04/08/2012 4:39PM

Hawthorne: Done Talking may find himself on bubble for Kentucky Derby

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Done Talking, ridden by Sheldon Russell, earned an 86 Beyer Speed Figure for his win in the Illinois Derby.

STICKNEY, Ill. – Done Talking was en route by horse van Sunday from Illinois to Maryland after winning the Grade 3, $500,000 Illinois Derby on Saturday at Hawthorne Race Course, but the horse probably will hit the road again before too long, with his connections aiming for the May 5 Kentucky Derby.

Trainer Hamilton Smith, who scored the biggest win of his career on Saturday, said Sunday afternoon that Done Talking appeared to have come out of his three-quarter-length victory over Morgan’s Guerrilla in good physical condition. Done Talking had a spot of blood on a hind ankle when leaving the winner’s circle, but Smith said the injury was a minor nick over the coronet band and “was nothing to be worried about at all.”

Done Talking managed to win the 1 1/8-mile  race despite breaking from post 13. Jockey Sheldon Russell, the leading rider at the Laurel meet that ended in late March, managed to save ground on both turns before guiding Done Talking between Our Entourage and Morgan’s Guerrilla in the final furlong. Smith, who trains Done Talking for owner-breeder Skeedattle Stable, indicated that Russell would retain the mount in the Derby.

“He was breezing the horse all winter,” Smith said. “He knows him as well as anyone else.”

Winning time for Saturday’s race was 1:53.88, the slowest Illinois Derby in recent history. Done Talking was assigned a Beyer speed figure of 86, the highest of his career.

The $300,000 winner’s share of the Illinois Derby purse gave Done Talking $311,000 in graded stakes earnings, the means of determining the 20-horse field for the Derby, and as of Sunday, Done Talking stood at 18th on the graded earnings list. Two more major graded stakes, the Arkansas Derby and the Bluegrass Stakes, are to be run next weekend, with one final graded race for 3-year-olds, the Lexington, the week after that at Keeneland. When the dust has settled, Done Talking still could wind up on the bubble in terms of making the Derby field.

Hawthorne, meanwhile, bounced back nicely after a tough 2011 Illinois Derby Day. Attendance Saturday was 4,650 compared with  a reported 3,400 last year, while all-sources betting handle on the card rose to $4.9 million from $3.5 million in 2011.

 

Chris Jones More than 1 year ago
I liked Done Talking Saturday, along with Z-Rockstar and Morgan's Guerrila. But, he ran a 1:53. Does he really deserve to be in the Derby running that slow?
W.G. More than 1 year ago
The Grade 2, $200,000 Jerome at Aqueduct is also on Saturday 4/21,. and it's possible Done Talking may have to wheel back in that to get enough earnings to make the Derby field. Not sure he makes it in.
jpm More than 1 year ago
Time to revamp the Derby, a field of 20 is a mess. Make Derby Trial 2 divisions of 14 based on earnings, with top 6 or 7 going into Derby first Saturday in June. of course preak and belmont shuffle too...but with such late developers now ...don't we need change?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well actually he is 17th when you consider Hero of Order won't get in regardless that he has more money (as I under stand things). Couple of the top horses in both the BG and ArkD already have more money than Done Talking. With respect to BG, horses with less money have to actually win (not just place or show) so only 1 horse from BG could actually leap frog him. With respect to ArkD, I guess the worse case for Done Talking would be something like Bodemeister winning with say Optimizer coming in second, thus both leapfrogging him. Then you consider Trinniberg being on the fence and the usual injury leading up to the race he is in pretty good shape to make the field. What is interesting is the possibility that Mark Valeski, El Padrino, and Bodemeister all not making the field...so much for big beyers off just a few races.
Nick Gunritz More than 1 year ago
Really shouldnt be allowed in anyway. However, the graded earnings willlikely end up being a lot lower than people are making it out to be due to defections