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Ariana D Favored in Grade III Chicago Handicap
Maple Leaf Farm LLC's Ariana D, third in each of her last two trips postward, has accepted high impost of 121 pounds for her engagement in Saturday's $150,000 Chicago Handicap. The seven-furlong Grade III race attracted a field of seven fillies and mares and will be run as the eighth of 11 races on the card that begins at 1 p.m. Central with the overnight $65,000 Mariah's Storm Stakes kicking off the program.
A daughter of Rock Slide, Ariana D makes her second straight stakes start over the Arlington oval after posting a third-place finish in the Grade III Arlington Matron on May 26. In that nine-furlong affair, the 6-year-old mare was bumped at the break before making a three-wide bid to pick up the show money. The Andrew McKeever trainee should relish the turn back in distance as she is three for six at seven panels including a score in the $100,000 Avowal at Woodbine last October. Willie Martinez will ride the highweight who will spot her rivals from four to seven pounds.
Second in the weights at 117 pounds is Peachtree Stable's Honey Chile. The Wayne Catalano charge looks to rebound off a seventh-place finish after contesting the pace in the Grade III Winning Colors over six furlongs at Churchill Downs last out on June 12. Prior to that, the daughter of Invisible Ink led late in an overnight stakes before giving way and finishing third in that five-furlong grass test. Quincy Hamilton has been named to ride the 4-year-old filly Saturday.
William Clifton Jr.'s East coast invader Kitty in a Tizzy has shipped from New York for Saturday's headliner but the well-traveled Tiznow mare has started at four different tracks all sporting synthetic surfaces over the last two years but last hit the board in the fall of 2010 in the Grade III Selene Stakes at Woodbine. Trained by H. James Bond, the 5-year-old mare has been assigned 116 pounds for the Chicago Handicap and she will be ridden by Arlington's leading jockey Francisco Torres.
Others entered in the Chicago Handicap include recent allowance winners James M. Miller's Maude S (Jeffrey Sanchez, 115 pounds) and John Jain, Lawrence Opas & Frank R. K. Sinatra's Brilliant Future (E. T. Baird, 115); Jerry Jamgotchian's Lunar Mist (Julio Felix, 115), winner of the 2011 Firecracker at Mountaineer Park; and Olympia Star Inc.'s Hemera (Francisco Giles, 114), fourth in the Arlington Matron last time out.
The Mariah's Storm Stakes, for 3-year-old fillies at one mile on the Polytrack, drew a field of nine headed by Feel the Thunder Stable, John Adger and Mike Stidham's Lady Candidate (James Graham), a 13 3/4-length allowance winner here in May; and the one-two finishers in the $66,400 Meafara Stakes earlier this month – William Stiritz' St. Louis City (Robby Albarado) and Claiborne Farm & Adele Dilschneider's Ire (Inosencio Diego).