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Apr 24, 2015

Whiskey Ticket rumbles to victory in Illinois Derby


Stickney, IL ( - Whiskey Ticket, making just his second career start, held off a late running Conquest Curlinate to capture Saturday's 58th edition of the $400,000 Illinois Derby at Hawthorne.

Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Martin Pedroza, Whiskey Ticket was sent off as the 2-1 second pick behind 13-10 favorite Cross the Line in the eight- horse field of 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles.

Whiskey Ticket settled into fourth behind pacesetters Kantune and A. Rod Again. Pedroza moved Whiskey Ticket into second entering the far turn and they took the lead coming into the stretch.

Making a bold move from the outside was Conquest Curlinate and jockey Shaun Bridgmohan. The 6-1 third choice cut into Whiskey Ticket's lead but failed at the wire by a nose. Phenomenal Phoenix was third and Verraco fourth.

Completing the order finish were Cross the Line, Private Prospect, A. Rod Again and Kantune. Lewys Vaporizer was early scratch.

The time for the Illinois Derby was 1:50.82 on a fast track.

Whiskey Ticket, owned by Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman, had made his racing debut just four weeks ago on March 19 at Santa Anita when he won by a head as a 14-1 longshot with Pedroza riding.

Saturday's win was worth $240,000 to give the colt $273,600 in two winning starts.

Whiskey Ticket paid $6.40, $4.00 and $3.20. Conquest Curlinate returned $6.00 and $4.60, and Phenomenal Phoenix paid $4.80 to show.

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