The Arlington Racing Club, who recorded their first win as owners on June 17 with Brisson, have claimed a new runner for their stable. After losing their filly to a claim by Justin Johns, trainer Wayne Catalano was on the lookout for another horse, which he found at Churchill Downs on Thursday. Clever Serve, a 3-year-old filly by To Honor and Serve, was making her 13th start while still looking for her first win. Dropped down to a claiming level for only the second time in her career, Clever Serve ticked all the boxes for Catalano and the Arlington Racing Club. Sent off as the betting favorite in the one-mile dirt event, Clever Serve settled second-to-last early up the backstretch, closed on the field through the turn, and rallied past under a hand ride to win by a margin of 9¾ lengths. Six claims were entered, and Arlington Racing Club won the shake to take the filly home.
“She ran a great race,” said Catalano. “She looks great, she came out of the race well. She’s on her way to Chicago now. We wanted to get her up there right away, since that’s where her owners are. Once she gets there we’ll look for a race for her.”
Clever Serve is out of Lobshot, a daughter of Canadian champion sprinter Langfuhr out of Grade III-winning mare Chispiksi. Clever Serve is from the first crop of foals to race for sire To Honor and Serve, winner of the 2012 Grade I Cigar Mile Handicap and 2012 Grade I Woodward Stakes.
BLOCK SENDS OUT STAKES PROBABLES IN FINAL TUNE UP
Trainer Chris Block is preparing to send out two of his runners on the July 8 card at Arlington International Racecourse for the Ride to the Million presented by Miller Lite. Team Block’s homebred Cammack, winner of the 2016 Black Tie Affair Handicap and runner-up in the 2017 edition last month at Arlington, put in his final work Saturday morning in preparation for a likely start in the Grade III $100,000 Arlington Handicap. The 7-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway breezed five furlongs over the Polytrack in 1:01.2. A nine-time winner on the turf, the Illinois-bred gelding has never faced graded stakes company, but his familiarity with the Arlington course could be in his favor.
Darrell and Sadie Brommer’s 2015 Grade III $100,000 Regret Stakes winner Prado’s Sweet Ride also took to the Arlington main track Saturday. The 5-year-old daughter of Fort Prado drilled five-furlongs in :59.3, the best of 11 works that morning.
“She’s been turning into the kind of filly that breezes very quick,” said Block.
Third last out in the Mike Spellman Memorial Handicap over yielding turf at Arlington on June 17, the Brommer’s Illinois-bred is aiming for a start in the Grade III $100,000 Modesty Handicap on July 8. Block believes the soft ground hampered the mare more than expected, as he felt she was sitting on a big race after her win in the New Orleans Ladies Overnight Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in April. Her recent work could hint that she still is.
The Arlington Handicap and the Modesty Handicap are part of a four graded-stakes offering on the July 8 card in the Ride to the Million presented by Miller Lite, which also includes the Grade III $100,000 American Derby and the Grade III $100,000 Stars and Stripes. The top three finishers from each race will receive entry with starting fees waived into the respective races in the Arlington International Festival of Racing on Aug. 12.
Source: Arlington International Racecourse