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Contact: David Zenner
VACARE KEEPS UPBEATEN RECORD INTACT WITH PUCKER UP WIN
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Sept. 9, 2006) – Lothenbach Stables Inc.’s Vacare, who closed from far back to win her first two starts, employed a different approach in notching her third straight victory when she captured the Grade III $200,000 Pucker Up Stakes by four lengths on Saturday at Arlington Park. The daughter of Lear Fan covered the mile and an eighth over firm turf in 1:49.71.
Under C. H. Marquez Jr., the Chris Block-trained filly broke on top before settling behind pacesetter Walklikeanegyptian on the first turn. She began to move up on the leader on the turn for home, took command in the stretch and drew off for the easy score. She earned $120,000 for the victory to boost her bankroll to $156,000.
“When those doors opened, she left there like a Quarter Horse,” Marquez said. “It was my job to get her settled the best I could. When Jose (jockey Ferrer on Walklikeanegyptian) went on, I was able to get her settled a little bit on the backside. I knew when we got to the five-sixteenths pole that it was over because I had a lot of horse. She’s all race horse. She’s very competitive.”
Vacare broke her maiden here by four lengths on June 9 and followed that with a 5 ľ-length score in a first-level allowance July 26. A projected start in the Hatoof Stakes, the local prep for the Pucker Up, was scrapped when she came up with a cough.
“When we missed the prep race, I was a little worried,” admitted Block. “This filly is really talented and I thought she could overcome the lack of experience. She wasn’t real sick, she just had a little bit of mucus production that was abnormal and I didn’t want to run her in the prep and knock her out and not be here today.”
Walklikeanegyptian held second by a head over fast-closing Ballet Pacifica, who finished third in the nine-horse field.
“My horse raced great,” said Jose Ferrer, who rode the runner-up. “She broke really sharp, I was walking the pace up the backside and I thought the winner would have to come from farther back but she was right up there with me. I gave her the best chance I could to win.”
My Chickadee, Chetten County, Ladyburn, Palace Rumor, Soothsay and Royal Dazzle completed the order of finish.
Also on Saturday, Kenneth E. Hoffman’s Host rallied from off the pace to win the $42,375 John Henry Stakes by three-quarters of a length. The Bill Lazuka-trained horse gave jockey Francisco Torres his fourth victory of the afternoon and covered the mile and a sixteenth on the turf in 1:42.68. He paid $16, $7 and $4.40.
Arlington Park – the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 95-day meet in 2006 from Friday, May 5 through Tuesday, Sept. 12. 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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