In a salty field of six competitors going a mile on the turf at Arlington International Racecourse, it was Team Block’s homebred Cammack
who came over the top to win the $66,600 Les Ahrens Memorial Stakes for trainer Chris Block. The 7-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway, ridden by Jose Lopez, galloped comfortably in fourth while 2017 Black Tie Affair Handicap winner Oak Brook set opening fractions of 25.38 and 50.77.
The pacesetter relinquished the lead after the first half-mile to Olympia Star, Inc.’s Applicator as jockey Jose Valdivia, Jr. tried to keep the Mikhail Yanakov trainee one step in front of Wimborne Farm’s Ignacio Correas-trained Kasaqui (ARG) through splits of 1:13.23 and 1:24.96. Turning into the stretch, James Graham urged the Argentine-bred to overtake the leader, but as the duo battled along the rail Cammack unleashed a furious run down the middle of the track and hit the wire a length in front in a final time of 1:36.22. Kasaqui settled for second a head in front of Applicator.
“Chris told me to have a good break and just try to be in the clear,” said Lopez. “Once you reach the stretch see if you’ve got to move to the outside, if so just go on with it, switch to the outside and just go. When I saw [Applicator and Kasaqui] go by, I was like go ahead. I was just waiting, sit, sit, sit – and when I made my move that was it. He felt wonderful.”
“[Kasaqui] felt great, he just didn’t quicken again [at the end],” said Graham about the beaten favorite. “He ran down the one horse, and when the other one passed him he tried to run after him too.”
Cammack returned $18.80, $4.20 and $3.20. Kasaqui paid $2.20 and $2.10 while Applicator returned $2.60. With the winner’s share of $39,560 Cammack increased his career earnings to $356,800 with 11 wins in 30 lifetime starts.
Oak Brook, Coco Mon, and Crewman completed the order of finish. Chip Leader, Christian C, Imposing Will and Spring Up were scratched.
Two races later, Jose Valdivia, Jr. navigated Patricia’s Hope, LLC’s Daddy’s Boo to victory for trainer Larry Rivelli in the $67,400 Steve Morgan Memorial Stakes for fillies and mares. The 6-year-old mare by Sweet Return (GB) broke alertly from the rail and immediately took the lead, showing the way throughout the one-mile turf event while ticking off fractions of 24.60, 50.19, 1:12.42 and 1:23.87 before rallying home 4¼ lengths the best in a final time of 1:35.50. Darrell and Sadie Brommer’s Chris Block-trained Prado’s Sweet Ride settled midpack early under Carlos Marquez, Jr. before closing quickly to grab second by three-quarters of a length over Joe and Don Cochonour’s Wayne Catalano trainee Stormin Elle who raced evenly in third most of the way.
“She was very sharp,” said Valdivia. “She’s always settled well when she’s doing good and I couldn’t believe how comfortable it was up to the half, so from there I thought, if I’m going to get run down it better be a good one. I was very confident the whole way around, warming up, in the gate – the way she broke out of there she was just on cruise control.”
Daddy’s Boo returned $6.80, $4 and $4.60. Prado’s Sweet Ride paid $4.20 and $3.60, with Stormin Elle returning $8.60. With the winner’s share of $38,418 Daddy’s Boo increased her career earnings to $332,082 with 15 wins in 24 lifetime starts.
Lovely Loyree, America Mon Amie, Paint the Corners, Some Say So, Shelbysmile, One Last Shot and Disqualified completed the order of finish. Felt in Pocket, Inconclusive, Seeking Treasure and Sweetbaby were scratched.
Source: Arlington International Racecourse