Brian’s Derby Preps: The Illinois Derby

Hawthorne: The Grade III, $300,000 Illinois Derby at 1 1/8 miles

Trying to upset the apple cart in a very weak race with #5 VOUCH FOR VICTORY, who ran sneaky good in his first two-turn attempt and has every right to move forward with that run behind him; in a race where no one else impresses, why not take a big price? #4 WATCH ME GO upset the Tampa Bay Derby at long odds in a suspect field, but has the right running style to think he can be a major factor against this modest group; no reason he can’t double up. #10 EL GRAYLING was eased in the Fountain of Youth but two-back ran a fine third to subsequent Florida Derby runner-up Shackleford; capable if he can bounce back.

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