Chicago Barn to Wire


Arlington Park Stakes Results

Contact: David Zenner (847) 385-7535


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Sept. 22, 2001) -- Dan Martin & Jerry Ayres' Joanies Bella earned her second straight stakes victory when she prevailed by a neck over Brief Bliss in the Grade III $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie on Saturday at Arlington Park. Marlon St. Julien rode the Ohio-bred daughter of Mercer Mill to the victory in 1:39.34 for the mile over a track rated "fast."

The Lassie is the meet's top event for 2-year-old fillies and is an important prep on the road to the $1 million Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Joanies Bella raced four-wide throughout the race while stalking a moderate pace of :22.93, :45.71 and 1:11.38 being alternately set by Don't Ruffle Me and 8-5 favorite Miss Indiana. She took the lead in deep stretch and was all out to hold off the late challenge of Brief Bliss.

"The horse gave me a tremendous effort down the lane," St. Julien said. "(This) was her first time going a mile and she got a little late. Her heart came out at the end. I was a little wider turning for home than I wanted to be, but it did feel like I had a lot of horse and I wasn't worried at that point. I did get worried at the eighth pole when Brief Bliss made a run at me. But I bellied down and was able to get to the wire first."

The win was her fourth in seven starts and the $60,000 winner's check boosted her earnings to $178,115. In her previous start, the Timothy Hamm-trained filly captured the $100,000 Pepsi Bassinet Stakes at River Downs.

"From the first day we've had 'Joanie', she's stood out above the other fillies we have," said the Ohio-based Hamm. "We're just taking it day by day with this filly. We'll regroup and see what's next."

"I thought I got there in the last jump," said jockey Corey Lanerie, who rode Brief Bliss. "I was hoping that last stride was before the wire. I kept her outside and she was coming on well. She just came up short."

It was another 1 lengths back to First Again, who was third in the nine-horse field. Vicki Vallencourt, Don't Ruffle Me, Leeward City, Miss Indiana, Lemon Haze and Glenbriar Girl completed the order of finish.

Third choice in the wagering at odds of 4-1, Joanies Bella paid $10.80, $5.20 and $4.20. Brief Bliss returned $7.00 and $5.00. First Again paid $14.80.

Also on Saturday, Wendy's Ten Partnership's Instinct rallied from last at the top of the stretch to win the $51,895 Top Corsage Stakes by a nose under a well-timed ride by jockey Eddie Martin Jr. The Richard Lundy-trained daughter of Thunder Gulch covered the mile over a fast track in 1:37.22 and paid $5.20.

Golden Antigua was second, 4 lengths ahead of third-place finisher Flinch. Mimi's Tizzy completed the order of finish.

The Top Corsage, originally carded for a mile and a sixteenth on the turf, was run at one mile on the main track after significant rainfall earlier in the week forced the race off the grass. As a result, six of the 10 entrants scratched leaving a field of four distaffers.

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