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Apr 07, 2006

Cause to Believe tops field for Illinois Derby


Cicero, IL (Sports Network) - The leading Kentucky Derby contender from northern California, Cause to Believe, has been installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite for Saturday's $500,000 Illinois Derby at Hawthorne Race Course. The Illinois Derby will run at the distance of 1 1/8 miles.

Owned by Peter Abruzzo and Peter Redekop, Cause to Believe is coming off his second straight stakes win and has taken six of nine career starts. The colt won the California Derby last time out after taking the El Camino Real Derby.

Cause to Believe is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer and will be ridden by Russell Baze. The three-year-old will start from post 7 in the 10 horse field.

In his career Cause to Believe has earned $335,565 and Baze has won in each of his five times in the saddle.

After finishing a close third in the Gotham Stakes, Sweetnorthernsaint is the 4-1 second choice for the Illinois Derby. Sweetnorthernsaint will break from the outside post with Kent Desormeaux riding.

The third in the Gotham snapped the colt's two race win streak that included the Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel. Sweetnorthernsaint has earned $77,000 in five starts. He is owned by Joseph Balsamo and Ted Theos, and trained by Michael Trombetta.

Two of the top trainers in the nation each have a horse entered in the Illinois Derby. Bobby Frankel will saddle Racketeer and Todd Pletcher has entered My Golden Song. Both colts are 5-1 in the morning line.

Racketeer will start from post 8 with My Golden Song next to him on the outside. Racketeer will be ridden by Pat Valenzuela and Chris DeCarlo will be aboard My Golden Song.

Trainer Michael Maker has entered local winner Devilofarush in the Illinois Derby. Devilofarush is coming off an allowance victory at Hawthorne and has won his last two starts. Owned by Ron Peltz, the chestnut colt is a stablemate of Lane's End Stakes winner With a City.

Devilofarush is 30-1 in the morning line and will be ridden by Eddie Baird from post 5. The three-year-old has started 13 times with three wins and $65,241.

Completing the field for the Illinois Derby in post position order are Malameeze, Creative Force, Itsallboutthechase, Lewis Michael and Mister Triester

The Illinois Derby jumped into prominence in 2002 when War Emblem won it before capturing the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. At the time Sportsman's Park was the site of the race.

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