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Breeders' Cup Champion Informed Decision Seeks Title Defense in Grade III Chicago 'Cap
Augustin Stable's Informed Decision, winner of the Grade I Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint last November, will be a prohibitive favorite when seeks a repeat bid in the Grade III Chicago Handicap at Arlington Park on Sunday. The seven-furlong race over Polytrack is the July 4 holiday headliner at the suburban Chicago racecourse.
Since capturing last year's Chicago Handicap in front-running style, the Jonathan Sheppard-trained distaffer dominated her division with scores in the $400,000 Presque Isle Downs Masters in Pennsylvania, the Grade II Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland before earning her biggest victory in last autumn's Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita Park.
In two starts so far this year, she ran third in the Grade I Madison at Keeneland in April and third in the Grade I Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day. Carrying high weight of 124, the daughter of Monarchos will be ridden by Julien Leparoux and will spot her seven rivals from six to 11 pounds.
Slated to line-up against the favorite (with riders and weight assignment listed) are: Derby Daze Farm, Mark Hoffman & Earl Trostrud's Hooh Why (Shane Sellers, 118 pounds); Team Block's Never Retreat (Junior Alvarado, 115); Carl Pollard's Minewander (Michael Baze, 115); Michael Stidham's Secret Kin (E. T. Baird, 115); Jerry Jamgotchian's Rinterval (Julio Felix, 115); Lael Stables' Lookalike (James Graham, 114); and Charles Fipke's Diamond Song (Chris Emigh, 113).
Grade I winner Hooh Why comes in off an uncharacteristic sixth-place finish in the $100,000 Satin N Lace at Presque Isle in her last start and before that the daughter of Cloud Hopping finished third in the $100,000 Illinois Owners Stakes over this course. As a sophomore last year, Hooh Why captured the Grade I Ashland at Keeneland. Mike Reavis is listed as trainer of the 4-year-old filly.