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Apr 02, 2004

Anybody's race in Illinois Derby

By: Sports Network

Cicero, IL (Sports Network) - Eleven thoroughbred three-year-olds,

whose owners and trainers are all hoping can be the next War Emblem,

have been entered in Saturday's $500,000 Illinois Derby at Hawthorne

Race Course.

Two years ago War Emblem used the 1 1/8 mile race as the final prep before

winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Last year eventual

Travers Stakes winner Ten Most Wanted also captured the event.

This year's Illinois Derby is a wide opened affair without a solid


The 4-1 morning line favorite is Pollard's Vision who is coming off a

third place finish in the Louisiana Derby. Pollard's Vision is owned by

Edgewood Farm and trained by Todd Pletcher. Jockey Eibar Coa will ride the

colt for the first time and start from post two.

Stakes newcomer Song of the Sword is the 9-2 second choice in the program.

Song of the Sword will be ridden by Richard Migliore for owner Ernie

Paragallo and trainer Jennifer Pederson. Migliore was the winning jockey

aboard Friends Lake in the Florida Derby. Song of the Sword will break

from post five.

Merv Griffin is going to spin the wheel of fortune in the Illinois Derby

with Skipaslew. Earlier this year the colt captured the Golden Gate Derby

at Golden Gate Fields and then was seventh in the El Camino Real Derby there. Skipaslew is 5-1 in the morning line and will start from post three with Eric Saint- Martin aboard. The three-year-old is trained by Doug O'Neill.

At 12-1 in the morning line, El Camino Real Derby winner Kilgowan is not

getting much respect. Kilgowan was the longshot winner of that race for

owner Ann Marie Farm and trainer Lonnie Arterburn. Jockey Chance Rollins

again has the mount and will break from the inside post.

Another California horse, O.K. Mikie, will attempt to get to the wire

first. O.K. Mikie was second in the Golden State Derby and a close fourth

in the El Camino Real. He is 10-1 in the program with Kevin Radke set to

ride. O.K. Mikie will start from post nine for owner Charles Lo and trainer

Jerry McArthur.

Here is the complete post position order for the Illinois Derby:

Kilgowan, Pollard's Vision, Skipaslew, Suave, Song of the Sword,

Chrome Soldier, Dancefortyniner, Pure American, O.K. Mikie, Farnus

Alley and White Mountain Boy.

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