Thursday, September 25, 2014

Arlington Barn Notes: Thurs., Sept. 25

                                Contact: Michael Adolphson
(847) 385-7558
Barn Notes:  Thursday, September 25, 2014      
In Today's Notes: 
  • Suntracer Considering Canadian International
  • Block Taking His Time with Distorted Music

Team Block's Suntracer, who ended a 14-race and nearly two-year losing streak when impressively gutting out a nose victory over Todd Pletcher-trained Pyrite Mountain in the Grade III Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 13, has exited the race well and will now possibly shoot for the stars in his next start. 
"We'll nominate him to the (Grade I $1,000,000) Canadian International (on Oct. 19 at Woodbine) and take a look at it," reported trainer Chris Block.  "He's doing very well.  We'll also consider the (Grade III $100,000) Sycamore (Stakes on Oct. 16 at Keeneland)."
The Canadian International – the crown jewel of the racing year in Canada – has traditionally attracted some of the best turf horses in America not nominated to or interested in competing in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Turf for three times the purse.  The event also has attracted some quality horses from Europe in years past, including three-time winner Joshua Tree who in 2012 defeated American St. Leger winner Dandino in a spirited battle. 
This year, the race is expected to attract one of Suntracer's favorite rivals, fellow Prairie State-bred and winner of this year's American St. Leger, The Pizza Man.  Also looking seriously at the race are 2013 Arlington Million morning line favorite Grandeur, Grade I Northern Dancer Stakes-winning English ship-in Sheikhzayedroad and possibly even the promising Group I-winning French sophomore Gallante.
Block was also overjoyed at another excellent performance of another Team Block homebred in I O Ireland, who was a valiant pace-setting second in the second division of the $200,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon on Wednesday afternoon – Kentucky Downs' closing day.  The daughter of Giant's Causeway has proven to be a tough customer at longer distances and has also taken to a gutsy front-running style like that of her retired older brother, multiple graded stakes winner and American St. Leger runner-up Ioya Bigtime. 
"Going into the first turn she was laying behind that longshot on the lead and she bumped her, so (jockey C. H.) Marquez said 'I got to get away from that filly' and put her on the lead," said Block.  "She ran really well.  We'll look at the (Listed) $125,000 Dowager (Stakes on Oct. 19)."  The Dowager is at a grassy 1½ miles and will be the first chance she has at three turns on the grass and a distance beyond 1 5/16 miles – challenges Block has wished to give I O Ireland most of her career.

Lothenbach Stable's lightly raced and extremely talented Distorted Music has been burning up the course in the mornings ever since her comeback victory and impressing clocker Bobby Belpedio, including a handy four-furlong move in :49 on Sept. 19.  The daughter of Distorted Humor – and a direct descendent of third-dam and Eclipse champion It's in the Air – has only raced five times, but has never finished out of the money and has won twice.  Included in those victories was a dynamite performance in the driving rain on Sept. 5 off an eight-month layoff.
Trainer Chris Block is taking things slowly with the late-blooming and very muscular charge.  With a physique more mature than her age most of her career, the big-shouldered chestnut filly has been a task to keep sound – so Block is taking his time with her this fall. 
"She's doing really good," he explained.  "We're going to take her to Keeneland and we're thinking about maybe trying the grass with her.  She's four now and there's no reason to immediately go for a stakes with her.  She's bred for it somewhat on the bottom side.  Otherwise, if we don't do the grass, we'll look for an 'a-other-than' going seven furlongs on the main (dirt) course."
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:


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