06/16/2012 7:07PM

Arlington: Familiar faces and up-and-comers on Prairie Festival card

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Four Footed Fotos
Cumulonimble wins the Lincoln Heritage after getting a perfect trip under James Graham.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Familiar names, like Third Chance and Cumulonimble, found success on the Prairie State Festival for Illinois-breds Saturday at Arlington Park, but more obscure winners got their picture taken, too, in particular Sandia Crest, who upset the Springfield at 20-1, and Capt. Bullet Bob, who upstaged heavily favored stablemate River Bear in the White Oak.

Third Chance and Cumulonimble proved particularly dominant. Beaten a year ago in the Purple Violet Stakes, Third Chance gained a strong measure of revenge over her 2011 conqueror Our Lady in Red, who was left far behind in the $112,125 Isaac Murphy. With jockey Cisco Torres making an aggressive move to collar pace-setter Kip Berries past the three-furlong pole, Third Chance ran a very fast Polytrack half-mile of 45.72 second, but the fraction didn’t faze her. Third Chance ($3.40) powered home 6 1/2 lengths in front, with Algonquin Posse up for second over Our Lady in Red. The winner, trained by Jim DiVito, was timed in 1:10.92 for six furlongs.

While Third Chance made her own trip, Cumulonimble got a perfect one under James Graham winning the $113,125 Lincoln Heritage Stakes for the second year in a row. While Katie the Lady and Peyote Patty dueled down the backstretch and around the turn, Cumulonimble sat third with no rival anywhere close to her. She easily ran down the speed horses and held sway by three lengths, with Katie the Lady and Pathway dead-heating for second. Trained by Wayne Catalano, Cumulonimble paid $5.20 and was timed in 1:42.66 for 1 1/16 miles on firm turf.

* In the $114,625 Black Tie Affair, Mr. Mischief probably turned in the race of his life. While he was allowed to set a comfortable pace under E.T. Baird, going a half-mile in 48.06 seconds, Mr. Mischief finished with excellent energy. Suntracer made a nice late run but fell 1 1/2 lengths short of the winner, with Forbidden Forest a steady third. The Tony Granitz-trained Mr. Mischief paid $12 to win and ran 1 1/16 miles on turf in 1:42.82.

* In the $112,125 White Oak, 4-5 River Bear floundered at the back of the field, but Capt. Bullet Bob, always prominent for Tim Thornton, outlasted Four Left Feet by a neck. Trained by Rusty Hellman - who also sent out the beaten favorite - Capt. Bullet Bob paid $18.60 to win, and was timed in 1:10.66 for six furlongs on Polytrack.

* On paper, Sandia Crest ($42.40) seemed an even less likely winner, going postward in the $126,500 Springfield at odds of 20-1. But a hot early pace killed off all the early speed, and Sandia Crest, last a half-mile from home, reeled in Sweet Luca to win by 1 1/4 lengths. Frank Kirby, who bred Sandia Crest and owns him with his wife, Sharon, trained the winner, with Graham aboard for another stakes victory.

* Finally, La Tia ($15) was a sharp winner of the $113,125 Purple Violet. Now 2 for 2 since being turned over to trainer Brian Williamson and racing with Lasix this season, La Tia set a solid pace in the one-turn Polytrack mile and drew clear to win by more than eight lengths over Dolly Peach.