Chicago Barn to Wire


Arlington Park Stakes advance

Contact: David Zenner (847) 385-7535


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 30, 2001) -- WinStar Farm LLC's Honest Deceiver looks to keep her record perfect when she tops a field of eight 2-year-olds entered for Saturday's $75,000 Top Flight Stakes at Arlington Park. The six-furlong Top Flight is the final local prep for the Grade III $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie which will be raced on Sept. 22 at the suburban Chicago racetrack.

Last year's inaugural running of the Top Flight was won by Brian Griggs & Mike Goetz' She's a Devil Due, who went on to capture the Grade II Walmac International Alcibiades at Keeneland. She later ran third behind eventual 2-year-old filly champion Caressing in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs.

A bay daughter of Is It True, Honest Deceiver broke her maiden at first asking here July 29 with a one-length victory going 5 furlongs. The Elliott Walden-trained miss kept her record intact with a 3-length score in the $60,000 Eliza Stakes over this oval at the Top Flight distance. Lonnie Meche, who has been aboard for both her victories, has a return call to ride Honest Deceiver in the Top Flight.

Slated to face Honest Deceiver Saturday are: Helen T. Andrews' Desert Sage, Ray Sibille; Dr. & Mrs. Smiser West & Mr. & Mrs. Mackenzie Miller's Don't Ruffle Me, Marlon St. Julien; Miles Childers & L. T. B. Inc.'s Emeraldforajudge, Larry Melancon; Hans Poetsch & Greco Racing Stable's Glenbriar Girl, Eddie Martin Jr.; Lisa B. Haydel's Just Scarlet, Eusebio Razo Jr.; Northwest Farms' Strong Credentials, Frank Lovato Jr.; and Ron & Ricki Rashinski's Vicki Vallencourt, Rene Douglas.

Strong Credentials has lived up to her name, remaining undefeated in two trips to the post at Emerald Downs near Seattle. The daughter of Carson City captured the $35,000 Angie C. Stakes by a half length on July 8 after breaking her maiden by 5 lengths a month earlier. She is now trained locally by Richard Lundy.

Desert Sage also brings a perfect two-for-two record to the Top Flight. The Salt Lake filly captured her career debut in wire-to-wire fashion at Ohio's Thistledown on June 22, posting a final margin of five lengths. The Anne Mitchell pupil employed similar tactics when scoring here by 2 lengths on July 25. Interestingly, both of her starts have come over "off" going, with the track listed as "sloppy" for her Thistledown race and the track rated "muddy" here.

Trainer Ken McPeek, who saddled She's a Devil Due in last year's Top Flight, seeks to keep his record in the race perfect as he sends out Don't Ruffle Me. The daughter of 1992 Preakness victor Pine Bluff was a 12-length heroine in her only trip to the post when racing for a $50,000 claiming price on August 4.

Also victorious for a $50,000 tag at first asking was the Hugh Robertson-trained Vicki Vallencourt, who scored by nearly 12 lengths in her career bow over this oval on August 22.

Emeraldforajudge, a winner for $50,000 in her second start May 1, finished third behind Desert Sage in a July 25 allowance race here.

The Tom Swearingen-trained Glenbriar Girl makes her first start since scoring by a neck in a 4-furlong race here opening day, June 13.

Just Scarlet, a two-time victress at Virginia's Colonial Downs in July, finished fourth in the $100,000 Ellis Park Debutante in Kentucky last time out.

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