Hawthorne Racecourse
3501 S. Laramie
Stickney/Cicero, Illinois, 60804


Date: April 18, 15
Post: 6:40 pm ET
Purse: $400,000
Grade: III
Type: Thoroughbred
Distance: 1 1/8 Miles
Age: Three Year Olds
Sex: Mares
Turf: Dirt

Omitted by Churchill Downs from its rightful place among prep races offering Kentucky Derby qualifying points, the G3 Illinois Derby has been repositioned as a springboard to the G1 Preakness S. in one month. Four of this year's entrants - Verraco, Cross the Line, A. Rod Again and Private Prospect - are nominated to the classics and could turn up in Baltimore if successful here. California Derby hero Cross the Line invades from California after finishing fifth of six in the G1 Santa Anita Derby. He won't face the likes of unbeaten Dortmund in this spot and figures to attract plenty of support at the windows. Verraco is just half a length from winning three straight and prevailed by a neck in an optional claimer at Santa Anita when last seen on Feb. 27. Private Prospect has raced in six stakes in his eight starts, winning two of those last year at Prairie Meadows. But the Discreet Cat colt has been off-the-board in his last four starts. A. Rod Again broke his maiden in his second race at Churchill Downs in early November then was drubbed in the Mucho Macho Man S. at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 3. Sent to Fair Grounds after that, he finished second and fourth in two optional claiming contests. Phenomenal Phoenix unsuccessfully tried stakes company twice and enters off a career best effort in which the gelding won an Oaklawn Park allowance. Kantune was two and a half lengths behind Phenomenal Phoenix in that March 26 event but trounced in his only previous stakes try, the G3 Southwest S. in Hot Springs on Feb. 22. Conquest Curlinate broke his maiden at Oaklawn in January then failed as the favorite when third there in a February allowance race. Whiskey Ticket, who made a winning debut with a hard-fought effort at Santa Anita last month, could give trainer Bob Baffert a Derby victory before he heads to Louisville with a trio of threats for the first Saturday in May. Lewys Vaporizer stretches out off a dazzling 6F maiden romp on this oval last month.
The Illinois Derby is an American horseracing meet that is raced each year at a distance of one and one eight miles on the right-handed dirt track of Hawthorne Race Course. This grade II race is open to thoroughbred three-year-old horses. This horseracing event is considered as the preparatory race for the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. Earlier, this racing event used to run between the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes but since 2001, it has been running in the middle of January each year. The fastest time in the history of the game is under the belt of Wild Rush, who clocked 1:47.51 in 1997.

Illinois Derby Winners
Year Winner Age Trainer Jockey Owner Time
2014 Dynamic Impact Mark E. Casse Miguel Mena John C. Oxley 1:49.07
2013 Departing Albert M. Stall, Jr. Brian J. Hernandez, Jr. Claiborne Farm 1:50.78
2012 Done Talking Hamilton Smith Sheldon Russell Skeedattle Stable 1:53.88
2011 Joe Vann Todd Pletcher Florent Geroux Zayat Stable 1:51:91
2010 American Lion Eoin G. Harty David Flores WinStar Farm 1:51:31
2009 Muskett Man Derek S. Ryan Eibar Coa Eric Fein/Vic Carlson 1:49.91
2008 Recapturetheglory Louie Roussel III E. T. Baird L. Roussel III/Ronald Lamarque 1:49.01
2007 Cowtown Cat Todd A. Pletcher Fernando Jara WinStar Farm 1:51.21
Illinois Derby Video

2009 Illinois Derby, Gr. 2 - USA - Vencedor: Musket Man