Saturday’s card at Hawthorne features the only two graded stakes of the spring meet at Hawthorne. Both take place at a mile and an eighth on the main Hawthorne track, and both should be competitive.
The Grade III Illinois Derby drew a tightly matched field of nine three-year-olds, all trying to prove they have what it takes to go to the Preakness in four weeks. Cross the Line is the most experienced among the field, but some newer faces like Phenomenal Phoenix, Conquest Curlinate, and Whiskey Ticket will be trying to prove their mettle in stakes company.
The Grade III Sixty Sails Handicap drew a field of five distaffers. The versatile Awesome Flower tries to notch her fourth win of the year, and Yahilwa leaves the west and tries to get back on track.