By Nick Hahn


Sheldon Russell breezed Illinois Derby (G3) winner Done Talking 4-furlongs at Laurel Park Saturdaymorning in 49.60 seconds.

“I wanted him to go in 49 so it worked out almost perfectly,” trainer Ham Smith said in an MJC release. “He did it easy and came back to the barn bouncing. It was exactly what I was looking for. I am not worried too much about the time. We are going to do more with him next week.”

 “I was very happy with the breeze,” added Russell, leading rider at Colonial Downs last summer. “He is very smart. He doesn’t do too much in the morning, saving it all for the afternoon. It looks like he came back out of that race feeling good. Hammy has him peaking at the right time.”

A group that includes Willie White, Lou Rehak and Bob Orndorff owns Done Talking who is ranked 17th in graded stakes earnings after defections with $311,000.  The Broken Vow colt out of Dixie Talking by Dixieland Band will be the first Smith saddles in a Triple Crown race.  Smith’s career covers four decades.
Prior to the Illinois Derby win, Russell considered his win in the Colonial Turf Cup at Colonial Downs aboard Rahystrada last summer as the best in his career.  Russell rode Concealed Identity in the 2011 Preakness Stakes (G1).

“This one would have to top it, being a graded stake, being a track I’m not already familiar with, being in a big field, a big day,” Russell commented after the Illinois Derby.  “I sort of know the horse.  He’s a one run horse.  He didn’t the same thing at Philly,” referring to his maiden score with Russell aboard.

Done Talkin will likely work 5-furlongs next Saturday and then ship to Churchill Downs next Sunday.