Updated on 09/16/2011 8:34AM

Allspice rallies to take Eliza Stakes


CHICAGO - Allspice won the $100,000 Eliza Stakes for 2-year-old fillies Sunday as Arlington's meet closed after almost five months on a fitting note.

Two races after Allspice validated a blowout maiden win, Devil's Bandit won the meet's final heat for owner Frank Calabrese, trainer Wayne Catalano and jockey Rene Douglas. These three have dominated day-to-day racing here. Calabrese, who finished with 66 wins, and Catalano, with 64, both set records for wins at an Arlington meet. Douglas lapped the field in the race for leading rider.

As for Allspice, she is just beginning. Defeated on turf in her career debut, Allspice came right back with a 16-length maiden win over a mile on dirt. Facing winners for the first time while turning back in distance, Allspice also had to overcome problems at the gate. "She just kind of fell out of there," jockey Chris Emigh said.

On the lead throughout her maiden win, Allspice raced fifth of six early in the Eliza, but gradually worked her way forward as the Maryland invader Home Run Hitter set fractions of 22.10 seconds for a quarter mile and 45.67 for a half. At the top of the stretch, Allspice was four wide but still making steady progress, and despite her lack of seasoning she was able to sustain her run, which carried her past the field and onto a three and one-half length victory.

Jody's Deelite outlasted Diamonds for Me for the place spot. Owned by Jim Tafel and trained by Gene Cilio, Allspice paid only $3.60 to win while being timed in 1:24.56 over fast going.