Arlington Park news release
Contact: Michael Adolphson
QUIET FORCE STRONG WITH THIS ONE IN ARLINGTON HANDICAP
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 11, 2015) – Warner Thoroughbreds’ Quiet Force stamped his ticket to the 33rd Grade I $1,000,000 Arlington Million with a powerful performance in the Grade III $100,000 Arlington Handicap Saturday afternoon at Arlington International Racecourse. After breaking on top in the field of seven older horses, the son of the late Dynaformer relaxed in second place before tipping out at the top en route to a hard-fought three-quarter-length score for trainer Mike Maker.
Ridden by Julien Leparoux, the Kentucky-bred traveled the 1 3/16-mile distance in 1:56.50 over good ground on Arlington's world-renowned turf course after stalking earlier fractions of 24.02, 48.39, 1:13.34, and forging to the front after a mile in 1:38.34. Sent off at 5.20-1, Quiet Force returned $12.40, $4.40 and $2.80 as the public's fourth wagering choice, earning $58,800 to boost her career bankroll to $247,870. The Arlington Handicap was only his second race in over a year after a third-place finish in allowance company at Parx and allows him, along with the second- and third-place finishers, a free roll into the Million.
“On paper it didn’t look like too much pace (in the race), so I just wanted to make sure he broke good,” said a very pleased Leparoux. “Actually when (Dramedy) went (to the lead), it was great for us. We got a target and finished up strong.”
Trainer Mike Maker indicated after the race that the victorious bay 5-year-old horse – whom he claimed for $40,000 just six races back in March 2014 out of a Santa Anita dirt race – would be aimed toward the Million on Aug. 15.
Mr. and Mrs. Bertram R. Firestone’s Middleburg finished a game second after shifting to the inside of the winner under a drive and was simply outkicked by the victor under James Graham for trainer Christophe Clement, returning $3.20 and $2.40 as the 2.30-1 second choice. Sam-Son Farm’s Up With the Birds, ridden by Drayden Van Dyke for Graham Motion, closed from the rear of the field, but came up short after a troublesome trip, crossing the wire third – beaten three lengths and returning $2.10 to show as the 1.10-1 favorite. John James Revocable Trust’s Dramedy completed the top-four after setting the pace under Rosemary Homeister, Jr.
“He ran good, he was just second best. Just not quite good enough today,” Graham said. Clement assistant Lee Vickers echoed those sentiments, “We couldn’t be happier. I think the winner appreciated the ground a little more than we did, but (Middleburg) ran his race and put in his run.”
The race did not unfold as kindly for race favorite and 2013 Canadian Horse of the Year Up With the Birds. “I had to check out of the gate and going into the first turn (Samantha Colvin on Yankee Dealer) had trouble controlling her horse,” Van Dyke reported. “I got into a good position but then got some pressure and bumping on my outside from her again on the backside. Honestly, I still thought I was the winner turning for home, but I couldn’t get to them.”
“Obviously I’m a little disappointed with the outcome, as he was a short favorite,” Motion said. “Having said that, I thought the race was quite awkward for him in the beginning and he might have shuffled back more than we would have liked. I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt after that. The idea was (a prep for) the Million and as long as he gets something out of this, we should be able to hopefully move forward.”
“He ran great,” Homeister said of her Grade II-winning fourth-place finisher. “He set a good pace and he is a strong horse who likes to dictate his own terms. When I asked him, he just took off, but we got outsprinted at the end. I thought we were going to be third.”
The 80th running of the Arlington Handicap was completed by Coco Mon, Yankee Dealer and Looks to Spare. Triple Threat, R. Great Adventure and The Pizza Man were scratched.
Arlington International Racecourse – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 77-day meet in 2015 from Friday, May 1 through Saturday, Sept. 26. Arlington International Racecourse, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates ten off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities in Arlington Heights, Aurora, Chicago, Waukegan, Villa Park, Rockford, South Elgin, Hodgkins, McHenry and Orland Hills. Arlington International Racecourse is a proud member of America’s Best Racing. 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.