Augustin Stable’s Informed Decision, winner of the Grade I
Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint last November, will be a prohibitive
favorite when she seeks a repeat bid in the Grade III Chicago Handicap at Arlington Park on Sunday. The seven-furlong
race over Polytrack is the July 4 holiday headliner at the suburban Chicago
Since capturing last year’s Chicago Handicap in
front-running style, the Jonathan Sheppard-trained distaffer dominated her division
with scores in the $400,000 Presque Isle Downs Masters in Pennsylvania and the
Grade II Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland before earning her
biggest victory in last autumn’s Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park.
In two starts so far this year, she ran third in the Grade
I Madison at Keeneland in April and third in the Grade I Humana Distaff at
Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day. Carrying
high weight of 124, the daughter of Monarchos will be ridden by Julien Leparoux
and will spot her seven rivals from six to 11 pounds.
Slated to line up against the favorite (with riders and
weight assignment listed) are: Derby Daze Farm, Mark Hoffman & Earl
Trostrud’s Hooh Why (Shane Sellers, 118 pounds); Team Block’s Never Retreat
(Junior Alvarado, 115); Carl Pollard’s Minewander (Michael Baze, 115); Michael
Stidham’s Secret Kin (E. T. Baird, 115); Jerry Jamgotchian’s Rinterval (Julio
Felix, 115); Lael Stables’ Lookalike (James Graham, 114); and Charles Fipke’s
Diamond Song (Chris Emigh, 113).
Grade I winner Hooh Why comes in off an uncharacteristic
sixth-place finish in the $100,000 Satin N Lace at Presque Isle in her last
start and before that the daughter of Cloud Hopping finished third in the
$100,000 Illinois Owners Stakes over this course. As a sophomore last
year, Hooh Why captured the Grade I Ashland at Keeneland. Mike Reavis is
listed as trainer of the 4-year-old filly.