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Illinois-Bred My Option Takes Grade III Arlington Oaks
Timothy Keeley’s My Option, coming off a tough defeat to Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s Bold Kitten in the restricted Purple Violet Stakes on June 1, turned the table on that rival and four others when she gamely prevailed by a neck over G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s Frivolous in the Grade III Arlington Oaks on Saturday.
A 3-year-old daughter of Belong to Me, My Option became the second straight Illinois-registered filly to capture the Arlington Oaks. Hernandez Racing Club’s La Tia won the 2012 edition of the nine-furlong race. Eduardo Perez was aboard the Chris Block trainee and covered the distance in 1:52.85.
Jay Em Ess Stable’s Sky Girl and James F. Miller’s Gold Edge were inseparable through the first three-quarters of a mile posting fractions of 24.95 seconds, 49.65 seconds and 1:15.01 while the eventual winner, according to plan, sat back early.
“She is very competitive and very classy. I was concerned that (the Purple Violet) took a lot out of her, so I backed off on her training,” Block said of the gray/roan miss. Her works were slow early, so I kept her slow because she can get real aggressive. Going a mile and an eighth, I knew she was going to have to drop the bridle and settle. She did for the most part except a little around the first turn, but she settled up the backside. I liked the way she was moving up the backside and on the far turn.”
As the pacesetter began to unravel in the stretch, My Option picked up the bit to gain the lead approaching the eighth pole and held off the fast approaching Frivolous for the victory. “I knew I had a lot of horse. I just tapped her on the shoulders but she took off pretty good,” Perez said.
The Arlington Oaks was the first open and graded stakes win for My Option, the Illinois Champion 2-Year-Old filly of 2012, and her fourth win in six trips to the post overall. The $89,100 winner’s share of the $150,000 purse pushed the homebred filly’s career earnings to $261,263. Block indicated that My Option’s next start would likely come on the grass, the surface on which she broke her maiden last year.
“We’ll look at the ($75,000) Hatoof (on Aug. 17), Block said. “That would be (a race) to seriously consider. We’ll see how she comes out of this and we’ll put that on the calendar and look at it.”
The 5-2 second choice in the wagering, My Option paid $7, $4.20 and $2.80. Frivolous, the longest price on the board at 12-1, returned $9 and $4. Sky Girl held on for third and paid $3.20. Bold Kitten, Gold Edge and Seaneen Girl completed the order of finish.