|Sportsman's Park results - National Jockey Club Handicap
Contact: David Zenner (773) 242-1121 ext. 310
HAIL THE CHIEF WINS NATIONAL JOCKEY CLUB HANDICAP
CICERO, Ill. (April 20, 2002) -- Peter M. Crane's Hail The Chief avoided some early traffic right out of the starting gate, sprinted to the lead under the finish wire for the first time and cruised to an 11¼-length victory in the Grade III National Jockey Club Handicap Saturday at Sportsman's Park near Chicago. The Niall O'Callaghan-trained son of Be My Chief was ridden by Jorge Chavez and covered the mile and an eighth over a fast track in 1:51.72.
Making only his fifth start since being sent to the United States late last year, the 5-year-old earned $180,000 for the victory, his 10th in 32 trips to the post, and elevated his bankroll to $334,521.
"The horse was so good on the all-weather track in the (United Kingdom)," said Paul Lacy, representing the owner. "He was so good that we were running out of races for him. (The United States) was a land of opportunity for him. We knew he was great on dirt. We knew that he would stay a mile and an eighth. He's done everything we always expected of him."
Uncontested on the front end, Hail The Chief nevertheless set a quick pace of 23.51 seconds for a quarter mile, 47.73 seconds for the half and 1:12.77 for three-quarters of a mile.
"I thought the inside horse (Ubiquity) would go to the lead," Chavez said. "A couple of steps after the break, I saw there was no speed so I let my horse go to the front. He was doing it by himself. When I asked him in the stretch, he opened up a few more lengths. He won very nicely. I knew he had a chance today."
E Z Glory rallied from the back of the pack to finish second, a neck in front of favored Ubiquity, who survived a steward's inquiry in the run past the stands for the first time to hold onto third money. Defending champion Chicago Six closed late to finish fourth, followed by Mc Mahon, Bandana and Apalachee Special.
"Everything went all right for me, but the winner got out there all by himself," said Calvin Borel who rode the runner-up. "My horse made a mild run but he hung a little on me in the stretch."
"I was placed right where I wanted to be 'til the head of the stretch but then my horse just couldn't keep up with the winner," said Ubiquity's jockey, Michael McCarthy.
"The break was okay but then 50 yards out, my horse got slaughtered," said Larry Sterling Jr. of his trip aboard Mc Mahon. "It wrecked the whole race for him. The bumping had more of a mental effect on him than anything."
Hail The Chief, a slight second choice in the wagering, paid $7.40, $4.20 and $2.60. E Z Glory paid $4.40 and $3.00. Ubiquity paid $2.60.
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