 added Lost Code Breeders' Cup and fillies will be the focus of the $40,000 added Meafara Stakes.
The Lost Code Breeders' Cup looks to be a very competitive race as a strong field is set to line up. Probables for the Lost Code include (in alphabetical order): Call Me Shane; Danieltown; Harbour Gate; Marley's Revenge; Wild Eventure; and Wildcat Shoes. Possibles for the Lost Code include Cannacorn, Edgerrin, and Orphan Brigade.
Probables for the Meafara are: Arkoudi; Clever Maid; Down By The Sea; Road to Mandalay; and Sala De Oro. Still possible for the Meafara are: Bella Cobra; Ghoastly Gate; Lovely Afternoon; Prevalent; Stoneway; Thisgirldontlaugh; Turn To Lass; and Younity.