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Apr 15, 2011

Joe Vann trucks home to win Illinois Derby


Stickney, IL (Sports Network) - Joe Vann, ridden by Florent Geroux, helped set the pace and went on to capture Saturday's $300,000 Illinois Derby at Hawthorne Race Course. The colt, trained by Todd Pletcher, covered the 1 1/8- miles in 1:51.91.

Joe Vann was racing to the outside of pacesetter Lagoon of Diamonds in the 12 horse field. Running in third was The Fed Eased with 2-1 favorite Watch Me Go about five-lengths off the lead.

On the final turn Joe Vann eased past Lagoon of Diamonds to take the lead. Racing in second was The Fed Eased with Sour, the 7-2 second choice, in third and the favorite running fourth.

Joe Vann. who was making his first stakes start, took control at the top of the stretch. Gaining ground from off the pace was Zoebear.

Owned by Zayat Stables, Joe Vann powered his way through the stretch to register a 4 1/4-length win over Zoebear with The Fed Eased finishing third.

Rounding out the order of finish in the 54th Illinois Derby was Sour, El Grayling, Watch Me Go, Roman Flame, Lagoon of Diamonds, Vouch for Victory, Smarter Than Ever, Southern Sculptor and Future Empire.

Sent off as one of three horses at 5-1, Joe Vann earned $167,400 with the victory. The colt has won his last three starts and has career winnings of $217,615. The Illinois Derby was the first time Geroux had ridden the horse.

Joe Vann paid $12.60, $6.80 and $5.20. Zoebear returned $8.80 and $6.20, and The Fed Eased paid $6.20 to show.

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