08/18/2012 2:39PM

Arlington Park: Francois battles hard to win Straight Line Stakes

Four-Footed Fotos
Francois scores a half-length victory in the $66,130 Straight Line Stakes.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Francois looked like a good $7,500 claim when he won a $16,000 conditioned claiming race first time out for new connections. He’s looking even better now.

Francois followed that initial success with a win in a first-level allowance race here Aug. 4, and on the opening race of the Arlington Million program he scored a determined half-length victory in the $66,130 Straight Line Stakes.

Owned by Kenneth Fishbein and trained by Charlie Bettis, Francois stuck to the rail while running in midpack under Jeffrey Sanchez for the first half-mile of the Straight Line, a one-mile Polytrack race. Sanchez came out to make his run before entering the homestretch, and racing about four paths wide, Francois battled hard to beat Sweet Luca, who got an ideal run closing up the rail. Hogy was another length back in third, with even-money favorite Hammers Terror fourth.

Francois was timed in 1:37.02 and paid $11.20 to win.