Chicago Barn to Wire


Arlington Park Stakes advance

Contact: David Zenner (847) 385-7535


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Sept. 20, 2001) -- Unbeaten Miss Indiana, who races in the colors of Keith Asmussen and Ocean Front Property, the nom-de-plume for country music star George Strait, seeks to keep her perfect record intact as possible favorite in a field of nine juvenile fillies slated to contest the 67th running of Grade III $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie Saturday at Arlington Park. The one-mile race will be the eighth of nine races on the Saturday card that starts at 1 p.m. Central Time.

The Lassie has long been a showcase for champion 2-year-old fillies and last year was no exception. Carl F. Pollard's Caressing, who finished second to Richard, Bertram & Elaine Klein's Thunder Bertie, went on to capture the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs en route to being named Eclipse Award champion 2-year-old filly.

Lassie heroines who went on to be named champion include: Top Flight (1931), Mata Hari (1933), Forever Yours (1935), Apogee (1936), Inscoleda (1938), Now What (1939), Petrify (1941), Twilight Tear (1943), Beaugay (1945), Bewitch (1947), Leallah (1956), Smart Deb (1962), Dearly Precious (1975), It's In The Air (1978), Family Style (1985) and Eliza (1992).

A daughter of Clever Trick, Miss Indiana has made two starts in her brief career. The Steve Asmussen-trained filly broke her maiden by a nose at first asking at Keeneland April 11 and returned 4 months later to post a 3-length score in a first-level allowance race at Saratoga August 29. Shane Laviolette is named to ride Miss Indiana for the first time in the Lassie.

Slated to face Miss Indiana are: Three King Stable's Brief Bliss, Corey Lanerie; Dr. & Mrs. Smiser West & Mr. & Mrs. Mackenzie Miller's Don't Ruffle Me, Frank Lovato Jr.; Edgar Diaz' First Again, Larry Sterling Jr.; Hans Poetsch & Greco Racing Stable's Glenbriar Girl, Ray Sibille; Dan Martin & Jerry Ayres' Joanies Bella, Marlon St. Julien; Craig B. Singer's Leeward City, Zoe Cadman; Mount Joy Stables, Inc.'s Lemon Haze, Eusebio Razo Jr.; and Ron & Ricki Rashinski's Vicki Vallencourt, Rene Douglas.

Of these, the last named also brings a clean slate to the Lassie. The daughter of Regal Classic was an easy 11-length victress when racing for a $50,000 claiming price in her debut here August 22. The Hugh Robertson trainee followed with a game head win in the $75,000 Top Flight Stakes, the final local prep race for the Lassie September 1.

Joanies Bella, an Ohio-bred daughter of Mercer Mill, is a two-time stakes winner. The Timothy Hamm pupil captured the restricted Tah Duh Stakes at River Downs by 12 lengths July 21 and later took the Cincinnati oval's top event for juvenile fillies, the $100,000 Pepsi Bassinet Stakes, by 2 lengths September 1.

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