ARLINGTON HEIGHTS -- The state-bred stakes season at Arlington kicked off on a hot late May afternoon, as nine Illinois-bred three-year-olds faced off in the $100,000 Springfield Stakes at a mile over the Arlington polytrack. The field featured two previous winners of Illinois-bred stakes: Rambling Richie, the winner of last year's Sun Power Stakes and Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity, as well as I Got It All, winner of the Land of Lincoln Stakes on April 26.
The morning line favourite, at 3/1. was I Got It All. However, when the odds were first posted 25 minutes prior to post, the early 3/2 choice was A Step Ahead: second in last fall's Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity, and on the move back into state-bred company after a sixth-place finish in the Illinois Derby (GIII). However, as post time approached, more money went onto I Got It All as well as 7/2 morning line second choice Easy Solution. The latter was coming into here off of a second-place finish behind I Got It All in the Land of Lincoln. In the paddock, everyone looked to be in good racing condition, but it was recent maiden winner Flashdance Road who looked the most impressive. He appeared strong, on his toes, and full of energy. However, it was stakes-placed Easy Solution who ended up the 2/1 betting choice once the gates sprung open, with I Got It All the bettors' second choice at 5/2.
Rambling Richie shot to the lead, with Easy Solution and Flashdance Road close off their pace. I Got It All was within striking distance early, stalking about three lengths back. Rambling Richie set brisk early fractions for the mile-long race: the quarter in 23.29, the half in 47.92. Flashdance Road dropped back about a length in that second quarter, while Easy Solution continued to press Rambling Richie hard from his outside. Coming into the far turn, both I Got It All and Easy Solution made their moves on Rambling Richie. They both overtook the leader, but Easy Solution faded almost instantly. I Got It All was just getting started. He switched into another gear past the quarter pole, and left the rest of the field fighting for second. He made the rest of the field look like they were standing still, and won by a widening 9 1/4 lengths. 34-1 longshot Prado U, a dozen lengths off the pace early, made a strong inside move through the far turn. He split between the fading Easy Solution and the striving Flashdance Road down the stretch, and got up for second. Flashdance Road had enough left to keep himself ahead of A Step Ahead, and stayed in for the show: eleven lengths behind I Got It All. The dueling early leaders both faded badly: favourite Easy Solution and Rambling Richie lugged home the distant eighth and ninth place finishers, respectively.
I Got It All, a three-year-old Tiz Wonderful colt out of Polish Pro, achieved his second career stakes win in the Springfield Stakes. The race was his first attempt past six furlongs. His last time out out, he won the six-furlong Land of Lincoln Stakes at Hawthorne by 2 3/4 lengths over Easy Solution. He also had a maiden win at Hawthorne to his credit, in which he went wire-to-wire to win a six-furlong state-bred maiden special weight by fifteen lengths.
Despite this race being I Got It All's first route race, jockey Emmanuel Cosme knew he had enough horse to go the whole mile. "He just broke (well) and relaxed," remarked Cosme. "When I asked him to run at the quarter pole, he just took off. There was a lot of speed in the race. We've been working with him in the morning. We knew he could go long. When I passed the last two horses, he just put his ears up and was playing with them."
This was I Got It All's second career attempt on the polytrack. His first time over the surface, in his first career start, he finished a distant last behind Rambling Richie. This did not worry trainer Tom Swearingen going into the Springfield. "The surface was never a factor. He had some trouble in his premiere race, but there were some gate problems. A lot of horses in the gate were really upset and got him upset." Swearingen continued, "He came back and proved himself. He seems to be getting better as he goes."
Florent Geroux, the jockey aboard second-place Prado U, had no complaints about his horse. "It was a great trip. We were in the back where we thought we would be because of the speed in the race. He made his run and I got a little stuck at the quarter pole -- but I don't think that stopped me from beating the winner. We saved ground, made our run, and were one of the only ones who could get the distance. He ran his race."
James Graham, who rode beaten favourite Easy Solution, did not make excuses for his horse. "I was sitting second or third down the backstretch, then turned and just had nothing left at the top of the stretch. The 7 (I Got It All) came by me at the quarter pole and he (Cosme) was the only one sitting against his horse."
I Got It All paid his backers $7.80 to win. The exacta with him over Prado U paid $149.00 for a $2 bet. The trifecta, adding Flashdance Road on the lowest rung, returned $626.70 on a $0.50 base bet. The $0.10 superfecta with A Step Ahead in the fourth slot paid $1,537.00 for each dime bet.
Photography is courtesy of Four Footed Fotos.
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