Post-time favorite Departing surged past the competition down the stretch to capture Saturday's 56th edition of the $750,000 Illinois Derby at Hawthorne Race Course.
This year's 1 1/8-mile race had a field of 14 and was worth $250,000 more than last year.
The Illinois Derby, won in 2012 by 12-1 longshot Done Talking, was moved back two weeks from its customary position on the calendar after its exclusion from the new Kentucky Derby points system.
Trained by Al Stall Jr., Departing left from post 13 as the 9-5 favorite with his regular rider Brian Hernandez Jr.
Setting the pace was Ground Transport and Taken by the Storm. The favorite was racing in the middle of the field, a handful of lengths from the leaders, while five wide.
Departing began to advance from the outside entering the far turn and was four wide on the final turn as the field headed for home.
Coming off the final turn, the favorite was part of a cavalry charge of horses and was able to burst out from the field at the top of the stretch. Departing took the lead from the middle of the stretch and went on to register a 3 1/4- length victory.
Fordubai, a 23-1 longshot, finished second followed by Siete de Oros, Abraham, Street Spice, For Greater Glory, Narvaez, Dewey Square, Ground Transport, Bells Big Bernie, Show Some Magic, Stormin Monarcho, Taken by the Storm and Dakota Mac.
The time for the Illinois Derby was 1:50.78 on a fast track.
The 3-year-old gelding, owned by Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider, adds $450,000 with the victory. He has earned $628,000 with four wins in five starts.
Departing won his first three starts before a third-place finish behind Revolutionary at Fair Grounds in the Louisiana Derby on March 30.
Departing paid $5.80, $3.60 and $3.00. Fordubai returned $16.60 and $9.40, and Siete de Oros paid $5.80 to show.