ARLINGTON HEIGHTS--The first race on Million Preview Day was a seven furlong dash on the polytrack for three-year-old sophomores, the Coach Jimi Lee Stakes for a purse of $65,000. It provided winning rider Cisco Torres with his fiftieth win of the Arlington Park meet, as he guided TIREE to a stalking victory by a nose.
TIREE (green hat, white silks) gets his nose down in the Coach Jimi Lee Stakes. Photo courtesy Four Footed Fotos.
TIREE got out of the gate second fastest, behind ARCADE who set solid early fractions of :23.69 and :47.11 for the opening quarter and half. ARCADE and TIREE were one-two for the entire running of the seven furlong affair. After three-quarters in 1:11.97, both of them had a two length advantage on the next closest finishers. TIREE and ARCADE continued their duel from the start to the very end, with TIREE getting his nose down in a head bob over ARCADE.
The Cisco Torres-guided TIREE completed the seven furlongs of the $65K stake in 1:24.89. Torres complemented the winner on the "grit and gut" TIREE showed in the post parade.
Trainer Gerald Bennett also complimented his runner in post-race interviews.
"Hopefully we can (his undefeated season) going. He works good in the moring on the dirt."
TIREE paid $20.60 to win, going off at 9-1 odds. The 5-7 exacta of TIREE and ARCADE paid $125.20 for two dollars. SWEET LUCA, who finished third, completed the 5-7-4 trifecta that paid $154.45 for fifty cents. MACHO COACH completed the 5-7-4-2 superfecta that paid $133.50 for a dime. HOGY, the 9-10 favorite, finished last among the field of seven, never picking up his hooves during any part of the race.