Hawthorne is still taking entries for Saturday’s running of the Illinois Derby (GIII), but the one horse I really wanted to see has already tossed his blinkers into the ring: Conquest Curlinate!
Conquest Curlinate (Higher World, by Peaks and Valleys) will be making his stakes debut in the Illinois Derby. He graduated second time out, overcoming a slow start and rolling to a convincing victory at Oaklawn on January 31. That race was his first attempt on dirt, and his first at two turns. He returned to finish third in an allowance there on February 19. He has not raced since, but has been a regular presence on the worktab since the beginning of March. He has not raced any longer than a mile and a sixteenth, but nine furlongs should be within the abilities of a son of Curlin out of a Peaks and Valleys mare.
Go, Conquest Curlinate!