Archive for June 2012

Kitty in a Tizzy Pounces to Take Chicago Handicap

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS–Nine older fillies and mares saw the starter in the Grade 3, $150,000 Chicago Handicap, and it was the horse closest to the rail that emerged the victor. Francisco “Cisco” Torres, the meet’s leading rider, piloted KITTY IN A TIZZY to a one-length victory. It was the first graded stakes win for Torres since... Read more »

Mariah's Storm: Lady Candidate Gamely in Triumph

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS — When LADY CANDIDATE last stepped on the Arlington polytrack, she won by 13 ½ lengths going a one-turn mile. This afternoon, in the $65,000 Mariah’s Storm Stakes for three-year-old fillies, she won, but it was a more game outing this time, winning by a neck. LADY CANDIDATE winning the Mariah’s Storm Stakes.... Read more »

Chicago Handicap Preview

Sometimes called the Chicago Sprint (because of its distance), the Chicago Handicap is a late-June/early-July fixture of the Arlington stakes calendar. It carries a Grade 3 ranking and is a solid race on the calendar for older female sprinters. The seven-furlong (7/8 mile) distance matches that of the richest race all year for this group,... Read more »

Mariah's Storm Stakes Preview

The feature race of the week is the Chicago Handicap for older females, but there’s also a nifty minor stakes that could stand on its own. It’s the Mariah’s Storm, a minor ungraded stakes for a purse of $65,000. Mariah’s Storm before the 1995 Breeders’ Cup. Mariah’s Storm was trained by Donnie Von Hemel and... Read more »

The Battle for Spring Horse Racing

On June 14, Churchill Downs Incorporated announced a radical change to Kentucky Derby qualification. Gone from its signature race was the graded stakes criterion, where the potential runners were evaluated based on money earned in graded races. In its place was a tiered points system, with an emphasis on winter/early spring races, races beyond a... Read more »

Prairie State Festival Wrap Up

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS–The 2012 Prairie State Festival featured a mix of everything. It featured long priced headscratching winners, short priced popular winners, and five riders taking stakes races for six different trainers. Absent from the winners’ circle this year were trainers Chris Block and Christine Janks, a pair of trainers who have dominated Prairie State Festivals... Read more »

Prairie State Festival Preview

It’s going to be a busy June 16th. The exciting around-the-clock fun on Saturday begins early in the morning, before the stakes races get underway, with a couple of great events at Arlington Park. In the afternoon, it’s off to the races. It’s Prairie State Festival Day, a salute to the best of the Illinois-breds... Read more »

Before the Prairie State Festival

Saturday June 16th is Prairie State Festival Day, the second of three days celebrating Illinois racing. On track, Arlington Park will host six stakes races (three for each gender) devoted to the best equine stars bred in the state. Don’t worry; there will be a full-fledged handicapping preview later this week. Two other events also... Read more »

Sea o'Erin: Nikki's Sandcastle Victorious

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS–On a warm cloudless day at Arlington Park perfect for a day at the beach, NIKKI’S SANDCASTLE took to the green, not the sand in the $65,000 Sea o’ Erin Stakes. Sent off as the 3-1 second choice, he took the grass stakes with a good closing run at the rail. The five-year-old Castledale... Read more »

Sea O'Erin Stakes Preview

Returning to the Arlington Park stakes calendar this year is the Sea O’ Erin Stakes. When last seen on the calendar in 2009, it was raced at a mile on the grass near Labor Day. It had been a Grade 3 stakes once upon a time. This year it returns as  an overnight stakes (a... Read more »