|Arlington Park Stakes Results
Contact: David Zenner (847) 385-7535
MYSTERY GIVER'S CARDINAL WIN HIGHLIGHTS THIRD PRAIRIE STATE FEST
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 22, 2002) -- It wouldn't be a Prairie State Festival at Arlington Park without at least one victory from the barn of trainer Chris Block, the most successful conditioner in the short history of the event, and 2002 proved to be no different. The 35-year-old Block sent out Mystery Giver to capture the $90,450 Cardinal Handicap by a half length after watching his Ioya Two run fourth as the 2-5 favorite in the Lincoln Heritage Handicap earlier in the day.
"There was no question this was the toughest race to get ready for," Block said of the Cardinal. "We knew we had our work cut out for us. This is a very difficult horse to train and Richie Scherer did a great job with him this winter (at the Fair Grounds). He's a hard horse to keep weight on, and if you train him too hard he loses too much flesh, but Richie told me when he sent him back to me he thought he was just coming into his own."
Mystery Giver was ridden by Arlington's leading jockey Rene Douglas, who won four races on the card including a pair of stakes races. The son of Dynaformer was sent off as the 9-5 favorite and paid $5.60, $3.20 and $3.00.
Ioya Two, two-time defending champion, didn't fire in the $87,150 Lincoln Heritage Handicap, which was won by William Lloyd and Gerald & Sam Belpedio's Ellie's Rose, who rallied four-wide in the stretch and drew off for a 2 3/4-length victory. Larry Sterling Jr. was aboard the 5-year-daughter of Gold Ruler, who covered the mile and a sixteenth over firm turf in 1:42.86 and paid $9.80, $5.80 and $8.00 (prices ok).
"I'll be honest with you, I thought she'd win today," said winning trainer Michele Boyce, who claimed Ellie's Rose for $25,000 last September. "I know Ioya Two is a good horse, and I'm not taking anything away from her, but I knew my filly was good. She had a perfect trip and she was very well meant today. She is certainly the best claim I've ever made."
M and M Machine was second in the field of 10 older distaffers, a length clear of Soccory. Ioya Two, the two-time defending champion and 2-5 post time favorite, ran fourth.
"She tried really hard," said Rene Douglas, who rode Ioya Two. "With the weather and everything she may have run out of steam. I tried really hard and I feel really bad. I really wanted to win because she won this race the last two times."
"She got in a little tight on the first turn but that didn't cost her the race," added Ioya Two's trainer Chris Block. "She looked like a dead winner turning for home. We'll scope her and see if she's clean, and if she is I don't have any excuse."
In other Prairie State Festival races, Irish Acres Farm's Colorful Tour, champion Illinois 2-year-old of 2001, continued to excel as a 3-year-old by picking up his second stakes victory of the year with a 1½-length score in the $83,250 Springfield Stakes for state-bred sophomores. The son of Tour d'Or, who also annexed Sportsman's Park's Land Of Lincoln Handicap this season and Hawthorne's Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity last fall, was ridden by Rene Douglas and covered the mile 1:36.21. The second choice in the betting, Colorful Tour paid $6.40, $2.40 and $2.20.
"I was just hoping to follow the leader (Medlin Road) most of the way around," said Douglas, who was riding the horse for the first time. "It worked out good for me. When the rail opened up, I was able to get through but the other horse didn't give up. He was coming on again at the wire. He's a nice horse -- a small horse with a big heart."
Medlin Road, the 7-10 post time favorite, was second in the seven-horse field and paid $2.40 and $2.20. Coping, a 20-1 longshot, was third and paid $3.80.
"I had a slow start out of the gate and halfway through my horse picked it up," said jockey Jose Martinez Jr., who was aboard the beaten favorite. "Overall it was a good race. The winner was just a little better at the end."
L. J. Gaudreau & Larry Gillen's Come September, second in the 2001 Isaac Murphy Handicap, earned a come-from-behind two-length victory over Faccia Bella in the 2002 edition of the six-furlong dash. Alfredo Juarez Jr. was aboard the 6-year-old daughter of Stars n' Stripes who was clocked in 1:10.64. She paid $10.00, $5.60 and $3.60.
"I just came from a little off the pace today and tried to save a little more horse," Juarez said. "She was very sharp at first but I took her back. In the stretch, she began rolling really well and when I asked her, she just started running again. It was a really good trip. It was the best trip I've had so far today."
Darling L was third in the eight-horse field. Shemya, the 6-5 post time favorite, finished last.
"All the conditions were good," said Shemya's jockey Ray Sibille. "She just wasn't as sharp as she usually is. She had been off eight months."
Ron L. Brandenburg's Tic N Tin repeated as victor in the $84,400 White Oak Handicap, coming back along the rail to nail Too Many Bucks in the final strides to win by a nose. The 7-year-old Lac Ouimet horse covered the six-furlongs in stakes-record time of 1:09.95. The fourth choice in the wagering, Tic N Tin paid $10.20, $6.60 and $3.80.
"He broke a step slow at first and he bumped with the horse inside," said Shane Laviolette, who rode the winner. "He was sitting well throughout the rest of the race and the inside horse (Magic Doe) faded. Then late in the stretch the 8-horse (Too Many Bucks) lost his momentum and started to fade. It just got right for my horse at the wire. He's a nice horse. He knows what he's doing. He was calm and stayed cool."
Classic Appeal finished third in the eight-horse field. Freeway Ticket, the 2-1 favorite, finished fifth.
Richard Otto Stable Inc.'s Summer Mis took command in the stretch and drew off to win the $86,750 Purple Violet Stakes by four lengths, covering the mile in 1:36.10. Randall Meier, who won three races on the 10-race card, rode the daughter of Summer Squall who covered the mile in 1:36.19 and paid $7.20, $4.00 and $3.60.
"We thought she would be good from the start," Meier said. "She had great speed. With the blinkers on, she was very relaxed. We put blinkers on her the other morning and she relaxed with them in the morning and again in the race today. I drove to the lead and won the race. Tony (trainer Mitchell) did a nice job. He set her up really nice for the race today."
Tejano Honey was second and Westend Tapper finished third in the 11-horse field.
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