|Arlington Park Stakes Results
Contact: David Zenner (847) 385-7535
SNOW DANCE OVERCOMES WIDE TRIP TO TAKE GRADE III PUCKER UP
Change In Tactics Keeps Win Streak Alive
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Sept. 15, 2001) -- John C. Oxley's Snow Dance, normally a front-running filly, made a four-wide move in the stretch to overtake longshot Curious Conundrum en route to a 1¾-length victory in the Grade III $150,000 Pucker Up Stakes Saturday at Arlington Park. Craig Perret rode the daughter of Forest Wildcat who was clocked in 1:47.93 for the mile and an eighth over "firm" turf.
"Chicago has always been good to me," said Perret, who got his start here in 1967 and won this race in 1968 and 1969. "When I come back here, it brings back the memory of the early days and it's still nice being here."
Perret kept Snow Dance rated off the pace and well off the fence throughout the race while Casual Feat, second choice in the race at odds of 7-2, broke alertly and battled with 81-1 longshot Curious Conundrum through fractions of 23.14 seconds, 46.85 seconds, before giving way to that rival in the stretch. Snow Dance took over inside the sixteenth pole and was not threatened late.
"She's getting the idea and she's not as rough to handle as she was before," Perret said of Snow Dance. "I was kind of concerned going into the first turn because she was so relaxed and it was the first time she was off the lead. I said, 'Uh oh. I hope she'll pick it up when I need her.' And when I needed her, she was there. She's a filly with a real bright future."
The victory, worth $90,000, was her second straight graded stakes score, fourth consecutive win and fifth tally overall. Her bankroll now stands at $279,450.
"The next spot will probably by the Queen Elizabeth II (at Keeneland Oct. 13) and then it's up to Mr. Oxley and Mr. Ward where we go from there," said assistant trainer Yvonne Azeff, who is also exercise rider for Kentucky Derby hero Monarchos. "(Monarchos) has just started back under tack. Hopefully by the first of the year, we'll be looking for a spot."
Kiss The Devil angled off the rail late to finish second at odds of 13-1. It was another head back to 31-1 longshot Twilite Tryst, who finished third. Sluice, Curious Conundrum, Scoop, Sheikh Away, Casual Feat, Glory Glory, Natasha Pumpkin, Atomizer and Sharky's Review completed the order of finish.
"I would have liked to have moved between the five-sixteenths pole and the quarter pole but I had nowhere to go," said Mark Guidry, who rode the runner-up. "When I was finally able to come out and get clear she had kind of lost her momentum, but she tried real hard. She ran real good."
"At the eighth pole she slipped a little bit," said Twilite Tryst's jockey Chris Emigh. "I don't know why. Otherwise, I think we would have got second. From the 13-hole, I had no choice but to take her back to last early and make a late run."
Earlier in the day, Fred Kissling's Spanish Glitter rallied from just off the pace to capture the $54,000 Miss Oceana Stakes by 1¾ lengths. For 3-year-old fillies, the Miss Oceana was the supporting feature on the 10-race card. The Glitterman filly was ridden by Rene Douglas and covered the six furlongs in 1:10.87.
"She runs best if she can get a breather in the first furlong or two," said Douglas. "If she's on the lead going too fast, that's when she gets in trouble. I kept her right behind the 8-horse (Southern Tour) and when I asked my filly, she ran."
The 9-5 second choice in the wagering, Spanish Glitter paid $5.60, $3.00 and $2.10. Raintree Lake was second in the seven-horse field and paid $8.20 and $3.20. Southern Tour, the 11-10 post time favorite, paid $2.20.
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