Chicago Barn to Wire


Arlington Park news release

Contact: David Zenner (847) 385-7535


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 23, 2001) -- Trainers Gene Cilio and Chris Block each recorded two stakes victories during the second annual Prairie State Festival Saturday at Arlington Park.

"This is my favorite day," said trainer Gene Cilio of Prairie State Festival Day at Arlington Park after saddling Shemya to a five-length victory in the $75,000 Purple Violet Stakes, the first of six stakes races that comprise the second annual day that celebrates Illinois. A half an hour later Cilio was back in the winner's circle after Act Of War captured the $75,000 Springfield Stakes.

"It's very enjoyable," said Block after Reno Rumble's score in the $75,000 Cardinal Handicap gave him a double. Earlier in the program, Ioya Two tallied for the second straight year in the $75,000 Lincoln Heritage Handicap. "We planned ahead for these races."

Shemya, who races in the colors of Joseph Marovich LLC & Crown's Way Farm, won the Purple Violet in gate-to-wire fashion. Ray Sibille rode the daughter of Valiant Nature who covered the mile in 1:38.27 and paid $9.80, $6.40 and $4.60.

"Gene told me to go as slow as I could down the backside." Sibille said. "If we were on the lead, fine, but if we weren't, that was okay, too, but nobody else wanted the lead. Her last couple of works we tried to slow her down as much as we could so she could get the mile today."

"Her mother (Kuma) went a route of ground," added Cilio. "I had no reservations about her getting the mile. In her last couple of races, she had a lung infection that took a little longer to cure. We knew she was primed for this one."

Longshot Shania's Code was five lengths back in second, paying $16.60 and $6.60. Ballado's Baby finished third in the eight-horse field and paid $3.40.

Act Of War, owned by R'n R Breeders, made a five-wide rally on the turn and wore down Crack The Vault in the stretch to win the Springfield Stakes by 1 lengths. Eusebio Razo Jr. rode the son of Lord At War who covered the mile in 1:38.15 and paid $7.40, $3.80 and $2.40.

"Going up the backside I could see there was a lot of traffic on the inside," Razo said. "I had no choice but to stay where I was. He's a really competitive horse and turning for home he responded really well.

"Mr. Cilio gave me an opportunity to ride this horse earlier in the year," he continued. "The first time he ran a huge second and the second time he beat some quality horses. Every time he runs he does everything a little better."

Team Block's Ioya Two rallied three-wide on the turn and took the lead inside the final eighth of a mile to win the Lincoln Heritage by three-quarters of a length. Mark Guidry rode the daughter of Lord At War to victory in 1:42.45 for the mile and a sixteenth over firm turf. Sent off as the even-money favorite, Ioya Two paid $4.00, $3.00 and $2.60.

"This filly runs exceptionally well," Guidry said. "She just dragged me around there. Turning for home, this filly just exploded."

Cozy was second in the 12-horse field and paid $8.40 and $4.80. Erin Murphy finished third and returned $3.00.

Team Block's Reno Rumble rallied from 11th at the half-mile pole to win the Cardinal by 2 lengths in 1:42.61 for a mile and a sixteenth. Mark Guidry rode the son of Vigors who paid $11.40, $6.20 and $4.80.

"Reno Rumble is a really exciting horse," said Guidry. "He ran a tremendous race."

Treat Me Doc finished second in the 13-horse field and paid $5.20 and $4.60. It was another neck back to Smilin' Slew, who finished third and paid $8.40.

In other Prairie State Festival action:

Bob Austin and Ron Brandenburg's Tic N Tin teamed up with jockey Ramsey Zimmerman to win the $75,000 White Oak Handicap, beating 7-5 favorite Classic Appeal by half a length. The son of Lac Ouimet went six furlongs in 1:10.35 and paid $11.40, $3.80 and $3.60.

"I could see Ray (Sibille, who rode pacesetter Out of My Way) nudging his horse and I was still sitting, so I was pretty confident," Zimmerman said. "He loves the left handed stick and he just went right on."

Classic Appeal paid $2.80 and $2.40. Out of My Way was another neck back in third and returned $6.00.

David Halfacher's Rain Boots turned in the biggest upset of the day when she captured the $75,000 Isaac Murphy Handicap by a neck over Come September in 1:11.20 for six furlongs.

"I was a little behind and just wanted to wait for room," said Eduardo Perez who rode the daughter of Storm Boot. "They opened the rail and I took a shot."

Rain Boots paid $39.60, $17.80 and $7.60. Come September was second in the nine-horse field and paid $6.20 and $3.80. Lil Bobbie Too was another neck back and returned $3.00.

Arlington Park, the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill., will run its 102-day live racing meet from June 13 through October 28, 2001. Arlington Park, which merged with Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN) in September 2000, also operates five off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities -- "Trackside" at Arlington Park (Arlington Heights) and Quad City Downs (East Moline), and in Chicago, Rockford and Waukegan. For further information on Arlington Park, visit our website at

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