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Contact: David Zenner
LADY BELSARA UPSETS RIVALS IN GRADE III CHICAGO HANDICAP
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 16, 2007) – At the Moment Stables’ Lady Belsara took the lead shortly after the start and was all out in the stretch to win the $175,000 Chicago Handicap by a half-length on Saturday. E. T. Baird rode the daughter of Boundary who covered the seven furlongs over the Polytrack in 1:23.10 after posting fractions of 22.79 seconds, 45.37 seconds and 1:09.92.
“She ran a really big race,” Baird said. “Rene’s (jockey Rene Douglas) horse (favored Trendy Lady) moved up on me on the outside. My horse really dug in and tried hard. The owners gave me instructions to try to get her to change leads, I tried a couple of times but she was a little stubborn about it, so I figured I’d better go ahead and start riding her. She finally switched leads about 10 yards from the wire.”
The victory in the Grade III race was the first in stakes competition for the S. Matthew Kintz-trained filly whose only other added-money start resulted in a third-place run in the $47,550 Fit For a Queen Stakes here May 19. She earned $102,000 for the Chicago Handicap score to boost her bankroll to $175,860 while improving her record to four wins from seven starts, all of which have been run on synthetic surfaces.
Trendy Lady, the 2-1 betting choice who was carrying a two-race win streak into the Chicago Handicap, made a three-wide rally to take a brief lead between calls but could not hold off a second run from the winner.
“I thought I was home free (when she gained the advantage briefly in the stretch run) but she didn’t want to put the other horse away,” said Rene Douglas, who rode the runner-up. “(Trendy Lady) was looking to play around with the other horse a little bit. Unfortunately, she did it on the wrong day.”
It was another length back to 22-1 outsider Dimple Pinch, who finished third in the field of 10 fillies and mares.
“She ran a really game race,” said Dimple Pinch’s rider Jesse Campbell. “She warmed up really great so I was pretty confident she was going to give me her best effort today. Hugh (trainer Robertson) told me just to let the race shape up and give it a good run at the end and she gave her all.”
My Chickadee, Coolwind, Modjadji, Bluesbdancing, Trick’s Pic, Victorina and Cuaba completed the order of finish.
Lady Belsara paid $18.40, $7.60 and $6.60. Trendy Lady returned $3.80 and $3.60. Dimple Pinch paid $8.20.
Arlington Park – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 94-day meet in 2007 from Friday, May 4 through Sunday, Sept. 16. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates nine off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities – Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Chicago, Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Rockford, Trackside Waukegan, Fat Sam’s Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in Lockport, Lucky’s featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin, Nicolino’s featuring Trackside OTB in McHenry and The Inferno featuring Trackside OTB in South Beloit. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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