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Marketing Mix Sends Message with Pucker Up Victory
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Sept. 17, 2011) – Glen Hill Farm’s Marketing Mix took advantage of a ground-saving trip and drew off in the stretch to win the Grade III $100,000 Pucker Up Stakes by 3 1/4 lengths on Saturday at Arlington Park.
Junior Alvarado rode the Tom Proctor-trained daughter of Medaglia d’Oro who covered the mile and an eighth over firm turf in 1:49.24.
The winner sat just behind longshot Love Dare, who led the overflow field of 14 through quick fractions of 23.08 seconds for the quarter, 48.41 seconds for the half and a three-quarter mile split of 1:13.31 before fading to last.
“They were expecting a big race out of her and she didn’t disappoint,” Alvarado said. “I just wanted to make her relax and be comfortable. She broke well and relaxed right away behind the speed. At the quarter pole, I asked her and she responded. The rest was kind of easy.”
The Pucker Up Stakes was the third win in seven starts for Marketing Mix who captured the $250,000 Wonder Where Stakes at Woodbine in her last start. She earned $54,600 here to push her bankroll to $341,945. She paid $4.60, $3.80 and $3.40.
“Fourteen horses and (6-5) odds and that’s a lot of pressure,” said Craig Bernick representing winning owner Glen Hill Farm. “Two races on the grass and she’s won pretty well both times. We always thought she’d do well on grass. She’s a Canadian-bred and the purses up there are huge so we ran her on (Polytrack) a few times.”
Sea Level Drive, a 25-1 longshot who returned $18 and $12.60, made a late rally to get up for second for jockey Corey Lanerie and trainer Leigh Bentley, who was saddling her first ever stakes starter.
“I’m tickled to death,” Bentley said. “I knew this filly was a nice one and she did us proud.”
“We did everything right,” Lanerie added. “We just tried to follow (Marketing Mix) all the way around. We got in a little bit of traffic turning for home but I don’t think we were going to beat the winner anyway. She’s a nice horse.”
Maid of Heaven finished third at odds of 45-1 and paid $13.40.
Summer Savory, Barbies M., Artemus Kitten, Angelica Zapata, Santina Dond, Trac N Jam, Triune, Seans Silverdancer, Happy Choice, Don’t Tell Sophia and Love Dare completed the order of finish.