Two Turf Stakes Share Top Billing at Arlington

horseracingnation.com
June 18, 2014 05:53am

A pair of Illinois-restricted turf races - the $100,000 Lincoln Heritage Handicap for the distaff set and its open counterpart the $100,000 Black Tie Affair Handicap - share top billing on Saturday's 11-race at Arlington International Racecourse.  Each of the two headliners will be raced at a mile and a sixteenth on the grass.

Up first as the sixth race is the Black Tie Affair headed by last year's runner-up Midwest Thoroughbred's The Pizza Man.  The race's 122-pound starting highweight will be making his 2014 debut after going three for six in 2013 including a victory over the Arlington turf in the $65,000 Illinois Owners Stakes in September.  Sheldon Russell will be aboard the Roger Brueggemann-trained son of English Channel for the first time Saturday.

Trainer Christine Janks has entered two in the Black Tie Affair - Carson Springs Farm's Tazz and S. D. Brilie Ltd. Partnership's Big Looie though the latter named is cross-entered in an undercard race.  Assigned 119 pounds, Tazz is second on the list of weights and comes in off a solid third in an off-the-turf open company allowance race May 17.  No stranger to the Arlington turf with six victories over the course including the 2011 edition of this race, the 8-year-old son of Roar of the Tiger will be ridden by C. H. Marquez.  A son of Military, Big Looie does his best running on surfaces other than turf and would prove a bigger threat should the race be rained off the turf.  Rosemary Homeister Jr. is named aboard the 7-year-old gelding who has been assigned 118 pounds.

John Royer's Dad Are We Here and Suzanne Stables' Ice Climber are two others with 118-pound imposts for the Black Tie Affair.  The former, a Doug Matthews-trained son of Pure Prize returns to face state-breds after finishing a fast-closing second at Indiana Grand last out.  The latter, by Cashel Castle and trained by Larry Rivelli, ran second in his 2014 debut against open company earlier this month.  Florent Geroux has the call on Dad Are We Here while Israel Ocampo has been named aboard Ice Climber.

Completing the field for the Black Tie Affair (with riders and weight assignments listed) are: Ed Fortino's Sweet Luca (Eduardo Perez, 117 pounds) and William Stiritz's Domain Rap (Chris Emigh, 116).

Three races later is the Lincoln Heritage, topped by Hernandez Racing Club's defending champion and 124-pound race highweight La Tia, who will be spotting her rivals from two to nine pounds.  The Armando De La Cerda-trained 5-year-old returns to the turf after annexing the Grade III Arlington Matron over Polytrack last out.  The multiple-champion Illinois-bred mare is equally adept on either surface should the race be rained off the turf.  The seven-time victress surpassed the half-million-dollar mark in earnings with her Arlington Matron score and her bankroll stands at $528,382 entering Saturday's action.  E. T. Baird, who was aboard La Tia for the first time in the Matron, has a return call.

Second in the weights at 122 pounds is Nancy Vanier and Lyda Williamson's Kepi, a seven-time winner on turf including her last outing in an optional claiming/allowance race going a mile on June 5.  The 6-year-old stakes-winning daughter of Strategic Mission is trained by Brian Williamson and will be ridden by James Graham.

Cherrywood Racing Stables, Oak Rock Racing and Michael Bojarski's Katie the Lady finished third behind Kepi in her seasonal debut earlier this month.  The 8-year-old Lost Soldier mare finished in a dead-heat for second in this race two years ago and has shown an affinity for the Arlington turf course with six victories over the surface. Trained by Michele Boyce, Katie the Lady will have the services of the meet's leading rider Florent Geroux.

The rest of the Lincoln Heritage lineup (with jockey and weight assignments) is: Richard Otto's Alette (Sheldon Russell, 118 pounds); S.D. Brilie Ltd. Partnership's Goldway (C. H. Marquez Jr., 118); Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey's Bold Kitten (Channing Hill, 117); Richard Ravin and Larry Rivelli's Sydneyrella (Tim Thornton, 117); and Richard Perkins' Thecushmaker (Emanuel Cosme, 115).  The Cushmaker is cross-entered in an undercard race and could start there.

 

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