Horse Racing

Voodoo Song leads talented field in return of Hawthorne Derby


Voodoo Song leads talented field in return of Hawthorne Derby

After a year hiatus, the $100,000 Hawthorne Derby returns to Hawthorne on Saturday for the 51st running of the race. To be contested at 1 1/8 miles on the Hawthorne turf course, the Hawthorne Derby will go as race six on a nine race Saturday card with an 11 horse field.

Leading the field in the Hawthorne Derby is Voodoo Song for owner Barry Schwartz and trainer Linda Rice. The talented colt has really woken up with the move to the turf course at Saratoga in July. After a win on July 22 against $40,000 claimers, Voodoo Song was back just four days later to defeat state-bred allowance company on the grass. Victorious in that race, he would win again against New York-breds on Aug. 23. With another quick return to the races, Voodoo Song battled to a game score in the Grade 3 Saranac on Sept. 2. His most recent effort was a near miss in the Grade 3 Commonwealth Derby at Laurel on Sept. 30. Edgar Perez will be aboard the 9-5 morning line favorite on Saturday.

Second choice in the Hawthorne Derby is Adonis Creed from the barn of trainer Brad Cox. Owned by Zilla Racing Stables, Adonis Creed has raced with mixed results on the year. After a sixth-place effort in the Grade 3 Palm Beach in March, Adonis Creed was an allowance winner on the turf at Keeneland on April 8. That victory led to a string of six consecutive stakes races which included a third-place run in the Grade 3 Kent Stakes at Delaware on July 15 and a pair of second-place finishes in the Stanton Stakes at Delaware and most recently in the Jefferson Cup at Churchill. Shaun Bridgmohan comes in to ride Adonis Creed as he is the 9-2 second choice in the morning line.

Trainer Joe Sharp has Phat Man entered in the Hawthorne Derby for owners Brad and Misty Grady. After a maiden score at Fair Grounds to open the year, Phat Man tried stakes-company in his next two starts, missing the board in both. After a nice string of four starter races where he finished no worse than second, Phat Man got his first stakes win in the Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth on July 8. He would go on to finish sixth in the Grade 3 West Virginia Derby in his next start before running second most recently in the Super Derby on the turf at Louisiana Downs. Chris Emigh gets the call aboard Phat Man on Saturday.

Three Diamonds Farm’s Bronson is entered in the Derby for trainer Mike Maker and jockey Tyler Gaffalione. After a victory against optional claiming allowance company at Gulfstream on the turf to open the year, Bronson has made six straight stakes starts. After a close-up fifth in the Grade 3 Spiral at Turfway in March, Bronson was the winner of the English Channel Stakes at Gulfstream on May 6. He would go on to finish second in the Not Surprising Stakes at Gulfstream on July 4, followed by a third-place run in the Dueling Grounds Derby on Sept. 10. Most recently, Bronson finished fourth in the Jefferson Cup at Churchill on September 30.

The field for the $100,000 Hawthorne Derby:

PP          Horse                              Jockey                Trainer                M/L

1             Imposing Will                   J. Lopez                 M. Boyce             20-1

2             High On Sugar                A. Nunez                L. Slager              30-1

3             Voodoo Song                  E. Perez                  L. Rice                  9-5

4             Phat Man                        C. Emigh                 J. Sharp                6-1

5             Thirsty Actor                  C. Hill                      W. Catalano        15-1

6             Adonis Creed                 S. Bridgmohan      B. Cox                   9-2

7             Blue Sky Kowboy           J. Felix                    M. Boyce              12-1

8             All Right                          D. Sarvis                 K. Gorder             15-1

9             Bronson                         T. Gaffalione          M. Maker              5-1

10           My Bariley                      S. Sanjur                A. Granitz             10-1

11           Red Corvette                 C.H. Marquez        G. Scherer            30-1

[MORE: HandiKapping with David Kaplan, presented by Xpressbet]

HandiKapping presented by Xpressbet

HandiKapping presented by Xpressbet

In the latest edition of HandiKapping presented by Xpressbet, NBC Sports Chicago's David Kaplan makes his picks for the weekend.

Kap made his picks with the help of Eddie Olczyk this week.

Ghaaleb’s Winner Leads Becker Trio into Sun Power Stakes


Ghaaleb’s Winner Leads Becker Trio into Sun Power Stakes

Trainer Scott Becker sends out a trio of geldings for owner William Stiritz in the $100,000 Sun Power Stakes on Saturday at Hawthorne. The Sun Power is for Illinois-bred juvenile colts and geldings and will be contested at six furlongs on the main track.

Leading the way for the Becker trainees is Ghaaleb’s Winner as the 2-1 morning-line favorite will be ridden on Saturday by Chris Emigh. An impressive debut winner at Fairmount Park on Aug. 15, Ghaaleb’s Winner shipped to Arlington Park to contest the Arlington Washington Futurity in his next start. After being bumped at the start and dropping back to last early, he rallied to finish a solid third in that seven furlong event. His most recent start came at Hawthorne on Oct. 19 as he got a perfect trip en-route to a two-and-a-half length victory against optional claiming allowance company. Ghaaleb’s Winner will be joined in the race by Becker entrants Gita’s Lad (8-1) and Caleb’s Heir (15-1).

The second and third choices in the morning line come from the Larry Rivelli barn in Demand Ransom and Pass the Gravy. Demand Ransom was a solid winner on debut at Arlington on Aug. 3, defeating $25,000 maiden claimers by nearly seven lengths. His most recent race was a third-place effort behind Ghaaleb’s Winner after contesting the pace with Pass the Gravy on Oct, 19. Julio Felix gets the call once again on Demand Ransom, who is the 9-2 second-choice.

Pass the Gravy is the second Rivelli entrant in the Sun Power Stakes as Rodney Prescott gets the call on the 5-1 morning-line third choice. Pass the Gravy also got off to a fine start on his racing career, winning at first asking over the polytrack at Arlington on Sept. 2. After a six-week break, he was pushed along in his most recent race by Demand Ransom, tiring in the lane to finish fifth to Ghaaleb’s Winner.

Sir Anthony is the 6-1 fourth choice in the line in the Sun Power for owner Richard Otto Stables, Inc. and trainer Anthony Mitchell. Sir Anthony debuted at Arlington on Sept. 2, finishing third in a maiden race won by Pass the Gravy. He tried the turf at Hawthorne on Oct. 20, chasing the early pace around two turns before tiring to finish fifth in that spot. He enters the Sun Power off a maiden score at Hawthorne on Nov. 1. Santo Sanjur takes the return ride on Sir Anthony.

The field for the Sun Power Stakes:

PP           Horse                                 Jockey              Trainer                 M/L

1              Run for Charlie                  J. Lopez                S. Manley            20-1

2              Gita’s Lad                            V. Santiago         S. Becker             8-1

3              Ghaaleb’s Winner            C. Emigh               S. Becker             2-1

4              Mr. Luv Maker                  F. Giles                 T. Dorris               8-1

5              Im The Best I Know         E. Perez                W. Catalano        12-1

6              Demand Ransom             J. Felix                   L. Rivelli                9-2

7              Caleb’s Heir                        V. Bailon              S. Becker             15-1

8              Sir Anthony                        S. Sanjur              A. Mitchell          6-1

9              Pass the Gravy                  R. Prescott          L. Rivelli                5-1