Feel the Thunder Stable et al.’s 5-year-old Cactus Ridge mare Lovely Loyree will have the target on her back for the first time in recent races as she headlines a field of eight Illinois-bred fillies and mares in Saturday’s $50,000 Mike Spellman Memorial Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the turf course at Arlington International Racecourse. Previously known as the Lincoln Heritage Handicap, it was renamed in 2015 for Daily Herald sports writer Mike Spellman, who passed unexpectedly on Jan. 20, 2015. A regular in the press box, he covered Arlington and the Blackhawks and was immensely respected by colleagues and horsemen.
Midwest Thoroughbreds’ The Pizza Man is set for a summer campaign that will likely include a prep at Arlington International Racecourse for his return to the Grade I Arlington Million. The 2015 Million winner made his most recent start in the Grade I Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap on February 6 following his win in the Grade II Hollywood Turf Cup last November at Del Mar. After his fifth place finish at Gulfstream, the Illinois-bred was sent to his owner’s farm in Florida for some time off.
The 19th running of the $53,000 Addison Cammack Stakes went to Doubledown Stables’ Recount for the second year in a row at Arlington International Racecourse. Bred by Barney and Anne Gallagher and trained by James DiVito, the graded stakes-winning son of Limehouse broke sharply under the confident handling of Carlos Montalvo, saved ground along the rail, then came head-to-head on the turn with Chris Block-trainee Sweet Luca before finding another gear and pulling away to win by two lengths over a fast-closing Shanghai Red. Sweet Luca, winner of the Addison Cammack in 2013 & 2014, was a neck back in third.
The $50,000 Addison Cammack Handicap drew a field of eight for its 19th running at Arlington International Racecourse Saturday. Doubledown Stable’s 2015 winner Recount tops the field of Illinois-registered horses going six furlongs on the main track. The James DiVito trainee made his most recent start on May 21 in the Grade III Hanshin Cup where he finished fourth. Bred by Barney and Anne Gallagher, the graded-stakes winning gelding by Limehouse will break from post two with Carlos Montalvo aboard.
A soggy day at Arlington International Racecourse didn’t stop John Truscott’s homebred Go Lady Jay from shining when she led the field wire to wire in Saturday’s $50,000 Purple Violet Stakes for 3-year-old Illinois-registered fillies. Making her first start on a synthetic course, the Bradlee Rainwater trainee was sent to the front by jockey Jesse Lantz, setting the pace through splits of 23.58, 48.12 and 1:12.85. The daughter of Run Away and Hide held off her challengers in the stretch to complete the one mile in 1:37.78, finishing 1¼ lengths ahead of Valerie Peterson’s Flin Flon, with Richard Perkins’s Missalaney another length back in third.
Saturday’s feature race at Arlington International Racecourse drew a field of 10 Illinois-registered 3-year-old fillies for the $50,000 Purple Violet Stakes. Highlighting the entries for the one-mile Polytrack event is 2015 Illinois 2-year-old Champion Filly Silver Lode, winner of the Pat Whitworth Illinois Breeders’ Debutante at Hawthorne Racecourse last December, as well as Debutante runner-up Partay and third place finisher Lakota Rose.
Three-time Arlington International Racecourse leading trainer Larry Rivelli hit a career milestone Monday, when Patricia’s Hope LLC’s Good Bye Greg gave the trainer his 1,000t
Edward Seltzer and Beverly Anderson’s homebred Surgical Strike lived up to his billing as the 8-5 favorite when parlaying a pocket trip into a score in Saturday’s Grade III $100,000 Arlington Classic at Arlington International Racecourse.
The return of the Grade III $100,000 Arlington Matron Stakes at Arlington International Racecourse was won by Flipcup for Team Penney Racing, Wachtel Stable and Brous Stable. The Bill Mott-trainee broke from the rail and tracked the leaders while saving ground on the inside through opening splits of 25.05, 49.29 and 1:13.39. Coming through the final turn, jockey Chris Emigh moved the 5-year-old daughter of Milwaukee Brew outside of the leaders and held off Lothenbach Stable’s Chris Block-trained No Fault of Mine by a neck to finish the 1 1/8-miles Polytrack trip in 1:51.32. Naveed Chowhan’s Bernard Flint-trained Brooklynsway finished 3½ lengths further back in third.
The return of the Grade III $100,000 Arlington Classic at Arlington International Racecourse drew a field of 12 three-year-olds for Saturday’s 1 1/16-miles turf event, including Surgical Strike, a homebred of Edward A. Seltzer and Beverly S. Anderson, who will break from post four with James Graham in the irons. Trained by Ben Colebrook, the colt by Red Giant finished third in the Grade II American Turf Stakes on the Kentucky Derby undercard earlier this month. The winner of the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes on March 12 at Turfway Park, Surgical Strike also finished third on that same all-weather track at in the nine-furlong Grade III Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes April 2.
A field of 11 fillies and mares entered Saturday’s Grade III $100,000 Arlington Matron, to be run at 1 1/8-miles over the Polytrack at Arlington International Racecourse. Headlining the race will be Brooklynsway, winner of the Grade III Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare Stakes at Keeneland April 22. The Bernard Flint-trainee last started for owner Naveed Chowhan in the Grade I La Troienne on the Kentucky Oaks undercard, where the Ontario-bred 4-year-old filly by Giant Gizmo ran fifth. She will break from post three under E. T. Baird while looking for her fifth victory on an all-weather track.
The 64th running of the Grade III $100,000 Hanshin Cup Saturday at Arlington International Racecourse went to Shortleaf Stable’s Trace Creek. While making his first Polytrack start, the William Van Meter trainee broke from the inside post and settled well off the pace while saving ground in the early stages of the one-turn mile event. After opening splits of 23.25, 46.09 and 1:10.82, the 6-year-old horse by Harperstown moved up to travel midpack on the turn and then found room along the rail to overtake the leaders under jockey Julio Felix, completing the one-mile trip in 1:36.25. A length further back in second was Kenneth Fishbein’s Cheryl Winebaugh-trained Francois for jockey Mitchell Murrill, who held that place position by three-quarters of a length over William Stiritz’s Scott Becker-trained Valiant City under Chris Emigh.
Patricia’s Hope LLC’s Midnight Cello, a romping 5½-length winner in last season’s renewal of the Grade III $100,000 Hanshin Cup, returns to Arlington International Racecourse for the first time since in an attempt to defend his title in the one-mile Polytrack event on Saturday, May 21. The 64th running of the Hanshin drew a field of 11 and will be run for the 22nd time as an exchange race between Arlington and the Japan Racing Association.
Wasting no time improving on a four-win day last Saturday, defending Arlington champion jockey Jose Valdivia, Jr. raised the bar Friday at Arlington, winning five of the day’s eight races.
ALL ARLINGTON INTERNATIONAL TICKETS ON SALE APRIL 1
For the first time in Arlington Million history, the race’s top three finishers will get a rematch in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. At Keeneland on Saturday, Million hero The Pizza Man will renew rivalry with runner-up Big Blue Kitten and his pacemaker, Shining Copper, who held on surprisingly well for third at Arlington.
Trainer Larry Rivelli, jockey Jose Valdivia, Jr.
AZTEC BRAVE TOPS TETRAD OF STAKES WINNERS IN TOUGH TELEPROMPTER
Due to the success of the International Festival of Racing featuring the Arlington Million, wagering on races on the day and wagering on races afterwards was higher than anticipated.