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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Arlington Park stakes recap (6/18/05)
Contact: David Zenner
HAPPY TICKET REMAINS UNDEFEATED WITH CHICAGO BC TALLY
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 18, 2005) -- Facing her toughest task to date, Stewart Madison's Happy Ticket turned back a talented group of distaffers including defending champion and grade I stakes winner My Trusty Cat to remain undefeated with a 3 ½-length victory in the Grade III $175,000 Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap on Saturday at Arlington Park in front of a crowd of 9,030. Eusebio Razo Jr. rode the 4-year-old filly who covered the seven furlongs in 1:22.54.
The Louisiana-bred daughter of Anet was racing for the first time outside of her native state and making her first attempt in a graded stakes race but her connections felt she had earned the chance.
"She won eight in a row and she was never tested in any of those races," said winning trainer Andrew Leggio Jr., who picked up his first Arlington Park stakes victory. "Mr. Madison thought it was time for us to step up a notch and she did."
Happy Ticket broke alertly and raced up close to the pace which was set by 30-1 longshot Silver Crown who led through a half mile in 46.26 seconds.
"She broke so quickly, the ground kind of broke out from under her," said Razo, who was astride the filly for the first time in the Chicago Breeders' Cup. "Every time I asked her, she was right there. Turning for home, she switched leads, I hit her one time and she went on with it."
The $105,000 winner's share elevated Happy Ticket's earnings to $382,260 while her record stands at a perfect nine-for-nine.
Savorthetime rallied from the back of the pack to finish second in the seven-horse field, a half-length clear of Injustice. Favored My Trusty Cat, the 4-5 betting favorite, ran fourth, followed by Silver Crown, Fly Away Angel and Two Punch Gal.
"The pace was a little slow, and I was in behind horses early," said Shaun Bridgmohan, rider of the beaten favorite. "I asked her to move a little bit on the turn when the winner started her run but she couldn't stay with her. She did make a little run in the stretch."
Sent off as the second choice, Happy Ticket paid $7.60, $4.60 and $4.20. Savorthetime returned $4.60 and $3.80. Injustice paid $4.
Arlington Park -- the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. -- is running a 94-day meet in 2005 from Friday, May 13 through Sunday, Sept. 18. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates eight off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Chicago, Trackside McHenry, Trackside Rockford, Trackside South Beloit, Trackside Waukegan and Lucky's featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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