One of many horse transport services used on the backstretches of racetracks around the country is Creech Horse Transportation. Its origins are in Creech Brothers Horse Van Lines, which Addison Cammack was instrumental in starting. Cammack, a staple of the Chicago racing circuit, died in December 2011 at age 70 after a lengthy battle with lung cancer. Cammack’s name is memorialized in the stakes feature on Saturday July 26 at Arlington. For Illinois-bred sprinters going six furlongs, it carries a purse of $100,000. And for more on Cammack, check out the profile from past Arlington Barn Notes.
Before being known as the Cammack, the race was known as the White Oak Handicap and featured past double winners such as Shrewd Operator, High Expectations, and Tic N Tin. Popular state-bred sprinter River Bear also counts himself on the winners list of this race that for years was among the half-dozen Illinois-bred stakes lumped together as part of the Prairie State Festival.
Arlington International — Race 7 — Addison Cammack Handicap — Six furlongs on polytrack — post time 4:00 pm CT
2013 Illinois Horse of the Year WORK ALL WEEK (seen in the photo at left winning the 2013 Lightning Jet Handicap at cross-town Hawthorne; photo courtesy Four Footed Fotos) returns to his home of the Arlington/Hawthorne circuit after spending a successful first half of the year barnstorming and winning two open stakes at the listed level, the $100K Hot Springs and the $125K Iowa Sprint. In the Iowa Sprint he beat Delaunay, a Grade Two winner the past year, fair and square in a zippy time. In the Cammack he won’t get a free ride. He’ll be asked to tote 130 pounds (do not adjust your monitors, readers) and give at least ten pounds to all the runners in the field. He’ll also be on the polytrack, and I tend to think he’s at his best on the dirt as opposed to the synthetic.
Even though WORK ALL WEEK has to concede that weight and do it on what could be not his best surface, he is WORK ALL WEEK. And he’s drawn outside. And he’s working like he did before the Iowa Sprint. And without River Bear (yes, he’s still around) in the field, he is the best on paper. He’s won in open stakes company, twice. He’s ten of eleven around one turn, the only loss by a nose to SWEET LUCA in a head bob. And the speed figures show him to be superior. At equal weights, wagering would be banned. Having to be the first Arlington runner to lug 130 in nearly two decades does make this a fairer fight. Still, if WORK ALL WEEK repeats the form that saw him annex the Iowa Sprint, the Cammack is his for the taking. The only horse to beat our choice around one turn deserves a good look, SWEET LUCA. Trainer Chris Block quietly has been on a good clip in the middle stages of the Arlington meet, and he has two of his trainees in the field (the other is SIR APPLESOLUTELY). Perhaps he needed the first start of the year against Bet Seattle and three time Arlington Sprint winner Saint Leon, and he’ll be going third off the layoff. Should MASSIVE EXPLOSION and/or MISH MOSH soften up WORK ALL WEEK, he could close from the clouds to pull the upset. Worth noting that in his last on turf, he wasn’t disgraced by a fourth behind eventual G3 winner The Pizza Man. FOUR LEFT FEET has the same style as SWEET LUCA. He’ll sit back, hope the pace is quick, make one run, and try to clunk up for a minor award. Sometimes it works, as he’s a state-bred stakes winner who hit the board against River Bear twice in the Spring meet at Hawthorne. Sometimes it doesn’t, like when forced seven wide at Turfway. Still, he’s useful for the exactas and trifectas as a type who could get a piece of the pie. And with a legitimate speed or speeds signed up, he will have some pace to rally into.
#9 WORK ALL WEEK (7/5)
#1 SWEET LUCA (9/2)
#3 FOUR LEFT FEET (5/1)
Longshot: It would create a #2 MASSIVE EXPLOSION (10/1) on the Arlington toteboard should he win, but MASSIVE EXPLOSION does have a puncher’s chance in the Cammack. He might be the only one in the field quick enough to tangle with WORK ALL WEEK, and he showed some class by clearing the N3X condition two back at Presque Isle. MASSIVE EXPLOSION goes third off the layoff like SWEET LUCA, and being drawn on the inside on the Arlington synthetic sometimes is a plus point, especially if it gets cool/rainy. Recruits E. Esquivel to ride, but the trainer here is five of fourteen in the money at Arlington, and six of twenty in the win column on all synthetic surfaces this year. He’d need the prohibitive favorite to stumble, but could hang around longer than expected in the lane.
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