Illinois Derby (gr. II)

(gr. II , 9f ,)

MUSKET MAN (DK B/ h, 122 lb) $285,000
Yonaguska —Fortuesque , by Fortunate Prospect
B—Sergio De Sousa, KY.; O—Fein, Eric and Carlson, Vic; T—Derek S. Ryan

Giant Oak (CH h, 122 lb) $95,000
Giant's Causeway —Crafty Oak , by Crafty Prospector
B—Virginia H. Tarra Trust, IL.; O—Virginia H. Tarra Trust; T—Chris M. Block

His Greatness (B h, 122 lb) $52,250
Honour and Glory —Klair Alley , by Well Decorated
B—Mereworth Farm, KY.; O—In His Favor Stable; T—Marco P. Salazar

Margins: 2, 5, 4¼. Others: Nowhere to Hide 122($28,500) , Il Postino 122($14,250) , Free Country 122($5,000) , Perfect Song 122($5,000) , Al Khali 122($5,000) , Toccet Rocket 122($5,000) , Knight Shot 122($5,000) . Winning Jockey, Eibar Coa.

Musket Man punched his ticket to the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) when he won the April 4 Illinois Derby (gr. II) at Hawthorne Race Course. The 3-year-old son of Yonaguska captured the 11Ú8-mile race by two lengths over Illinois-bred Giant Oak in 1:49.91.

ÒHe really ran a big race today,Ó said Derek Ryan, who trains the colt for Eric Fein and Vic Carlson. ÒEverybody has been questioning his ability to get the distance, but they donÕt know the horse. I do. I know what IÕve got, and I knew he would have no trouble getting the distance, and he showed it today.Ó

The victory was Musket ManÕs fifth in six starts. Musket Man won both starts at 2 and sports additional wins this year in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) and Pasco Stakes.

Fein won last yearÕs Tampa Bay Derby with Big Truck, who upset heavy favorite War Pass. Big Truck went on to the Kentucky Derby but finished unplaced.

Musket Man was bred in Kentucky by Jim E. Nelson and Sergio de Sousa. Nelson is from Broken Arrow, Okla. De Sousa is a general partner and the farm manager of Hidden Brook near Paris, Ky., where Musket Man was foaled.

Carlson bought Musket Man for $15,000 at the 2007 Keeneland September yearling sale from Hidden Brook, agent. The following year Musket Man was consigned by SAB Training, agent, to the 2008 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale of 2-year-olds in training. He did not reach his reserve and was bought back for $35,000.

Nelson and de Sousa no longer own Musket ManÕs dam, Fortuesque. Hidden Brook as agent consigned the mare to the 2008 Keeneland January horses of all ages sale. In foal to Forest Danger, Fortuesque was bought for $23,000 by Hidden Lake Farm. She produced a filly, later named Musket Girl, that April for Maybrys Farm in New York.

Musket ManÕs 2-year-old half-brother by Cherokee Run sold for $250,000 at the Ocala BreedersÕ Sales Co.Õs March sale of 2-year-olds in training. Trainer John Sadler as agent purchased him from Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds, agent.

Yonaguska has sired eight stakes winners, including additional 2009 added-money winner Salt Water. Yonaguska stands for $4,000 at Michele Rodriguez and Lee Daniel ThomasÕ Elite Thoroughbreds near Folsom, La.ÑD.S.