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Addison Cammack Stakes an Emotional Win for Block

| Churchill Downs Communications | 06/08/2013 #
  • Ed Fortino’s Sweet Luca (outside) nails Work All Week in the final stride to win Saturday’s Addison Cammack Handicap.

The $84,400 Addison Cammack Handicap, the first of four added-money races on the Saturday card at Arlington International Racecourse, proved to be an emotional victory for trainer Chris Block, who trained Ed Fortino’s winning gelding Sweet Luca to a nose victory in the six-furlong race.  Block was a close friend of Mr. Cammack who died in December 2011.

“(Racing Secretary) Chris Polzin called me the day after Addison died and told me he was going to name an overnight stakes after him and then change the White Oak to the Addison Cammack starting this year,” Block recalled.  “Addison was a dear, dear, dear friend of mine so to win this was pretty damn special.  Last week to win a race with the horse we named after him and now to win this is pretty special.  I didn’t think we could beat Work All Week.  I was proud to run in the race and Ed (Fortino, the owner) and I talked about it and said we’d run in the race no matter what.”

With Eduardo Perez in the irons, the son of Candy Ride got up in the final stride to beat Work All Week, the 1-5 post time favorite, getting the distance in 1:10.92.  The favorite cut the pace in the race while battling with Nagys Piggy Bank for more than a half-mile through early splits of 22.34 seconds and 45.40 seconds.

“I figured they would be going pretty quick and my horse has a really good  kick from the three-sixteenths to the wire,” Perez.  “I made him switch leads and he just responded all the way.”

“He was trying,” said Florent Geroux, who was aboard the beaten favorite.  “We went too fast early.  The 4-horse (Nagys Piggy Bank) pushed me the whole way and that’s why my horse got tired late.  I think if we had it easier up front we would have still won the race.”

Four Left Feet, Sacred Gift and Nagys Piggy Bank completed the order of finish.

For Sweet Luca, the victory was his fourth in 15 starts and the $49,290 winner’s share boosted his bankroll to $250,052.  Sent off at odds of more than 9-1, he paid $21.20, $3.20 and $3.  Work All Week returned $2.10 and $2.10.  Four Left Feet paid $3.40.

In the co-featured $93,650 Isaac Murphy Handicap, Tom Swearingen Racing Stable, L. Denk, D. Carlile & R. Bockel’s Kip Berries led from gate to wire en route to a 1 ¾-length victory.  Seth Martinez was aboard the winner who covered the six furlongs in 1:10.94

“She was pretty relaxed going into the turn and she took a big deep breath around the three-eighths pole,” Martinez said. “After that, at the top of the lane she switched (leads) and when I smooched her she took off. When she felt a little bit of pressure, she grabbed the bit again.”

Smiling Gambler was second in the field of eight fillies and mares.  It was another neck back to Royal Posh.

“I had a good trip, good post,” said Smiling Gambler’s rider, Florent Geroux. “We were off the winner the entire way, and she felt very relaxed. She ran very well and fought hard for the place. We were jumping up a bunch of conditions today, and I wasn't getting to the winner, so we were fighting for the place.”

Dolly Peach, Fire Tricks, Wild Hope, favored Algonquin Posse and Kel’s Dreamer completed the order of finish.

“She usually shows a lot of speed but she didn’t show it today,” said Chris Emigh of his trip aboard the beaten favorite.  “So then I’m trying to force it and that just made it worse.  She just didn’t fire today at all.”

Kip Berries, the 7-2 second choice in the wagering, paid $9, $5.20 and $4.40.  Smiling Gambler returned $13.40 and $8.20.  Royal Posh paid $6.20

Jockey James Graham accounted for the two other stakes on Saturday’s card, winning both the $66,400 Swoon’s Son Stakes aboard Mill Ridge Farm’s Keep Up ($10.20, $4.60 and $3.80) for trainer Alex Clarkson and the $66,700 Gaily Gaily Stakes on Last Call Racing Parnership’s Grandma’s Rules ($7.40, $3.40 and $2.60) for trainer Richie Scherer.