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For Immediate Release
April 9, 2011
Joe Vann Takes TVG Illinois Derby
– Trainer Todd Pletcher has had his success through the years at Hawthorne and he was successful once again this year when
Joe Vann was victorious in the Grade 3, $300,000 TVG Illinois Derby at Hawthorne.
Zayat Stables, LLC and ridden by Florent Geroux, the three-year-old Silver
Deputy colt stalked the early pace set by Lagoon of Diamonds through fractions
of :23.81, :48.37 and 1:13.65. Moving at
the top of the stretch, Geroux and Joe Vann took over and opened up, winning in
runaway style by 4 1/4 lengths, stopping the clock for the 1 1/8 mile distance
on the fast track in 1:51.91. Zoebear
closed late after a rail trip to finish second, followed by The Fed Eased, and
Sent off at
odds of 5-1, Joe Vann returned $12.60, $6.80 and $5.20. Zoebear came back $8.80 and $6.20 while The
Fed Eased returned $6.20.
win, Joe Vann earned $167,400, boosting his career earnings to $217,615, to put
him into the mix for drawing into the field for the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby,
though he isn’t nominated to the Triple Crown.
rider Florent Geroux was elated. “My instructions were simply to enjoy myself.
Mike, Mr. Pletcher’s assistant, told me to place him wherever I wanted. He told
me that he had good natural speed and I could place him close if I wanted to.
So, that’s what I did. He ran a very good race. I was only about a half-length
off the leader. When I asked him at the quarter pole, he just took off. The
thing that helped me was that I watched a couple of his races. In one of his
maiden races, at Saratoga
last August, he beat Mucho Macho Man who could be one of the top Kentucky Derby
“I knew he was a very nice horse.
“This race was huge. The win in the
Illinois Derby was one of the biggest of my career. I really like Hawthorne. I want to
thank all of the horsemen who helped me. I am very proud to ride for Mr.
Pletcher today. I would like to thank him, his owners, and all involved.”
Seth Martinez, the rider of
second-place finisher, Zoebear, was equally happy. “The trainer (Scott Becker)
told me, being on the outside, to get him out of the gate in good order, take
him back, and make one run with him. That’s what I did. I followed
instructions. I was fortunate enough to get through on the fence. It worked out
favorite Watch Me Go finished sixth. According to rider Luis Garcia, "He
was training like a monster. On the backstretch he was off the bit a little
bit; he's not like that, he's usually on the bit. When I asked him he didn't
have anything. He acted like he was going to do it, but he just stayed
Hawthorne Race Course is in its 102nd year of racing under
Carey family ownership. Hawthorne races every Tuesday, Wednesday,
Friday and Saturday through the end of April.
First post daily is 1:30 PM and 2:35 PM on Friday. For more information
on racing at Hawthorne,
visit our website at www.Hawthorneracecourse.com