Illinois Derby at Hawthorne Park

Dave Bond

Las Vegas, NV -- The 55th running of the Grade 3 Illinois Derby comes our way this Saturday, April 7th from Hawthorne Park and features yet another solid group of three year olds looking to qualify for the Kentucky Derby on May 5th. $500,000 is on the line for horses willing to go 1 1/8 miles on Hawthorne's main dirt track.

The largest field in Illinois Derby history has been assembled for the race - 14 starters will go in race 9 on Hawthorne's Saturday card with three other eligibles waiting in the wings. Among the entries are nine horses that posted wins in their last outings.

Here is a breakdown of the 14 starters and their recent results:

Illinois Derby Race Favorites

Currency Swap - finished second in an Allowance race behind Gemologist last time out at Gulfstream March 16th but won his other two career starts - the Grade 1 Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga in September and a Maiden Special Weight race in August at Saratoga as well. Currency Swap was on track to start the Breeders' Cup before and ankle injury forced him to abandon his 2011 campaign.

Illinois Derby betting at Hawthorne Park with

Our Entourage - has five career starts with two wins - both coming on turf. Last time out Our Entourage won an Allowance Optional Claiming race at Gulfstream on February 25th and before that finished fifth in a pair of graded stakes races - the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct in November and the Grade 1 Dixiana Breeders' Futurity on this track in October.

Remaining Field Entries

Pretention - already has three starts this year. Last time out Pretention finished fifth at the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct on March 3rd and before that won the Sweet Envoy Stakes at Aqueduct on February 11th. Pretention has two wins and three second place finishes in six career starts.

Hakama - has six career starts with two wins, two seconds and a third place finish. Last time out Hakama finished second in the Private Terms Stakes at Laurel Park on March 17th and before that was sixth in the Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct on February 4th. His other 2012 start resulted in a win at an Allowance Optional Claiming race at Laurel Park on January 4th.

Ring It Up - has eight career starts with only one win. In 2012 Ring It Up was fourth in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park on February 20th and finished second in a pair of Allowance Optional Claiming races at Oaklawn.

Romancing the Gold - won an Allowance Optional Claiming race last time out on March 7th at Aqueduct and before that was sixth in a similar race on the same track on February 3rd. In five career starts, Romancing the Gold has two wins and a third place finish.

Saturday Launch - also won last time out - an Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream on March 11th and before that finished third in a pair of similar races at Gulfstream. Saturday Launch, like Our Entourage is primarily a turf specialist.

Skyring - is another horse that won last time out - a Maiden Special Weight race at Oaklawn on March 17th. Skyring has one win and a second in four career starts.

Z Rockstar - has raced three times in 2012 with a win last time out in an Allowance at Oaklawn Park on March 16th. Z Rockstar posted a sixth recently in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes and was second in an Allowance in the two races prior - both at Oaklawn.

Fastestwhogetspaid - is yet another horse that posted a win last time out in an Allowance at Oaklawn Park on March 3rd. Before that he finished second in an Optional Claiming at Oaklawn and 11th in the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn.

Frankie Is Rock - has raced three times in 2012 and has posted just one third place finish at an Allowance last time out - March 21st at Hawthorne. Frankie Is Rock has only one win in six career starts.

Morgan's Guerilla - has only two career starts - a win at a Maiden Special Weight race last time out on March 3rd at Aqueduct and a second before that in a similar race at Gulfstream.

Done Talking - finished 10th last time out in the Grade 2 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct and was fourth before that in the Grade 2 Ramsen Stakes also at Aqueduct.

Slamit - has won two consecutive races - the Spring Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge Stakes at Sam Houston on March 10th and before that a Maiden Special Weight race at Oaklawn Park on February 18th.

Also Eligible include Explain, Arm Force and Defiant Flyer

Illinois Derby Entries

Race 9 on Hawthorne Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:46 PM.

Post Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Romancing the Gold I. Ortiz, Jr. J. Englehart 15-1
2 Hakama J. Pimentel M. Trombetta 6-1
3 Ring It Up L. Wade C. Richard 15-1
4 Currency Swap S. Bridgmohan T. Pompay 4-1
5 Pretension J. Santiago C. Grove 5-1
6 Skyring R. Vazquez D. Lukas 20-1
7 Saturday Launch C. Emigh K. McPeek 15-1
8 Z Rockstar Q. Hamilton D. Von Hemel 10-1
9 Fastestwhogetspaid I. Ocampo B. Williamson 30-1
10 Frankie Is Rock E. Perez R. Aguilar 30-1
11 Our Entourage E. Castro T. Pletcher 9-2
12 Morgan's Guerrilla R. Napravnik M. Maker 10-1
13 Done Talking S. Russell H. Smith 20-1
14 Slamit C. Hill T. Ice 30-1
15 (AE) Explain F. Torres B. Cox 20-1
16 (AE) Arm Force E. Castro E. Harty 15-1
17 (AE) Defiant Flyer S. Martinez L. Davis 30-1

Travers Stakes at Saratoga

Field & Odds are set for the 150th running of the $1,250,000 Travers Stakes which will be held on Saturday, August 24 at Saratoga Race Course.

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