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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. --- Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein's Thunder Bertie, a Kentucky invader making only her fourth lifetime start, led at every call while capturing the $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie. The Grade 3 stakes race for two-year-old fillies was the closing day headliner at the suburban Chicago oval.

Thunder Bertie set the pace from the inside, leading the field of 10 juvenile fillies through fractions of 22.68 for the quarter mile, 45.88 seconds for the half mile and 1:10.93 for three-quarters of a mile. Despite jockey Jeremy Beasley losing his whip in mid stretch, she cruised to a 2-length victory in 1:36.91 for the mile over a fast track.

"The whip got tangled up in the reins turning for home but I didn't plan on using it much anyway," Beasley said. "I had a tremendous amount left in the gas tank. I just wanted to try to teach her something. We're looking for bigger and better things from her in the future. We're looking for the Breeders' Cup (Juvenile Fillies) God willing."

A daughter of Thunder Gulch, Thunder Bertie is out of the Alwuhush mare Allthewaybertie, who finished third in the 1994 renewal of the Lassie, despite racing with a 105-degree temperature.

Caressing, winner of the Bassinet at River Downs in her last start, chased the winner throughout the race, and battled in the lane to reclaim the place spot after being briefly overtaken by Zahwah in mid stretch.

"She tried," said jockey Greta Kuntzweiler, who rode the runner-up. "Coming out of the gate she got a little confused and kept switching leads on me, but she'll keep improving."

Zahwah finished third, followed home by Gold Huntress, Scoop, Dare She Goes, Time Is Money, The Hess Express, Pionjewel and Montana Cat.

Thunder Bertie paid $13.60, $6.40 and $3.80. Caressing paid $4.00 and $2.80. Zahwah, the 7-to-5 betting favortie, paid $2.80.

Earlier in the day, Robert L. Beck's Vinnie's Boy rallied from mid pack to take the $53,300 Taylor's Special Stakes by a neck over Coup. Dixieland Sham was third in the five-furlong turf dash clocked in 58.09 seconds.

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