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Hawthorne Derby Entry Box Overflows

Quick Wit beats Csaba in Hall of Fame.

The entry box for the $200,000 Grade 2 Hawthorne Derby was filled to overflowing after the post position draw on Wednesday. Twelve runners drew into the main body of the field with two listed as also-eligibles, that could get into the race if any in the body of the field decide to scratch.


This 48th running of the Hawthorne Derby will be contested at a mile and an eighth on Hawthorne’s turf course. It is restricted to 3-year-olds. The turf rail will be set at zero-feet, allowing for a full field of 12 to compete.


As usual, this contest is one of the most competitive races of the fall racing season.


Linemaker Jim Miller projected #4, All Squared Away, at 4-1, to go off at the post-time favorite. This Peter Miller trainee, owned by Brous Stable, will be ridden by Corey Nakatani. All Squared Away is a three-time winner this year. He most recently finished seventh in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby, at this distance, but his chances were severely compromised when he bobbled at the start and got off well behind the rest of the field. However, he did manage to make up about 11 lengths and was less than three lengths back at the finish.


Michael Bruder’s Quick Wit, trained by Dale Romans, drew the 12 post position but that shouldn’t be a factor in a race at this distance. With his good tactical speed he should be able to gain good early running position. His last victory came in the Grade 2 Hall of Fame at Saratoga, in a race that was moved from turf to a sloppy dirt track. Local rider Francisco Torres got the mount. There are listed at 5-1 in the morning line.


Mrs. John Magnier, Michael B. & De Tabor’s Finale, trained by Todd Pletcher, seeks to make amends for a last-place finish in his first race this year. That event took place at Saratoga, in the $100,000 Equalize. This usually fleet-from-the-gate runner started off near the back of the pack and made only a brief move to pass one runner before fading to last place. However, this multiple stakes winner, who went off as the tepid favorite in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Churchill last year, is certainly capable of far better. He has been listed at 8-1 in the morning line.


There are a number of locally-based runners in here that figure prominently. The Pizza Man, owned by Midwest Thoroughbreds and trained by Roger Brueggemann and ridden by Seth Martinez will need a little assistance. He drew into the also-eligibles, meaning they can’t run unless one of the other horses scratch. The Pizza Man has been victorious in five of six of his races on turf. He ran evenly to finish sixth, in the Grade 3 American Derby at Arlington, in his only previous start against this type of company but he has improved dramatically since that race.


Bluegrass VII’s Control Tower, has reeled off three straight victories, all against somewhat easier company. But, he has come into his own since moving to the barn of Wayne Catalano, and seems to be improving by leaps and bounds. He’s been projected to go off at 8-1. He’ll be ridden by Miguel Mena


Jim Tafel LLC’s All Stormy most recently got up to take a second-level allowance event but his neck loss in the Grade 3 American Derby, after leading from the start, shows that he can be a factor. Trained by Greg Geier, he’ll be ridden by Rosemary Homeister Jr. He’s 12-1 in the morning line.


The complete field:


1.         Film Shot                    

2.         Finale                         

3.         All Stormy                   

4.         All Squared Away         

5.         Francois                     

6.         Two Months Rent        

7.         Aldous Snow               

8.         Control Tower             

9.         North of Never            

10.       Lea                           

11.       Pleasant Closing         

12.       Quick Wit                  

13.       The Pizza Man            

14.       Defiant Flyer             



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