Done Talking Enters Kentucky Derby Picture
By Dick Downey
The Kentucky Derby got a new contender from out of the blue when Done Talking won the Grade III Illinois Derby at Hawthorne.
Entering the the stretch run picture late in the game, Done Talking snuck by a tired Morgan's Guerilla to snatch the win by three parts of a length.
Twelfth in the field of 14 after a quarter-mile, Done Talking and Sheldon Russell slowly advanced on fractions of :23.94, :48.64 and 1:13.14. After a half-mile, he was 8 1/2 lengths back of pacesetter Frankie Is Rock. Our Entourage led after six furlongs, but Done Talking was 13 1/2 lengths off the lead by then. He had moved from twelfth of 14 to ninth.
When the field came out of the far turn, Our Entourage still had command, but he was very tired and succumbed to Morgan's Guerilla before the furlong marker. Morgan's Guerilla appeared to have the win within his grasp, but he began gasping for air as well and lost the race in the final strides.
Finishing third was Hakama, followed by Saturday Launch, Our Entourage, Ring It Up, Skyring, Frankie Is Rock, Pretension, Z Rockstar, Currency Swap, Fastestwhogetspaid, Romancing the Gold and Slamit.
Done Talking, who'd finished tenth, beaten 20 3/4 lengths by Hansen in the Grade III Gotham, won $300,000 in the Illinois Derby, extending his graded stakes winnings to $311,000. He'd picked up $10,000 in the Grade II Remsen last October for finishing fourth, and $1,000 in the Gotham.
After the race, trainer Hamilton Smith said the plan is to move on to the Kentucky Derby.
The winner paid $27.20, $10.80 and $6.60.
Done Talking is owned by Skeedattle Stable. He's by Broken Vow and is out of the Dixieland Band mare Dixie Talking. The breeder is listed as Skeedattle Associates. The Kentucky-bred is a Jan. 30 foal.
Winning jockey Sheldon Russell: “We wanted to take the horse back early. He’s kind of a one-run horse, and we weren’t too keen on using him early going into the first turn. The trainer did tell me to look to make that early move. I tried moving at about the five-eighths pole, people told me that this is one of the longest stretches in the country, so I just wanted to get my horse close enough so that when he did kick in he was going to be close enough to get there. I was very surprised turning for home that we were in about fourth place. I just knew then that I still had some horse. He’s the type that you have to keep at him, but if you do, he will give you everything that he has.
“You always look for what is happening in front of you, and when I saw Morgan’s Guerilla drifting out just when I was getting close to him, it made my job a little bit easier in regards to riding the horse and steering him at the same time."
Hamilton Smith: "The kid did a great job of riding him. Hopefully, it’s on to Louisville from here. The mile and a quarter should suit him with his late run, which is what you want. When the speed is backing up, hopefully he’ll be kicking on.”