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updated: 4/8/2011 12:29 PM

Watch Me Go heads Illinois Derby

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  • Trainer Todd Pletcher, who has had success in recent years running at Hawthorne, has another horse saddled for the TVG Illinois Derby on Saturday, a promising sophomore named Joe Vann. The favorite in the $300,000 race is Watch Me Go in a field of 12. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

      Trainer Todd Pletcher, who has had success in recent years running at Hawthorne, has another horse saddled for the TVG Illinois Derby on Saturday, a promising sophomore named Joe Vann. The favorite in the $300,000 race is Watch Me Go in a field of 12. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
    Associated Press/2006 file

 
 

The 54th running of Saturday's $300,000 TVG Illinois Derby at Hawthorne looks to be a wide-open affair.

All the better for the bettors.

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The headliner of the full field of 12 is Watch Me Go, winner of the Grade II Tampa Bay Derby at whopping odds of 43-1. Despite that victory and a third-place finish in the Grade III Sam F. Davis also at Tampa, Watch Me Go, trained by Kathleen O'Connell and ridden by Luis Garcia, is only the lukewarm 7-2 morning-line favorite.

None of the other entrants in the Illinois Derby has won a stakes race, including Todd Pletcher's Joe Vann (6-1), who comes into Saturday's affair off an impressive 5-lengths victory at 1 1/16 miles in a $40,000 optional claiming allowance race at Laurel Park. Florent Geroux picks up the ride on Joe Vann.

The 1-miles Illinois Derby is scheduled to go to post at 4:37 p.m.

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