Arlington Park news release
Contact: David Zenner
THE PIZZA MAN DELIVERS AS EVEN-MONEY FAVORITE IN CHARLES SPRINGER MEMORIAL ILLINOIS OWNERS STAKES
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Sept. 21, 2013) – Midwest Thoroughbreds' The Pizza Man found a running lane late in the stretch to register a neck victory over Mr. Vegas in Saturday's $66,500 Illinois Owners Stakes Charles Springer Memorial at one mile on the Arlington International turf course.
|The Pizza Man (#3) beats out Mr. Vegas (#6) to win the Illinois Owners Stakes at Arlington Park on 9-21-13 Jockey James Graham up. - Photo courtesy Four Footed Fotos|
Racing near the tail of the field behind fractions of :24.39, :48.05, and 1:12.11, The Pizza Man began inching towards the leaders into and around the far turn before finding running room along the rail inside the final sixteenth to get up in the final jumps, completing the trip over a course officially rated “good” in 1:37.16.
“It’s always nice to ride a good grass horse here at Arlington,” said winning rider James Graham. “Last year he was phenomenal. He showed his liking for it back then. He’s run on ‘soft’; he’s run on ‘yielding’; he’s run on ‘firm.’ He could run on any grass course, I don’t think it would bother him. He showed he liked it ‘soft’ again today.”
Trained by Tom Amoss, The Pizza Man ($4.20, $3.40, $2.40) registered his fifth win over the Arlington lawn and eighth win in 13 starts overall while boosting his career bankroll to $319,279 with the $39,102 winner's share.
Mr. Vegas ($7.40, $4.80), owned by Andrews T and S Racing and trained by Richie Scherer, tracked the early pace set by Nates Mineshaft and assumed command of the lead in mid-stretch before just getting out-gamed at the wire to finish a clear second.
“A little bit of an early move on the backside and a little bit early pressure; I think that was the difference. He definitely was breathing fire and he tried to win really bad, that’s for sure. He’s going to sleep well tonight; he laid himself down,” said jockey Kent Desormeaux.
Sweet Luca ($5.20), trained by Chris Block for Fortino, Inc. made a menacing move off the far turn but could not sustain his rally in deep stretch, crossing the wire third. Rider Eduardo Perez said, “I had a good trip and my horse tried really hard. We just got beat by the best horse.”
Warbird, Tazz, All Stormy, and Nates Mineshaft completed the order of finish.
Arlington International Racecourse – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run an 89-day meet in 2013 from Friday, May 3 through Sunday, Sept. 29. Arlington International Racecourse, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates 11 off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities in Arlington Heights, Aurora, Chicago, East Moline, Waukegan, Villa Park, Rockford, South Elgin, McHenry, Orland Hills and Hodgkins. Information on Arlington International Racecourse and Trackside OTB can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/arlingtonpark and www.facebook.com/tracksideotb, and on Twitter at @Arlington_Park for the latest happenings, @arlingtonracing for the latest racing news and @tracksideotb for all things pertaining to off-track wagering.