Saturday, May 24, 2014

Arlington Stakes Recap: Arlington Classic (Grade III)

Contact: Michael Adolphson
(847) 385-7558
Fax: (847) 385-7251

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (May 24, 2014) – Ike and Dawn Thrash and Janet and Sam Alley's Instanford ran away from her male counterparts in the Grade III $150,000 Arlington Classic Saturday afternoon at Arlington International Racecourse.  After a sharp break from the seven-hole in the field of eight starters, the daughter of Istan led at every call en route to an impressive one-length score for trainer Mike Stidham.
Ridden by James Graham, for whom she has now earned all three of her career victories in eight starts, the Florida-bred traveled the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:43.60 over good ground on Arlington's turf course after setting earlier fractions of 24.36, 49.21, 1:14.13, and 1:37.86. Sent off at a generous 5.10-1, despite carrying some of the best back-class in the field, Istanford returned $12.20, $5.60 and $4.20 as the public's fourth wagering choice, earning $87,300 to boost her career bankroll to $207,246.  The Classic was her first race over the Arlington grass course since her maiden victory last August.
"She's great; absolutely beautiful," beamed Graham.  "She showed today that if they give her a breather, they ain't catching her.  I've wanted to ride her all along but sometimes I couldn't get off another horse I was supposed to ride.  We were going to lay off if (Solitary Ranger) wanted the lead, but evidently he didn't.  So, she just bounced around here happy as (can be) and came on home."
"We didn't have a lot of options for a filly race, so we thought 'let's just keep her here and run out of her own stall'," Stidham explained.  "I've run in this race a few times and I feel it's the easiest of the three races (in the Mid-America Triple).  Our filly had been running good and had been beaten by some pretty good fillies in her last two losses (the Grade I Ashland and Listed Edgewood Stakes).  We felt fairly confident that we had a chance in the race.  Mr. Trash and I talked about it and we decided to go for it."
Wachtel Stable and George Kerr's Long on Value finished a hard-driving second under Brian Hernandez Jr. for trainer Bill Mott, returning $4.80 and $3.20. Tom Fedro and Team Block's Afortable, ridden by Julien Leparoux for trainer Chris Block, closed from the rear of the field, but came up short, crossing the wire third – beaten 1¾ lengths and returning $3 to show.  Suzanne Stable's Chief Barker, making his second American start for trainer Larry Rivelli after beginning his career in England, completed the top-four under Sheldon Russell.
"We had a pretty good trip – I just wish the horse on the lead had a little more pressure on her, but she didn't," Hernandez explained.  "She had everything kind of go her way, then we had to run into her. It just slowed down a lot in front of us.  We ran a good race – and he sprinted home –
but the filly had a little more sprint in her." 
Leparoux echoed similar sentiments. "It was a good trip.  They didn't really back up at the end.  He made his run, but there wasn't a lot of pace.  He ran big."
Tiger Bourbon, Rankhasprivileges, Solitary Ranger and Ry's the Man completed the order of finish. 
David ZennerSenior Manager of Communications
Arlington International Racecourse
2200 W. Euclid Ave. Arlington Heights IL 60006-0007
P 847.385.7535│C: 847.371.1670 | F: 847.870.6727│E:


This Churchill Downs Incorporated communication (including any attachments) is intended for the use of the intended recipient(s) only and may contain information that is confidential, privileged or legally protected. Any unauthorized use or dissemination of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately notify the sender by return e-mail message and delete all copies of the original communication. Thank you for your cooperation.