Enough said

April, 8, 2012
STICKNEY, IL -- The guys were lost. They were looking for directions. First time to Hawthorne Race Course and where's an owner supposed to park the car, pick up some programs? Gotta find the box, figure out the fastest route to the winner's circle. An intrepid reporter picked up on the angle.

"Who's your horse?"

"Done Talking."

Stranger things have happened.

You look back at a race winner and remember all the little interactions in the week -- or hours -- leading up to that start, and sometimes you can't help but smile. Things like a horse taking a peaceful siesta in the barn, getting hooves cleaned out by a groom, a polka-dot blanket and early morning breakfasts from an overstuffed net of hay.

Done Talking said nothing to me all week about his plans to win the Illinois Derby. Or did he? Horses that fly under the radar are almost always still on somebody's mind.

For Willie White and Robert Orndolf, who eventually found their box on Illinois Derby Day and their way to the winner's circle a few hours later, it was the biggest win of almost 20 years in partnership together with longtime pal Lou Rehak (who was watching from home). The Maryland-based Skeedattle Stable uses local trainer Hamilton Smith to condition their runners -- Smith modestly said he's won a few big races in his home state, but "We haven't won too many like this, that's for sure."

Is it on to the bigger Derby, the one they run on the first Saturday in May? Hamilton is gung-ho, and with $300,000 of the $500,000 purse going into his bankroll, Done Talking should make the 20-horse field. But what about the Preakness, which would mean a lot to three local boys who always loved racing and just found themselves on the Triple Crown trail?

They'll figure it out. Discussions are underway. As for Done Talking, he said everything he needed to say on the racetrack this afternoon -- without uttering a single word.



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