Chicago Barn to Wire Breeders' Cup Handicapping Tournaments

SPORTSMAN'S NOTES

Sportsman's Park results

Contact: David Zenner (773) 242-1121 ext. 310
sportsmanspub@aol.com

Saturday, March 30, 2002

VETERANS SHINE ON ILLINOIS CHAMPIONS DAY

CICERO, Ill. (March 30, 2002) -- Illinois Champions Day at Sportsman's Park was one for the aged with a 7-year-old gelding owned by an 83-year-old man, trained by a 92-year-old conditioner and ridden by a 47-year-old jockey stealing the show.

Magic Doe, a 7-year-old gelding who has one at least one stakes race every year since his 4-year-old season, led from gate to wire to win the $85,600 Chicagoland Handicap, one of six stakes races on the Illinois Champions Day card, by a neck. Randall Meier, the track's all-time leading rider, was aboard for the front-running neck victory, which was timed in 1:09.73 over a fast track.

"Jim (trainer Eckrosh) told me to go ahead and put him on the lead and take a long, easy hold of him," said Meier.

"He's honest, honest, honest," Eckrosh said when asked to what he attributes Magic Doe's success. "I keep him happy. As long he stays happy, he's showing no signs of slowing down."

Magic Doe paid $10.80, $5.60 and $4.00. Classic Appeal was second and returned $5.40 and $3.80. It was another neck back to Freeway Ticket, who paid $3.20.

The biggest upset of the day belonged to Diamond Racing Inc, Hugley, Nykaza and Kemper's Baker Road, who captured the $84,950 Milwaukee Avenue Handicap at odds of 11-1. Robby Albarado rode the Leo Gabriel Jr.-trained son of Rubiano to a 2-length victory in 1:44.31 for the mile and a sixteenth over a fast track.

Baker Road paid $24.00, $11.40 and $14.00 (ok). R. Little Redhead ran second and returned $9.00 and $12.20 (ok). Paddy's Spy, the longest price in the race at odds of more than 45-1, finished third and paid $33.00.

Chicago Six, the 7-10 post time favorite, was never a factor and finished fifth in the nine-horse field.

Another longshot reported home in the $88,750 Governor's Lady Handicap when Mel Silver Racing Ltd.'s Darling L rallied from eighth after a half mile to win the six-furlong race by 3 lengths under jockey Jesse Campbell in 1:10.71.

"The key today was the trip," Campbell said. "To have one horse beat on the backside and get through on the fence the whole way is unbelievable. Typically, closers like to circle the field but they left a wide open rail and I had to take it. She'll run through a hole. I knew they were rolling pretty good up front. I was farther back than I wanted to be, but Terrel (trainer Gore) and Mel (owner Silver) let me ride how I want to ride. They let me ride how the race sets up and when you do that, this is what happens and you get lucky."

Darling L, a 5-year-old daughter of Premiership, paid $21.40, $8.00 and $6.20. Island Riffle Cat finished second and returned $3.40 and $4.40 (ok). It was another half length back to Little Mo, who finished third in the 10-horse field and paid $17.00.

Crown's Way Farm's Gracility overtook the speedy Scarlet O'Hara in the final stride to earn a head victory in the $83,000 Violet Stakes giving trainer Gene Cilio his second straight win in the race for state-bred 3-year-old fillies. Eusebio Razo Jr. rode the daughter of Known Fact to victory, covering the six furlongs over a fast track in 1:11.36.

"When I asked her to run, she started moving," Razo said. "I saw (Scarlet O'Hara) so far in front of me. I didn't think I was going to get her, but she started digging in and digging in. Gene told me to let her make one big run at the end and that's what I did. It worked out. I knew they were going quick up the backside but at the same time, I was closer than I thought I was going to be. Turning for home, she changed leads and started running."

Gracility is out of the Naevus mare Kuma, who also produced last year's Violet victress Shemya.

"All of (Kuma's) foals have turned out to be good," said Cilio, whose brother Ron DiCillia's Crown's Way Farm bred both fillies. "The mare was a great running mare who won a lot of races for us and she's produced some really nice fillies for us."

Gracility, coupled in the wagering with Margies Connection, returned $11.40, $5.60 and $2.80. Scarlet O'Hara paid $4.20 and $2.80. Tejano Honey finished third and paid $2.40.

Irish Acres Farm's Colorful Tour, champion Illinois 2-year-old of 2001, began his run to a possible 3-year-old crown with a decisive 5-length score in the $87,700 Land Of Lincoln Stakes for Illinois-registered 3-year-olds. Uriel Lopez was aboard the son of Tour d'Or who covered the six furlongs over a fast track in 1:10.59. It was the second start of the year for Colorful Tour, who ran second to War Emblem in the $45,000 Illinois Derby prep earlier this month.

"He ran his heart out (that day)," said Lopez. "It was great he ran second. Today, everyone started sending and I said I'd better get up there, stay close and make that run."

Trained by Susan Conklin, Colorful Tour raced up close on the outside early, dropped to the rail on the turn and drew off for the easy tally.

Sent off as the 3-2 favorite, Colorful Tour paid $5.00, $3.60 and $2.60. Nikobe was second and paid $7.60 and $4.80. Pocket Taj was third in the 11-horse field and returned $10.40.

Trainer Mike Reavis claimed Out of Options for $14,000 last September and under his care, the daughter of Cohiba has won two stakes including a 4 3/4-length victory in Saturday's $97,150 Peach Of It Handicap. Larry Sterling Jr. had the mount aboard the 6-year-old mare who went the mile over a fast track in 1:39.29.

Reavis was quick to point out that an equipment adjustment may have been the key to Out of Options success under his tutelage.

"I have to give Larry credit and a piece of clothes line about six feet long," said Reavis. "She's very nervous. We put a twitch on her, which means you take her muzzle and hold it tight, which causes her to think about other things. We use a piece of clothesline rope. That's how she goes to the paddock and that's how she goes to the gate. It keeps her quiet and lets her reserve her energy for the race."

Tap Your Feet, the 17-10 post time favorite, was second. It was another head back to Ballado's Baby.

Out of Options paid $13.00, $4.80 and $2.80. Tap Your Feet returned $3.60 and $2.40. Ballado's Baby paid $2.80.

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