Player Quick Pick: G3 Illinois Derby

Profile Picture: Molly Jo Rosen

Molly Jo Rosen

April 19th, 2014

Reminder that our Road to the Derby promo is on Keeneland's G3 Lexington today...


... now in other 3yo stake news:

Hawthorne race 9 | 6:42 pm ET G3 Illinois Derby for 3yo going 1-1/8 mi.

1- Dynamic Impact: hasn't done much wrong but only put it together last out 2-A Step Ahead: has to prove more than precocious after lackluster spring 3- Midnight Hawk: SoCal shipper with 2nd-itis of late 4-Irish You Well: has come too close to still be a maiden 5- King Cyrus: +blinks & gets Rosie up off forgettable LA Derby try 6-Emmett Park: faltered first time v. stakes company 7-Global Strike: maybe forgive being overmatched in 1st v. winners last out 8-Class Leader: steps up off back-to-back wins

Some people complain when a 3-year-old prep has a short field; however, I don't mind when the race is as tough to figure out as this.

There are no Derby points on the line in this 1-1/8 mi. contest, which makes the presence of Midnight Hawk all the more confusing: he currently sits comfortably inside the Top 20, yet Bob Baffert ships the grey son of Midnight Lute for - what - seasoning? Personally, I think 'Hawk is the future Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile winner and distance is a question, but he's the class of the field and is a deserving favorite.

If he's vulnerable, it's to a pair of bay colts who are bypassing the G3 Lexington at Keeneland in favor of this Chicago strip. Dynamic Impact may have just broken his maiden, but he has run an impressive five races and was simply unlucky to not have gotten to the winner's circle sooner; meanwhile Global Strike was in a similar boat of running well but not winning until he finally broke through and was then overmatched in shipping for the Sunland Derby.

Playing the favorites is easy: what about the longshots? Having watched Class Leader train, he's always given off the air of a classy colt: his last two races have been fantastic and Neil Howard knows how to develop talent.

Molly Jo's wagers: 3 - 8 - 1 - 7