Something Special Happening – La Tia Wins Arlington Oaks
Perhaps the Illinois breeding program isn’t quite dead yet. You
see, we had a local champion in La Tia defeat horses with graded stakes
experience to win the Grade 3 Arlington Oaks this last Saturday. Let’s take an
in-depth look at this future superstar.
Even though La Tia was born and raised in Illinois, her interesting pedigree suggests she might be destined for something greater, but you have to dig a little to discover that. Her father, City Place, though he was unraced,
came from quite a strong line of stallions including Storm Cat, Storm Bird,
Northern Dancer, and Secretariat. The mother of City Place has had much more
success on the race track. Glitter Woman earned over $1.2 million including the
Sixty Sails Handicap. La Tia’s mother, La Adelita, didn’t have much to show for
a racing career, but her broodmare sire, Sky Classic, is a name that all of us
La Tia’s first three races were at Hawthorne as a two year
old under trainer Moises Yanez. She must not have liked the dirt…or something. Starting
in 2012 for her three year old campaign, Salvador Hernandez and the Hernandez
Racing Club turned the horse over to Brian Williamson. He must have found
something she liked (e.g. Polytrack) or just found the way to get the most out
of the filly. Since May 25, she has been on an absolute tear at Arlington. She
broke her maiden on a one-turn mile by 9 lengths, then immediately turned it
around and scored huge in the Purple Violet Stakes by just over 8 lengths; both
of these races she won on the lead and never looked back. Williamson must have
known he had something special and entered her in the Grade 3 Arlington Oaks.
(La Tia - great photo by Four Footed Fotos)
If you caught my race preview, you would know that I thought La Tia
was facing some very stiff competition. Lady Candidate won a minor stakes last
time out on June 30, Ire also had some minor stakes experience, Ann of the
Dance had graded stakes and even Breeders’ Cup experience, Treasured Up had a
good run in the Grade 3 Regret, and Sky Dreamer was a very good horse coming
There was no surprise that La Tia took the lead in the
Arlington Oaks, setting fractions of :24.4, :49.1, and 1:14.0. The question I
was asking myself was whether or not she had the class to stave off the
competition. Sky Dreamer was tracking the leaders throughout the race then
swung three wide at the top of the lane to attempt to catch La Tia. Perhaps La
Tia had enough of a lead, or perhaps she had the class to beat this field. Either
way, she and jockey Constantino Roman got the job done, and for that I am
proud. I am very much looking to the bright future of La Tia!
(Jockey Constantino Roman celebrates - by Four Footed Fotos)
**CHECK THIS OUT**
Here’s the latest in the awesome Behind the Silks series from
Greetings and welcome to my "dark" blog! I have been a fan of horse racing since I was about 12 years old. Growing up in Minnesota, my dad would take me and my brothers to Canterbury Downs and I would practically beg to go every weekend!! I made my first "big" score there hitting the win, place, and exacta in the same race at age 14 (pulled in $84 with horses named Railroad Red and Racers Dream!). I even had a poster in my bedroom of Lost Code winning the 1987 St. Paul Derby!
While finishing school in Chicago, I spent every possible moment at Arlington Park with my dad. We took the time to develop computer programs (on the ever popular Lotus 1-2-3 for DOS) to try to find patterns and handicap races more accurately. My dad taught me a lot about handicapping races, paying particular attention to class moves!
Since then, I have become more involved with horse racing each passing year through a variety of different media-based roles. Once deemed the "second best racing ambassador in Chicago" (hey I've been called worse), I now reside in the Mid-Atlantic Region of the USA and will be covering many different aspects of racing - in my unpredictable DARK HORSE STYLE!