09/20/2012 3:10PM

Arlington: Beating Third Chance in Addison Cammack a tall order for Block duo

Four-Footed Fotos
Third Chance has won all three of her starts this year, including the Isaac Murphy Handicap (above).

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – The trainer Chris Block has personal reasons for wanting to win the inaugural edition of the $65,000 Addison Cammack Stakes on Saturday at Arlington Park.

Cammack, who died of lung cancer at 70 last December, operated an equine transport business and was a well liked fixture on Chicago backstretches. It was common for him to linger slightly longer than business required during his visits to the Block barn. He and Block simply seemed to enjoy one another’s company.

“He was someone I could always lean on, and I miss him dearly,” Block told Arlington publicity staff this week.

No surprise, then, that Block entered what turned out to be one-third of the six-horse Cammack field. Sir Applesolutely has maiden and allowance wins from his two career starts while Hoodwinked, mainly a turf middle-distance horse in the past, is trying to carve a new niche as a Polytrack sprinter. But as much as a win in the race named for his friend might mean, Block has to find a way to beat Third Chance.

The leading Illinois-bred female sprinter of the last couple seasons, Third Chance will be formidable in the six-furlong Cammack. Trained by Jim Divito and ridden by leading Arlington jockey Cisco Torres, Third Chance is 2 for 2 at the meeting and 3 for 3 this year. She easily handled Illinois-bred stakes foes in her first two starts of the season and was comfortably best in an open allowance race Aug. 26, albeit against not especially challenging opposition.

Third Chance has won half her 18 career starts and has proven particularly adept at negotiating Arlington’s synthetic main track, where she has 6 wins and 2 seconds in 8 tries.

Drawn in post 2, Third Chance could be pressured on the early lead if she shows her typical speed. Roarin Missile, a capable Polytrack sprinter in his own right, has a post three stalls outside Third Chance and probably is as quick as she in a first quarter-mile.

If the pace were to turn heated, either of the Block horses could rally and win. Sir Applesolutely didn’t beat strong competition in either of his victories and is taking a major class hike Saturday. But Hoodwinked showed a nice stretch burst in a Polytrack sprint on Aug. 4, finishing second to the sharp Francois, and has turned in a fast half-mile drill since a more recent turf start.