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Chantilly Nayla Favored in Grade III Arlington Oaks
Six sophomore distaffers, including several with graded stakes experience, have been entered for Saturday's Grade III $100,000 Arlington Oaks. The mile and an eighth Polytrack race is the main event on a 10-race program that gets underway at a special twilight post time of 4 p.m. to allow the track to present its annual "Racing, Music and Fireworks" extravaganza in honor of America's birthday.
Topping the Arlington Oaks is Team Valor International & Highfield Stock Farm's Chantilly Nayla. The daughter of Five Star Day returns to the main track after posting a fifth-place run on turf in the $200,000 American 1000 Guineas in May. Trained by eight-time Arlington champion Wayne Catalano, Chantilly Nayla previously ran second in the Grade II Beaumont Stakes at Keeneland in April and before that rattled off three successive scores on three different surfaces dating back to last October. Four for eight in her brief career, she will be ridden Saturday by James Graham, who was her pilot for much of last winter and spring.
Bluegrass Equine Center, Sky Chai Racing LLC & Twin Creek Farm's Age of Humor also brings graded stakes-placed credentials to Saturday's Arlington Oaks. The daughter of Distorted Humor finished third in the Grade III Silverbulletday Stakes at the Fair Grounds in February and then ran second, beaten only a neck, in the Grade III Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway Park the following month. Far back against better company in her last two starts, the Mike Maker charge looks to rebound here. Quincy Hamilton picks up the mount for the first time.
Barbara Hunter's Snow Top Mountain has never finished worse than second in four trips to the post including a runner-up finish in the Grade III Regret Stakes over the Churchill Downs turf course in her most recent effort. The Tom proctor-trained daughter of Najran has made but one start on a synthetic surface, breaking her maiden over Keeneland's Polytrack in April. Jesus Castanon has been named.
Stone Farm, John Adger, Oack Crest Farm and Michael Stidham's Upperline, fifth in the Grade I Ashland at Keeneland in April, makes her first start since that race. The Maria's Mon's miss ran third in the grassy Grade III Herecomesthebride Stakes at Gulfstream in March and third on dirt in the Grade II Golden Rod at Churchill Downs last November. She broke her maiden here last summer and later finished second to eventual Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old filly in the $50,000 Top Flight Stakes over this Polytrack on Arlington Million Day. E. T. Baird gets the call.
Dundalk 5 LLC's Dundalk Dust carries a perfect two-for-two record into the Arlington Oaks. Trained by Chris Block, the Illinois-bred daughter of Military broke her maiden here on turf last August and returned to win her first start as a 3-year-old when besting state-breds on June 6 in a first-level allowance originally carded for turf but moved to the Polytrack. Eduardo Perez is named.
Completing the field for Arlington Oaks is Jac Mac Stable & C. E. Formby's Laura Babe, runner up in a Churchill Downs allowance race in her last start. Chris Emigh rides the daughter of City Zip for trainer Richard Jackson.