Illinois Derby (gr. III)

(gr. III , 9f ,)

AMERICAN LION (B h, 122 lb) $291,000
Tiznow —Storm Tide , by Storm Cat
B—Dr. William Lockridge, KY.; O—WinStar Farm LLC; T—Eoin G. Harty

Yawanna Twist (B h, 122 lb) $97,000
Yonaguska —Twist and Pop , by Oliver's Twist
B—Steel Your Face Stable, LLC, NY.; O—Steel Your Face Stables; T—Richard E. Dutrow, Jr.

Backtalk (CH h, 122 lb) $53,350
Smarty Jones —Apasionata Sonata , by Affirmed
B—Cloverleaf Farms II, Inc., FL.; O—GoldMark Farm, LLC; T—Thomas M. Amoss

Margins: 2¾, 11¼, neck. Others: Turf Melody 122($29,100) , Dave in Dixie 122($14,550) , Boulder Creek 122($5,000) , Game Ball 122($5,000) , Stephen's Got Hope 122($5,000) . Winning Jockey, David Romero Flores.

American Lion needed a solid performance over a dirt track to prove to his connections that he was worthy of contesting the May 1 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). He delivered one and then some.

American Lion, whose other five races were contested over synthetic surfaces, scored by 23Ú4 lengths in a pacesetting effort in the April 3 Illinois Derby (gr. III) at Hawthorne.

ÒI think we needed to get a race over the dirt, and fortunately he responded well to it,Ó said trainer Eoin Harty, who readied the Tiznow colt for the task in California. ÒWe got in here Wednesday (March 31) and were able to school, which helped. These are different surroundings and a different paddock. When we schooled, he was a bit active, but today he was very professional.Ó

American Lion, who won the Hollywood Prevue Stakes (gr. III) in November, raced twice at Santa Anita this year. He ran third in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) and was fourth in the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II), won by SidneyÕs Candy, who captured the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) the same day as the Illinois Derby.

American Lion races for Bill Casner and Kenny TrouttÕs WinStar Farm. WinStar and Dr. William Lockridge are the breeders of the colt. WinStar, located near Versailles, Ky., is home to Tiznow.

Lockridge, as agent, bought American LionÕs dam, Storm Tide, for $200,000 at the 2005 Keeneland November breeding stock sale from Eaton Sales, agent for William T. YoungÕs Overbrook Farm. Storm Tide was in foal to Cape Town, who stood at Overbrook near Lexington.

Storm Tide was sold again at the Keeneland November sale, this time in 2008 while carrying a full sibling to American Lion. Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, she was bought for $155,000 by Austin and Brenda Paul. She produced a filly from that mating.

Tiznow has sired 25 stakes winners, including additional 2010 added-money winner Tizaqueena. TiznowÕs fee at WinStar is $75,000.ÑD.S.