The Grade III Arlington Matron and the $100,000 Arlington
Classic, both longtime fixtures at Chicago’s
premier Thoroughbred oval, will share top billing on Saturday. Stone
Farm, John Adger, Oak Crest Farm & Mike Stidham’s Upperline headlines the
Arlington Matron and All In Stables’s Willcox Inn among the favorites in the
A daughter of Maria’s Mon, Upperline was victorious in the
Grade III Arlington Oaks at the mile and an eighth Matron distance last
summer. Trained by co-owner Stidham, the 4-year-old already has two
stakes scores to her credit this season, capturing the $60,000 Allen LaCombe
Memorial Handicap and the $100,000 Bayou Handicap, both run over the Fair
Grounds turf course. In her most recent start, she finished ninth after
being steadied at the start in the Grade II Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill
Downs on Kentucky Derby Day. Robby Albarado has been named to ride.
Michael Deegan’s Pachattack, sixth after a poor start in
the Grade I Beverly D. here last August, returns to Arlington
as part of trainer Gerard Butler’s six-horse string that will be campaigning
here this summer. The daughter of Pulpit is no stranger to all-weather
surfaces having won the $175,000 Maple Leaf Stakes at Woodbine last November
and finishing a good third on the Group III Sporting Bet Winter Derby at
Lingfield in England.
Leading rider Junior Alvarado gets the call.
Though winless in three starts this year, Alex Campbell
Jr.’s It’s Tea Time comes into the Matron off a third-place finish in the Grade
III Doubledogdare Stakes over the Keeneland Polytrack in April. The Rusty
Arnold-trained 4-year-old Dynaformer filly has been competitive in graded
stakes competition and won the Grade III Lake Placid Stakes at Saratoga
last August. Eclipse Award-winning rider Julien Leparoux makes his 2011 Arlington
debut for this mount.
Completing the field for the Arlington Matron are: Nancy
Vanier’s Home’s the Best (Eduardo Perez); Tracy Farmer’s La Gran Bailadora (E.
T. Baird); Eugene George’s Milwaukee Appeal (Kent Desormeaux); Vladimir
Kazakov’s Santina Dond (Jozbin Santana); Jerry Jamgotchian’s Satans
Quick Chick (Julio Felix); Jerry Jamgotchian’s Spring Party (James Graham) and
Robert Zoellner’s She’s All In (Luis Quinonez).
In the Arlington Classic¸ a mile and a sixteenth turf race
which serves as the first leg of Arlington’s Mid-America Triple that continues
July 9 with the Grade II American Derby and concludes with the Grade I
Secretariat Stakes on Aug. 13, Willcox Inn comes in off an eighth-place finish
on Polytrack in the Grade I Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland.
Previously, the Mike Stidham-trained son of Harlan’s Holiday ran second in
the $60,000 Grindstone Stakes at the Fair Grounds. Last year as a
2-year-old, Willcox Inn broke his maiden here beating eventual Kentucky Derby
winner Animal Kingdom in the process before finishing third in both the Grade I
Breeders Futurity at Keeneland and the Grade II Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at
Churchill Downs. Robby Albarado will ride Willcox Inn for the first time
Winning Stables & Raymond Rech’s Crimson Knight has
made two starts since being claimed for a $16,000 tag in February. Under
new trainer Gerald Bennett, the son of Leroidesanimeaux ran second in the Grade
II Tampa Bay Derby at odds of more than 80-1 and last out won an allowance race
at that Florida
race course. Ronnie Allen Jr. has the mount.
Team Block’s Suntracer looks for his third straight victory
on turf. The Illinois-bred son Kitten’s Joy won a first-level allowance
race at Gulfstream
in March and a second-level allowance at Keeneland the following month.
Trainer Chris Block has given the riding assignment to Julien Leparoux.
Vladamir Kazakov’s Legendary King, a runner-up in his most
recent start here, is a stakes winner in Poland.
Trained by Gennadi Dorochenko, the son of Brahms will be ridden by Jozbin
Completing the field for the Arlington Classic are: Janis
Whitham’s Fort Larned
(E. T. Baird); Mark Dedomenico’s Sandys Diamond (Tim Thornton); Volunteer
Racing’s Forbidden Forest (Junior Alvarado); Silverton Hill’s Swagger Jack
(James Graham); Pin Oak Stable’s Pulpitarian (Luis Quinonez); Windwoods Farm’s
Strong Appeal (Jermaine Bridgmohan); Homewrecker Racing Stable’s
Twojohnsandajack (Florent Geroux) and Glen Hill Farm’s Extensive (Kent