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Informed Decision Prevails as Favorite in Chicago Handicap
Augustin Stable's Informed Decision took the lead shortly after the start, put away rival Authenicat at the start of the stretch, and drew off to a 4 3/4-length victory over Unforgotten in the Grade III $140,000 Chicago Handicap Saturday at Arlington Park.
Julien Leparoux never had to use the whip on the Jonathan Sheppard-trained daughter of Monarchos who ran the seven furlongs in 1:21.49 after posting fractions of 23.56 seconds, 46.70 seconds and 1:09.73 en route to the facile score.
"There was no pace today," Leparoux said, "but you never know if someone else would try to go to the front and steal the race from her. We didn't really have any plan today. We just broke from the gate - if anybody wanted to go, okay, and if not, we'd take the lead."
The Chicago Handicap was the fifth straight tally for Informed Decision, a multiple Grade I stakes winner, who earned her eighth win in 10 starts overall and the $89,400 winner's share boosted her bankroll to $811,617.
"This race seemed to fit her schedule nicely," said Hall of Fame trainer Sheppard. "Seven furlongs is a good distance for her and she likes the synthetic tracks. I've never run a horse at such a short price before (odds of 1-5), so I was a bit nervous to be honest. It's a relief that it's over. She ran great and Julien gave her a beautiful ride."
With the Chicago Handicap her records at both seven furlongs (5 for 5) and on synthetic tracks (4 for 4) remain intact.
Unforgotten, last early, made a mild rally to overtake Authenicat for the place spot.
"I was running for second place today," said Authenicat's jockey Fernando Jara. "I tried to save my filly for a little run at the end, but the other filly was tough today. I was happy with my filly's effort."
Crown of Diamonds, Choragus and Tiz to Dream completed the order of finish.
The heavy choice at odds of 1-5, Informed Decision paid $2.40, $2.20 and $2.10. Unforgotten returned $5.80 and $4. Authenicat paid $3.40.