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Saturday Stakes Bonanza at Arlington
A quartet of stakes races plus the simulcast of the Grade I Belmont Stakes headline the Saturday, June 8 card at Arlington International Racecourse. The local added-money events consist of the $100,000 Addison Cammack Handicap for Illnois-bred sprinters, its distaff counterpart the $100,000 Isaac Murphy Handicap, the $65,000 Gaily Gaily Stakes for fillies and mares on the turf and its open counterpart the $65,000 Swoon’s Son Stakes.
The Gaily Gaily and the Swoon’s Son are each mile and a sixteenth turf races and serve as prep races for upcoming Million Preview Day (July 13) graded stakes, the Grade III $200,000 Modesty Handicap and the Grade III $200,000 Arlington Handicap, respectively, and as such they nonetheless attracted top-notch fields including several graded stakes winners.
No fewer than four graded stakes winners were entered in the Swoon’s Son including Four D Stable’s Grade I-winning Turallure, who captured the Grade I Woodbine Mile in 2010 before getting beat just a nose in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Mile that autumn at Churchill Downs. Winless in four starts since, the Charlie LoPresti-trained son of Wando will have the services of the meet’s leading rider Channing Hill.
Gary & Mary West’s Corporate Jungle will be making his seasonal debut in the Swoon’s Son. The Tom Proctor trainee last ran when finishing sixth beaten only 3 ¼ lengths in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint over Santa Anita’s downhill grass course. The son of champion Giant’s Causeway won the Grade III Appleton Stakes at Gulfstream and finished second in the Grade II Fourstardave at Saratoga as part of his successful 2012 campaign. Eddie Castro picks up the mount.
Red Rabbit Racing’s Workin for Hops, a graded stakes winner over this course, finished third in a tough allowance race in his last start May 17. The Chris Block-trained son of City Zip is 2 for 6 over the Arlington turf including wins in the Arlington Classic and the Grade II American Derby. He will be ridden Saturday by Eduardo Perez.
The fourth graded stakes winner in the Swoon’s Son lineup is Mill Ridge Farm’s Keep Up, victor in last fall’s Grade III River City Handicap at Churchill Downs. Trained by Alex Clarkson, the son of Unbridled’s Song will be ridden by James Graham.
Three graded stakes winners are amongst the eight fillies and mares entered in the Swoon’s Son – St. George Farm Racing’s Closing Range, who captured the Grade III La Prevoyante Handicap at Calder last November, and Mark Hoffman & Earl Trostrud Jr.’s Hooh Why, a million-dollar winner who numbers the Grade I Ashland among her scores. Eddie Castro rides Closing Range for trainer Phil Oliver while Ricardo Feliciano picks up the mount aboard Hooh Why, who will be saddled by Mike Reavis.
The Addison Cammack has the unusual distinction of opening the card. Midwest Thoroughbreds’ Work All Week will be the likely favorite among the Illinois-bred quintet entered in the six-furlong dash, The Roger Brueggemann-trained son of City Zip was a visually impressive winner in his Arlington debut on May 11, beating open-company rivals by more than five lengths under Florent Geroux who has a return call Saturday.
Ed Fortino’s Sweet Luca comes into the Cammack off a second-place finish in an open company allowance race on May 8. The Chris Block-trained Candy Ride gelding is has just one victory here but is six for seven in the money over Arlington’s Polytrack. Eduardo Perez will ride.
William Stiritz’s Nagy’s Piggy Bank was beaten as the 7-5 betting favorite in the $100,000 Robert S. Molaro Handicap at Hawthorne in April but has three wins over the Arlington Polytrack. Chris Emigh will ride the Scott Becker-trained son of Cherokee Rap.
Meanwhile, the Isaac Murphy, which drew a field of eight Illinois-registered females including one supplemental nominee, is headed by the 122-pount highweight Algonquin Posse, who races in the green and red silks of owner William Stirtz. The Scott Becker-trained daughter of Posse, who was the runner-up in this race one year ago, is looking for her second straight stakes win after capturing the $100,000 Third Chance Handicap at Hawthorne on April 27. The five-year-old mare is six for 17 overall, will be ridden Saturday by Chris Emigh and spots her rivals from two to nine pounds.
Kip Berries, owned by L. Denk, D. Carlisle, R.Bockel and trainer Tom Swearingen, easily won her seasonal debut when winning a second-level open allowance race over the Arlington turf course last month. The 7-year-old Kipling mare is a victress over Arlington’s Polytrack and sports a 10 for 31 record overall. Seth Martinez has the mount aboard Kip Berries, who has been assigned 120 pounds for Saturday’s affair.
Three Isaac Murphy entrants are listed at 116 pounds – Lamont Nienast’s Dolly Peach, Larry Owens’ Royal Posh and Gary & Beth Leverton’s Wild Hope. Of this trio, only Royal Posh comes in off a win, having scored in an open first-level turf allowance here on May 12. Dolly Peach returns to the local ranks off a second-place run in a Canterbury park allowance race last month while Wild Hope was third in the aforementioned Third Chance at Hawthorne.
Jeffrey Sanchez has the mount on the Mark Cristel-trained Royal Posh. Rosemary Homeister Jr. has been named to ride Dolly Peach by trainer Percy Scherbenske while apprentice jockey Emmanuel Esquivez has the call aboard Wild Hope for trainer Frank Kirby.