|Arlington Park Stakes results
CILIO SCORES PAIR OF STAKES WINS DURING PRAIRIE STATE FESTIVAL
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 21, 2003) -- For the second time in three years, trainer Gene Cilio was the star of the Prairie State Festival by saddling two winners in the six-race extravaganza for Illinois-registered horses. The veteran conditioner scored in the $84,150 White Oak Handicap with Out of My Way and followed a half an hour later with a tally in the $86,150 Cardinal Handicap with Act of War.
Cappas, Founder Group & Crown's Way Farm's Out of My Way, winner of the 2000 Springfield Stakes, added to his Prairie State Festival ledger with a 3 1/2-length tally in the White Oak.
Curt Bourque rode the 6-year-old gelding who covered the six furlongs in a stakes record 1:09.16 and paid $6.80, $3.80 and $2.80.
"He was nine miles the best horse in the race," Bourque said. "When I moved my hands, he went. I had a lot of confidence today. I liked this horse two races ago at Hawthorne. He came out of that race well and has been training well."
Pacesetter Take Achance On Me was second and paid $4.80 and $3.40. Manitowish finished third and paid $6.80.
R'n R Breeders Act of War picked up his second Prairie State Festival stakes score with a two-length victory in the Cardinal with Bourque again in the irons. Act of War covered the mile and a sixteenth over firm turf in 1:42.15. The Lord At War horse previously won the 2001 edition of the Springfield Stakes.
"He only had one other grass race and it was a very soft turf at Hawthorne," Cilio said. "He just didn't understand the footing and he was way back. He made a hell of a run to finish second. I knew he'd care for the grass. Earlier on I couldn't get him on the grass so I got him in a mile and an eighth race to make sure he was good and tight. There was no doubt in my mind that he'd be a turf horse."
Defending champion Mystery Giver was second through the finish line but was disqualified and placed ninth for interference in the first furlong of the race. Scooter Roach was moved up to the place spot and Ivan Jay Perry was moved up to third.
Act of War paid $10.20, $6 and $4.60. Scooter Roach returned $25.80 and $12.60. Ivan Jay Perry paid $6.20.
Trainer Chris Block also has become synonymous with the Prairie State Festival at Arlington Park leading all conditioners in wins in the event with five victories entering the 2003 edition of the festival. It was only fitting then that Block added another notch to the belt with Tom Fedro and Darrell & Sadie Brommer's Keeping the Gold, who took the day's first stakes race, the $86,450 Purple Violet, by a length over favored Julie's Prize.
The daughter of Langfuhr was ridden by Eusebio Razo Jr. and covered the mile over a fast track in 1:36.48 after vying for the lead from the rail.
"Our plan wasn't to be too close," Razo said. "I didn't think we'd be that close but the way she took me there I didn't want to take her back. Turning for home when I asked her, she still had something left."
Favored Julie's Prize was trapped behind the early speed and made a rally in the stretch but came up short.
"There were five across the track," lamented Julie's Prize's jockey, Larry Sterling Jr. "I couldn't go anywhere. Where you gonna go? A little daylight and we get there."
It was seven lengths back to Rathleen who finished third in the 10-horse field.
Keeping the Gold paid $8.40, $3.40 and $2.80. Julie's Prize returned $2.60 and $2.20. Rathleen paid $4.80.
Richard Otto Stables Inc.'s Summer Mis, winner of the 2002 Purple Violet Stakes, remained perfect in Prairie State Festival competition with a 1 1/4-length score in the $84,550 Isaac Murphy Handicap in 1:10.62 for six furlongs.
The Summer Squall filly was ridden by Sterling and paid $5.60, $3.60 and $2.60.
"Earlie's (jockey Fires) horse (Come September) broke down at the three-eighths pole but I didn't have to touch my filly," Sterling said. "I just went on from there. I was always good. There wasn't a whole lot of speed in the race on paper and I just let this filly run her own race. She bounced out of there and did everything on her own."
Seven Brides was second and paid $3.40 and $2.60. Win Won was another 3/4-length back in third and returned $2.60.
Pacella, Schwed & Rizza's Wiggins, champion 2-year-old of 2002, picked up his first stakes victory as a sophomore when he captured the $86,800 Springfield Stakes by five lengths over Home of Stars in 1:36.22 for one mile.
"I worked this horse seven-eighths the other day and he did it easy," said Razo, who earned his second stakes victory of the day and fourth overall in Prairie State Festival races. "I never thought distance was going to be a problem. He showed he can go a mile. He was going easy and relaxed. I had horse the whole way."
Wiggins paid $9.60, $6.80 and $4.20. Home of Stars returned $5 and $3.40. Lord Jones was third and paid $4.
Trainer Michele Boyce finished one-two in the $84,600 Lincoln Heritage Handicap with Barr Three LLC's Kate the Great holding off defending champion Ellie's Rose in the mile and a sixteenth turf race. Hall-of-Fame jockey Earlie Fires guided the 4-year-old filly to a wire-to-wire victory in 1:42.41 for a mile and a sixteenth on the turf.
"I didn't think we'd get that easy a lead," said Fires, Arlington Park's all-time leading rider. "The other day when I rode her, she did the same thing. Michele had to slow up on the horse for a little while there and we weren't sure if she could carry her speed that far. But when I turned for home, she was full of run."
It was a bittersweet score for owners Sam & Jack Barr, who were not in attendance. A 2-month-old brother to Kate the Great succumbed earlier Saturday to an unknown virus.
Kate the Great paid $10.60, $4.40 and $2.60. Ellie's Rose returned $3.20 and $2.20. Soccory was third paid $2.20. The Boyce exacta came back $36.40.
Arlington Park -- host to the record-breaking 2002 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships and the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. -- runs a 104-day meet in 2003 through Saturday, Sept. 27. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates seven off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Chicago, Trackside McHenry, Trackside Rockford, Trackside Waukegan and Longshots featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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