Photo: Four Footed Fotos
Multiple Illinois champion filly My Option added to her resume with an
impressive 6½-length victory over Flower Spell in the Grade III $150,000
Chicago Handicap on Saturday
at Arlington International Racecourse. Eduardo Perez rode the Chris
Block-trained filly who covered the seven furlongs over Polytrack in
1:23.72. Dispatched at odds of more than 5-1, she paid $13.20, $5.40 and
Flower Spell led through fractions of 23.40 seconds, 46.52 seconds and
1:10.93 before being swallowed up by the winner, a Tim Keeley homebred
daughter of Belong to Me who was the Illinois champion 3-year-old filly
and champion sprint distaffer last year.
“She’s the kind of filly who needs to lay back and make one run,” Block
said of the filly who was exiting a sixth-place finish in the Grade III
Hendrie Stakes at Woodbine last month. “She broke outward that day and
she got into the race a little too quickly. She’s the kind of filly who
needs to lay back and make one run. She was a little too involved in
the pace early on and that cost her but she still dug in hard and got a
lot out of the race. That was our stepping stone to today.
“She’s trained great coming up to it,” he continued. “She and Eddie
(jockey Perez) get along really well. At the three-eighths pole I was
confident. I know her and I know Eddie’s posture when he’s got a lot of
horse. He found a nice spot and the rest was history.”
Flower Spell ($8 and $4.20) easily lasted to finish second in the
nine-horse field, a length and a quarter clear of 8-5 favorite Disco
“She ran beautiful. Ingrid Mason has trained her to perfection,” said
Rosemary Homeister Jr., who rode the runner-up. “Seven-eighths is just a
hair too far for her, but we were trying to steal it. She gave it every
effort that she had. I can’t say enough about how well Ingrid got her
ready. Also, it’s so nice to team up with another woman and run so well
in a race like this. It makes me proud.”
For My Option, the Chicago Handicap was the fifth victory in 13 starts
and she’s never finished worse than second on Arlington’s Polytrack.
She earned $86,400 to push her bankroll to $418,557.
Allanah, Eden Prairie, Fire Tricks, defending champion Cozze Up Lady,
Queen’s Award and Chortle completed the order of finish. Apropos was
scratched after being injured in the paddock.