06/17/2013 4:21PM

Arlington Park: Coalport, La Tia eye open stakes

Four Footed Fotos
Coalport is being pointed for the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap after this victory in the Black Tie Affair.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - The dominant winners of two Illinois-bred turf stakes Saturday appeared to have exited their races in good condition, and both are likely to return in open stakes July 13, Million Preview Day.

Coalport, who earned a career-best 98 Beyer Speed Figure winning the Black Tie Affair Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths, is being pointed to the Grade 3, $200,000 Arlington Handicap, trainer Wayne Catalano said.

“He won very nice,” Catalano said. “He relaxed, did everything he was supposed to do.”

La Tia relaxed in her own way – racing on the lead – on the way to a 3 1/2-length score in the Lincoln Heritage Stakes. The 4-year-old City Place filly now has won two turf races this season by more than eight lengths combined, and she has earned a start in the Grade 3, $200,000 Modesty Handicap.

“That seems like what we want to do,” trainer Armando de la Cerda said. “So far, she looks good after the race. She was a little tired, but no more than normal.”

◗ Catalano reported that Imposing Grace, winner of the Grade 3 Arlington Matron on May 25 in her most recent start, will be sidelined until later this year after undergoing surgery to remove bone fragments in her ankle joint.
“She’s going to run again,” Catalano said. “She should be back late in the summer.”

The Matron was the first stakes win for Imposing Grace, a 4-year-old daughter of Empire Maker.

◗ Channing Hill, Arlington’s leading jockey with 23 wins through June 16, will be out of action two or three weeks, his agent, Pat Cuccurrullo, said.

Hill went down in a one-horse spill June 8, took a few days off, breezed horses last Thursday, and rode one race this past Friday. But Hill’s shoulder was too sore to properly fulfill his riding duties, and he will rest the injury in hopes of a fairly speedy return.