I hope all of you had a chance to enjoy all or some of the Illinois Prairie State Festival of racing at Arlington Park last Saturday! Six of the top Illinois-bred horse races took place on a beautiful day in Chicago. Let’s recap these stakes races:
Leading the way and never looking back seven year old gelding Shrewd Operator ($7.00) wins the White Oak by an impressive nine lengths for Team Block. This horse definitely fired after sitting on the shelf since last August. With very good recent workouts Eddie Perez had no problem driving Shrewd Operator home for the win. Big Looie tracked in second for most of the race but faded to third. Danush Sukie on River Bear closed in from last for the place but could not come near the front-runner. (Also to note: Shrewd Operator earned a beyer of 114!!!!!!)
White Oak Handicap - RACE REPLAY
Tanner Riggs drives home Wild Hope ($15.00) to an impressive victory in the Isaac Murphy for trainer Frank Kirby! She came through from the back of the pack, four wide from the rail, charging very hard to pick up the hard earned victory by two lengths. 38-1 shot Kel's Dreamer, ridden by Chris Emigh couldn’t quite hang onto the brief lead from Wild Hope but did hang on for the place. The exacta alone paid $309.80!!
Isaac Murphy Handicap - RACE REPLAY
The Purple Violet Stakes – 1 mile – Polytrack - fillies
Richie Scherer and Julio Felix teamed up to bring home three year old filly Our Lady In Red ($9.40) to victory by runing down usual front runner Cityrap by a neck at the wire! Cityrap had a five length lead at the top of the stretch but just missed holding off the hard charging winning filly in a very exciting finish!! Check out the video replay of this one!
Purple Violet Stakes - RACE REPLAY
The Springfield Stakes – 1 mile – Polytrack
Joseph Broussard trained three year old Hydro Power ($11.00) ships in from Prairie Meadows and wins the Springfield Stakes by 1 ¾ lengths leading the entire way! Forbidden Forest attempted to close in from the mid-pack on the rail and Rivershire closed in from the middle of the track, but neither could catch the leader. Nuckser tracked Hydro Power for most of the race but faded to 8th. An impressive $0.10 superfecta paid over $1,200!
Springfield Stakes - RACE REPLAY
The Lincoln Heritage Handicap – 1 1/16 miles – Turf – fillies and mares
Last year’s Lincoln Heritage Handicap runner up Peyote Patty ($6.20) was much the best in this year’s race as she won the turf race by a length leading the whole way over hard charging second place finisher Pathway. Actually, this race was Peyote Patty’s just second race back from taking a break after last year’s Lincoln Heritage Handicap! Whoa! The top three favorites hit the board in this race as Dundalk Dust finished third. Catalina Way tracked the leader for most of the race and faded to fourth.
Lincoln Heritage Handicap - RACE REPLAY
The Black Tie Affair – 1 1/16 miles - Turf
Local favorite of mine, Tazz ($10.80), wins by a half length with blinkers on in the Black Tie Affair for Corey Nakatani and Christine Janks! It was a great finish at the wire as Tazz hangs on from a bunch of closers to take the victory! Princeville Condo finished second in this race for the second year in a row (deuces wild). Racing Bran (love that name) tracked Tazz for a while but drifted back to last.
Black Tie Affair - RACE REPLAY
What a great set of races! Now I can’t wait for Arlington Million preview day, the Arlington Million (of course) and next year’s Prairie State Festival!
But, to tide us over until then, I’d like to feature an old friend of ours who is racing in an allowance optional claiming race at Arlington on July 1st. His name: Going Ballistic.
This fan-favorite has participated in such prestigious races as:
This seven-time winner has won three times on the turf and has hit the board in nine of thirteen turf tries. Eddie Razo Jr. gets the mount for Going Ballistic’s return trip to Arlington this week. He has been working very well, and at 10-1 we may be able to catch a good price on him!
I wish you the best on your return to Arlington, Going Ballistic, and I hope you hit the wire ahead of the others!