08/25/2011 10:17AM

Arlington: Alluring Squall faces winners after impressive maiden win


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Chris Block is the antithesis of a racetrack tout. Block lets the horses he trains speak for themselves through performance. But early in the summer of 2010, Block took the time to point out a bay 2-year-old filly a few stalls from his barn office. She was by Bernardini and a sister to multiple graded stakes winner Vacare, whom Block trained early in her career. It has taken her more than a year to show what Block saw before she raced, but Alluring Squall might be on her way now.

Alluring Squall won a maiden race July 15 with a powerful late run, and she climbs the class ladder in Saturday’s ninth race at Arlington Park, an entry-level, two-turn turf allowance that includes the flashy debut winner One Last Dance.

Race 9 isn’t the feature on an appealing 10-race program. That would be race 6, a one-mile, grass race for fillies and mares with multiple high-end allowance conditions and a $100,000 claiming option. A large field of 11 was entered, but the group lacks recent accomplishment. The horse who has kept the best company, Dr. Zic, qualifies for the race because she hasn’t won during 2011, and Dr. Zic is even farther removed from her best form. She makes her turf and two-turn debut and is one of six horses in the race coming off a layoff of at least seven weeks.

Pathway, in for the $100,000 tag, could manage only an even fifth in a division of the $61,000 Illinois Owners Stakes last out, but is capable of better. Distorted Love appeared to struggle over soft turf in the $100,000 Red Carpet at Penn National, but her previous form qualifies her as a major player.

Alluring Squall, meanwhile finished a fast-closing third in her lone start in 2010, and got into all kinds of traffic trouble when narrowly beaten June 24, her first start at age 3, before her breakthrough last month. Alluring Squall was an also-eligible in the Hatoof Stakes on Arlington Million Day but failed to make the field, instead posting three sharp Polytrack works in August.

One Last Dance, trained by Mike Reavis, was heavily bet in her debut, and after breaking poorly and trailing by nearly 20 lengths early in a one-turn Polytrack mile, One Last Dance surged powerfully on the turn and won by seven lengths. Reavis has since worked One Last Dance, an Officer filly, on turf, but she may be hard pressed to kick home with the more experienced, and perhaps equally talented, Alluring Squall.