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Recap of Illinois Derby Day Stakes

James Graham, “Turning for home I was pretty sure we were going to get there




An exuberant James Graham was celebrating pretty heavily in the winner’s circle following his victory aboard American Equistock’s (Joe Senkovich) Multiplier, Brendan Walsh trainer, in the 59th running of the Grade 3 Illinois Derby which took place on Saturday. And why not? He just got up for a head victory in this storied race.


Graham had Multiplier racing just out of striking distance in the early going, in a ground-saving trip. They started making up ground around the far turn while racing along the rail. Once they turned for home, Graham angled his mount to the outside and closed well to just nip Hedge Fund at the wire.


Asked when he thought he had a chance for victory, Graham replied, “Turning for home I was pretty sure we were going to get there. For a moment when Jose’s horse (Hedge Fund) spurted away, he kind of caught my horse flat but Multiplier went right after him all the way to the wire and got up by maybe a neck.” 


“He might have settled a bit too well. He’s kind of lazy.  But he has a great career ahead of him. Have you seen him? He’s gorgeous. All kidding aside, he’s a beautiful horse and Brendan has done a great job with him. I’m just happy to be a part of this.


The covered the mile and an eighth in 1:47.98 after fractions of :23.47, :47.24, 1:11.09 and 1:35.57 making this the second fastest Illinois Derby ever.


As mentioned above, Multiplier finished a head ahead of favored Hedge Fund. It was another four and three-quarters back to It’s Your Nickel.


Multiplier earned $150,000 for the victory, boosting his career earnings to $187,310.


Multipler paid $10.80, $5.20 and $3.80.

Hedge Fund $3.20 and $2.60

It’s Your Nickel returned $4.40 to show





Doubledown Stables Inc’s Recount was heavily favored in Saturday’s 38th running of the Robert S. Molaro Handicap and rightly so. This talented gelding, trained by Jim DiVito, had earned over $500,000 coming into the race, with victories in 10 0f his 26 races. He added to that on Saturday.


Rider Robby Albarado had the 5-year-old within striking distance early and pretty much let his talented mount run his own race.


 “He broke well, said Albarado. “He put me right into the race. The pace set up well but he did it all on his own. I was just trying to be a good passenger, to stay out of his way. He let me know when he was ready and I let him do it. He’s a good classy horse. Thanks to Jimmy (DiVito) for letting me ride. He always takes care of me when I come into town.


They covered the six and a half furlongs in 1:15.92 after fractions of :22.21, :44.85, and 1:09.42.


Recount won by a comfortable three and a quarter lengths over the closing Scitech who beat Infinite Mischief by a mere neck for second place.


Recount paid $4.20, $2.60 and $2.10. Scitech returned $7.20 and $2.80 while Infinite Mischief paid $2.60 to show


Recount earned $27,960 for the race. His career earnings stand at $543,947.




My Mertie, owned by Oak Rock Racing LLC, T Biando, M Bojarski and Cherrywood Racing Stables grabbed the lead on the turn in Saturday’s Third Chance and never relinquished it, ultimately drawing off to a two and a quarter length victory. Edgar Perez was in the irons.


This talented mare had been flirting with the winner’s circle for a while but finally put it together in her fifth race of the year.


Michele Boyce, “I was a little concerned about the weight she had to carry”, said trainer Michele Boyce. “She was the highweight, but it turned out that she probably deserved it. She trained very well at Tampa and she ran very well there but here I wasn’t too sure. So we shipped her here about three weeks ago to get her used to this surface. It worked out.”


The raced through quick fractions of :22.30, :45.47, and 1:10.33 with a final time of 1:17.09.


My Mertie’s winner’s share of the purse came to $27,590 and boosted her lifetime earnings to $106,752.


My Mertie won by two and a quarter lengths. Go Lady Jay made a good late move to get up for second, a half-length ahead of favored Game time Decision.


My Mertie paid $10.80, $6.60 and $2.60

Go Lady Jay $8.40 and $4.20

Game Time Decision returned $2.40



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