Trainer Gerard Butler sent a string of six horses from his
English home base to Arlington
Park this summer with
eyes on taking down some of the track’s graded stakes races. It didn’t
take long for Butler
to accomplish that goal as he saddled Michael Deegan’s Pachattack to a
six-length victory in the Grade III $100,000 Arlington
With jockey Junior Alvarado on the sidelines after breaking
his collar bone Friday in a racing accident, Florent Geroux picked up the mount
aboard the daughter of Pulpit, who covered the mile and an eighth over
Polytrack in 1:49.64.
The 5-year-old mare took the lead on the second turn after
sitting some five lengths behind the pace of longshot Santina Dond who led through
a half-mile in 49.09 seconds.
“She did it (make the lead) on her own,” said Geroux.
“I pushed her just a little bit because I didn’t want to get trapped behind
horses that had absolutely no chance. I think I had the best (mare) in the race
so I wanted to go faster. These horses from Europe
can go all day.”
Pachattack, who ran sixth in the Grade I Beverly D. here
last summer, picked up $57,600 to boost her earnings to $361,393 while
bettering her record to five wins from 22 starts. She paid $8.40, $5.60
“We knew when she was sitting mid-division and coming to
the final turn that she had plenty in the tank,” said owner Michael
Deegan. “So we were quite confident, but you never know who might come
after you in the homestretch. I think she’s definitely stronger (than she
was last year) and more mature. The Beverly D. wasn’t her best race. But
she’s come along and trained very well. Gerard (trainer Butler)
and the team are doing a smashing job.”
La Gran Bailadora ($9.60 and $6) finished second in the
nine-horse field and it was another three-quarters of a length back to
third-place runner Home’s the Best ($16.40). Upperline, the 2-1 favorite
and winner of the Grade III Arlington Oaks over this track last year, reported
“I had a good trip,” said Robby Albarado, who rode the
beaten favorite. “I was sitting pretty, right where I wanted to be but at the
half-mile pole, the winner came up along side of me and then I ran out of
Barely half an hour later, Albarado made amends for the
Matron defeat by guiding All In Stable’s Willcox Inn to a 2 ½-length victory in
the $100,000 Arlington Classic. The Mike Stidham-trained son on Harlan’s Holiday covered the
mile and a sixteenth over yielding turf in 1:49.51.
“He broke really aggressive,” Albarado said. “It was
his first time with blinkers today and I kind of put him in the race up the
backside. He may have been a little too keen today but when he settled
midway he was fine and he came home very nice. I thought the pace was
pedestrian. We were walking up the backside. I knew we’d finish up well
it was just a matter if we were going to get by the other horse. He gave me
every indication he was ready.”
The pace was set by Crimson Knight, who led through
fractions of 25.42 seconds, 51.88 seconds and 1:17.63 before giving way to
The Arlington Classic was the second victory for Willcox
Inn, who broke his maiden here last year under the late Michael Baze, beating
eventual Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom in the process.
“(Today’s win) was kind of special because Michael Baze
broke his maiden on him first time out and we rode with his girths today,”
Willcox Inn earned $57,600 for the Arlington Classic to
push his bankroll to $227,543.
Suntracer was second in the nine-horse field, finishing a
head clear of Extensive. Crimson Knight, Pulpitarian, Legendary King, Forbidden Forest, Fort
and Sandys Diamond completed the order of finish.
Willcox inn, the 3-2 favorite, paid $5, $2.80 an
$2.40. Suntracer returned $4.20 and $2.80. Extensive paid $2.80.