06/08/2013 4:45PM

Arlington Park: Graham rides pair of turf stakes winners


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Jockey James Graham has averaged 1.7 turf stakes winners per Arlington meet since he began riding here in 2004. Saturday, Graham got two on the same card, piloting Keep Up to victory in the $66,400 Swoon's Son and Grandma's Rules one race later in the $66,700 Gaily Gaily.

Graham's two wins came on different sorts of horses: Grandma's Rules was a claimer when she raced here last summer, while Keep Up showed signs of getting back to the form that won him the Grade 3 River City Handicap last fall at Churchill Downs. A 6-year-old who didn't race between April 2011 and July 2012 as he received stem-cell treatments on an injured tendon, Keep Up got very good last autumn, winning a high-end allowance race Nov. 16 at Churchill and the River City there nine days later.

But even Alex Clarkson, who trains Keep Up - a huge son of Unbridled's Song and Keeper Hill - for Mill Ridge Farm, was wondering where Keep Up stood as of Saturday. He had finished seventh at Keeneland in his 2013 debut, and seventh May 2 in a Churchill allowance race. There was trouble in both trips, but Clarkson wanted to see more.

"He had to do something good today, or it was back to square one," Clarkson said.

Keep Up ($10.20) did little running for much of the Swoon's Son, racing last of seven through a slow half-mile in 50.17 seconds. But Keep Up started rolling at the three-eighths pole, and after Graham steered between horses into the stretch, Keep Up came with a good finish, beating Grade 3 winner Corporate Jungle to the wire by three-quarters of a length, with Workin for Hops well back in third. Winning time for 1 1/16 miles on good turf was 1:44.59, and at the finish, Keep Up seemed to just be finding his best stride. Longer races, like the Arlington Handicap on July 13, might lie in his future.

Grandma's Rules, a daughter of Orientate, was claimed by trainer Richie Scherer and the Last Call Racing Partnership for $25,000 in July. Her first start of 2013, in a May 11 turf allowance race here, produced a distant third-place finish but also must have significantly moved her forward. Grandma's Rules got a favorable trip pressing Dolls Dream's slow pace, going on to a one-length victory as favored Hooh Why got hung up in traffic before making a run for second, and Drama Drama flattened out to third after challenging in upper stretch. Grandma's Rules, very heavily bet, paid $7.40 and was timed in 1:45.76 for 1 1/16 miles.

Favorites drop statebred stakes

The odds-on favorites in both Illinois-bred stakes races here Saturday both went down to defeat.

At least Work All Week gave a good account of himself, losing the $84,400 Addison Cammack Stakes by a nose to Sweet Luca after being pressed through a hot pace by Nagys Piggy Bank, who would finish last. Work All Week, the 1-5 favorite off two dominant allowance-race wins, including one on Arlington's Polytrack, put away his speed rival in the homestretch, and despite obviously tiring while drifting out, he still nearly battled back after being passed by Sweet Luca.

The winner, a Candy Ride gelding, paid $21.10 and ran six furlongs in 1:10.92. Eddie Perez rode for trainer Chris Block and owner Ed Fortino.

Algonquin Posse, the 3-5 favorite in the $93,650 Isaac Murphy, failed even to show her customary speed, and looked beaten a quarter-mile into the race. Indeed, she would go on to finish seventh, as Kip Berries burst to the lead out of the gate and never was headed, winning by a one and three-quarters lengths over Smiling Gambler, with Royal Posh third. Kip Berries, a 7-year-old by Kipling, is trained by Tom Swearingen and was ridden by Seth Martinez. She ran six furlongs in 1:10.94.