Cross the Line will try to secure his first graded stakes win in the Illinois Derby.

Cross the Line will try to secure his first graded stakes win in the Illinois Derby.

Shane Micheli/ Vassar Photography

Cross the Line Ships East for Illinois Derby

Cross the Line opened season with victory in California Derby at Golden Gate Fields.

After winning a stakes race on a synthetic surface at Golden Gate Fields this season, Cross the Line will try to secure his first graded stakes win when he faces an expected eight other 3-year-olds in the Illinois Derby (gr. III) Saturday, April 15 at Hawthorne Race Course.

Owned by a partnership that includes trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, Cross the Line won the California Derby Jan. 17 at Golden Gate before finishing second there in the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III). In his first career start on dirt, while also facing a step up in class, the Line of David colt finished fifth in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) April 4 at Santa Anita Park.

The 3-1 morning-line favorite in Saturday's 1 1/8-mile test, Cross the Line will pick up the services of rider Florent Geroux.

Cross the Line is not the only horse shipping from California for the Illinois Derby, as trainer Bob Baffert will send out Whiskey Ticket for owners Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman, while Jim Cassidy will saddle Verraco for D.P. Stable (Dearon Pearson).

Baffert, who plans to enter three horses in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), including likely favorites American Pharoah  and Dortmund , may have another top sophomore in his barn in Whiskey Ticket, a son of Ghostzapper  who won his maiden special weight debut at 14-1 odds on March 19 at Santa Anita.

Verraco, by Old Fashioned, enters off an allowance-optional claiming race win Feb. 27 at Santa Anita.

Entries: Illinois Derby (G3)

Hawthorne Race Course, Saturday, April 18, 2015, Race 9

  • Grade III
  • 1 1/8m
  • Dirt
  • $400,000
  • 3 yo
  • 5:40 PM (local)
11Kantune (FL)Christopher A. Emigh123Mark E. Casse-
22Verraco (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateElvis Trujillo123James M. Cassidy-
33Cross the Line (KY)Florent Geroux123Jerry Hollendorfer-
44A. Rod Again (KY)Miguel Mena123Michael J. Maker-
55Conquest Curlinate (ON)Keeneland Sales GraduateShaun Bridgmohan123Mark E. Casse-
66Whiskey Ticket (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMartin A. Pedroza123Bob Baffert-
77Lewys Vaporizer (IL)Santo Sanjur123Larry Rivelli-
88Phenomenal Phoenix (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateLuis S. Quinonez123Donnie K. Von Hemel-
99Private Prospect (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateEmmanuel Esquivel123Michael B. Campbell-