Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby champ Watch Me Go headlines a full
field of 12 entered for the 54th running of Saturday’s Grade 3, $300,000 TVG
Illinois Derby at Hawthorne.
The TVG Illinois Derby has been carded as the 7th race of a
10 race card with a post time of 4:37 CST.
Owned by Gilbert Campbell and trained by Kathleen
O’Connell, Watch Me Go broke his maiden at first asking as a two-year-old last
May. He followed with allowance wins in September and again in January.
Stretching out for the first time in the Grade 3 Sam F Davis at Tampa, Watch Me Go ran a
good third behind Brethren before turning the tables on that runner in the
Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 12. Watch Me Go is the 7-2 morning line
favorite. He drew post position four. He will be ridden by regular rider Luis
Trainer Todd Pletcher has had a run of success in recent
years at Hawthorne
and he sent another promising sophomore with Joe Vann on Saturday. After a
four-length maiden score on February 17, he stretched to 1 1/16 miles in
impressively winning a $40,000 optional claiming allowance race on the
front-end on March 9. He’ll be taking on stakes rivals for the first time but
after two dominating efforts, he certainly deserves the chance. Rider Florent
Geroux picks up the call for the Zayat Stables, LLC runner. He’s been pegged as
the 6-1 co-fourth choice.
Coming off a recent fifth-place performance in the Grade 3
Gotham in his last, trainer Richard Violette, Jr.’s The Fed Eased, 5-1 in the
morning line, comes to the TVG Illinois Derby looking to gain some graded
stakes earnings. The Gotham was the first time
around two turns for Klaravich Stables Inc. & William Lawrence’s The Fed
Eased. He’ll have to cover an extra sixteenth at this 1 1/8 mile distance but
could conceivably move up with experience.
The Field for the Grade 3, $300,000 TVG Illinois Derby Race
7, 4:37 PM Post, 1 1/8 Miles, Dirt PP Horse Trainer Jockey M/L 1 Lagoon Of
Diamonds K. Ackerman E. Perez 15-1 2 Smarter Than Ever C. Hanna J. Santana 15-1
3 Joe Vann T. Pletcher F. Geroux 6-1 4 Watch Me Go K O’Connell L. Garcia 7-2 5
Vouch For Victory M. Perez J. Felix 15-1 6 Sour A. Stall, Jr. B. Hernandez, Jr.
6-1 7 The Fed Eased R. Violette, Jr. J. Valdivia, Jr. 5-1 8 Zoebear S. Becker
S. Martinez 10-1 9 Roman Flame (S) F. Kirby T. Thornton 30-1 10 El Grayling M.
Maker V. Lebron 9-2 11 Southern Sculptor (S) E. Guillot L. Medina 12-1 12
Future Empire G. Scherer T. Riggs 30-1