Upperline returned from a three-month layoff to rally from just off the pace and win the Grade III $100,000 Arlington Oaks by 4 ¾ lengths. E. T. Baird rode the Mike Stidham-trained daughter of Maria’s Mon, who covered the mile and an eighth in 1:52.13.
Sitting just off the flank of pacesetter Chantilly Nayla, who took the field of 3-year-old fillies through fractions of 23.89 seconds, 48.07 seconds and 1:13.48, Upperline rallied wide into the stretch, floated race favorite Snow Time Mountain out slightly and drew off to the easy victory.
“Mike (trainer Stidham) and Hilary (assistant Pridham) gave me a couple of different possible scenarios heading into the first turn and they gave me the opportunity to make the right decision,” Baird said.
Unraced since a fifth-place finish in the Grade I Ashland at Keeneland in April, the Arlington Oaks was the first stakes victory for Upperline and her third win in eight starts overall. All three of her scores have come on synthetic surfaces.
“Upperline went to Florida this winter and ran in some really tough turf races and the fact she was competitive in those races should mean a lot for the rest of year,” said Stidham. “You pick races and try to give horses time to freshen and have them right for the right day.”
She earned $59,400 for her owners Stone Farm, John Adger, Oak Crest Farm and Mike Stidham to boost her bankroll to $165,387.
Sent off at odds of slightly more than 2-1, she paid $6.60, $3.20 and $3. Snow Top Mountain ran second in the field of six and returned $3.20 and $2.40. It was another 6 ½ lengths back to Dundalk Dust, who paid $3.
Chantilly Nayla, Age of Humor and Laura Babe completed the order of finish.