Sunday, September 14, 2014

Arlington Barn Notes: Sunday, September 14, 2014

                                Contact: Michael Adolphson
(847) 385-7558
Barn Notes:  Sunday, September 14, 2014
In Today's Notes: 
  • Pucker Up Proctor Pair Exit Well
  • Suntracer and I'm Already Sexy Conquer Kentucky
        A salty renewal of the Grade III $150,000 Pucker Up on Saturday afternoon produced some outstanding performances and confusing efforts on a rain-soaked and soft turf course.  Two fillies who relished the wet going were from the barn of veteran trainer Tom Proctor – Sistas Stroll and V V Goodnight, who swept the exacta in impressive fashion. 
        Five Fillies Stable's Sistas Stroll, who was making her fourth career start, more than made up for her lack of seasoning with a 1½-length margin of victory over her much more seasoned stablemate. Shipping in from Proctor's California-based string, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Stroll also came with regular jockey Drayden Van Dyke.
        V V Goodnight, who ran a very good race to place second under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, was exiting a good effort in the Hatoof Stakes on the Arlington Million Day undercard in which she arguably ran the best race of the quartet of fillies who hit the wire together that day.  Back on her best form, she displayed an excellent turn-of-foot – despite the off-going – to close from eighth. 
        Both Sistas Stroll and V V Goodnight will aim toward stakes races this fall.  Sistas Stroll's performance in the Pucker Up – a traditionally solid prep for the Grade I Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup at Keeneland – may wind up garnering her an invitation to the fall centerpiece for sophomore turf fillies.

        Arlington International Racecourse-based Illinois racing favorites Suntracer and I'm Already Sexy took their respective shows on the road Saturday and won stakes races at Kentucky Downs in consecutive races to close a rich card on the track's biggest day. 
        Team Block's Suntracer, whose reliable good form was shaken when he was beaten 20 lengths and finished ninth in the Listed $400,000 American St. Leger last month, ended a 14-race losing streak dating back just shy of two years with an exciting win under Arlington-based rider Florent Geroux in the Grade III $347,000 Kentucky Turf Cup.   
After sweeping widest of all around the meandering far turn of the undulating southern Kentucky course, the Illinois-bred son of Kitten's Joy surged to the lead and held off the Todd Pletcher-trained invader Pyrite Mountain by a nose.  The victory gave trainer Chris Block a bit of retribution after the 6-year-old's befuddling performance at Arlington in August during a week in which the conditioner seemed to beam with confidence in his charge.  Whatever effort he did not exhibit on Aug. 16 came back in spades on Saturday.
The victory brought the bay horse's win total to seven in 35 starts and has him just shy of $800,000 in earnings.  The victory was shockingly his first in a graded stakes in a career that has seen him finish in the top four in 10 graded events. 
Hit the Board Stable's I'm Already Sexy – trained locally by Wayne Catalano and a winner of four of her five Arlington starts – cruised in the next race on the card, the $197,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf Stakes.  Under regular rider Florent Geroux – who concluded a tremendous day in the process – the daughter of Ready's Image dismantled eight other fillies by three lengths in wire-to-wire fashion. 
A good sixth – beaten only 2½ lengths – in the Grade I Beverly D. last month (her only loss at the Chicagoland oval) – the petite dark bay 4-year-old had been training up a storm in the mornings, including three bullets in her last four works.  Her next start is undecided, but the Grade I First Lady Stakes at Keeneland is under consideration. 
Another Illinois-based horse didn't go home empty-handed.  Nancy Vanier and Mike Schmitt's R Great Adventure outran his nearly 12-1 odds to finish a fine third in the $200,000 More Than Ready Mile a few races earlier.  Based at Arlington, the son of Limehouse had previously won a tough allowance at his home course – defeating the well regarded O T B Bob and graded stakes horses Street Spice and General Election in the process.
David ZennerSenior Manager of Communications
Arlington International Racecourse
2200 W. Euclid Ave. Arlington Heights IL 60006-0007
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