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Arlington Park notes: Arlington Oaks 1-2 may see rematch
By Marty McGee
The top two finishers in the Grade 3 Arlington Oaks last Saturday at Arlington Park, My Option and Frivolous, could have a rematch in the $75,000 Hatoof Stakes on the Aug. 17 Arlington Million undercard.
Chris Block said he was extremely pleased with the way My Option handled the 1 1/8-mile distance in the Arlington Oaks and that he wants to keep the Illinois-bred filly going around two turns. The Hatoof, also for 3-year-old fillies, goes at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
"I'd like to get her on the grass, and it's nice that she's already won on it," Block said.
Frivolous, trained by Vicki Oliver, has returned to her Keeneland base but likely will come back for the Hatoof. A daughter of Empire Maker, she was coming off a maiden victory when she rallied strongly to miss by a neck as the longest shot in the race at 12-1.
"I thought she was much the best, to be quite honest," Oliver said. "She had a rough trip and stumbled at the break. It wasn't anyone's fault. She just couldn't get out until it was too late. Then she switched [leads] a little too late. I had a problem with her when she was younger and green doing that. She's a lot better."
My Option and Frivolous both earned a 91 Beyer Speed Figure.
Meanwhile, Sky Girl, a fading third as the 2-1 favorite, remains eligible for second-level allowance conditions but likely will run back in a stakes, Churchill Downs-based trainer Paul McGee said.
"We still think she's that kind of filly," he said.
Mull of Killough joins Million picture
Mull of Killough was confirmed Monday as a starter for the 31st Million, joining what already is a terrific list of hopefuls for the Arlington showcase.
Trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam, based at Newmarket in England, said via Twitter that Mull of Killough is "heading for your Arlington Million race." A 7-year-old Irish-bred gelding, Mull of Killough most recently was second in the Group 2 Summer Mile at Ascot on July 13.
Top would-be prospects for the 1 1/4-mile Million include Boisterous, Little Mike, Rahystrada, Big Blue Kitten, Real Solution, and Optimizer.
Graham leads among riders
Jimmy Graham rode three winners Friday to take a clear lead atop what has been a contentious jockeys' race since the meet started in early May. Graham begins Thursday with 41 winners, three more than Florent Geroux and apprentice Emmanuel Esquivel. Kent Desormeaux is fourth with 34 wins.
Also, Rosemary Homeister Jr. was expected back Thursday after missing her weekend mounts following a spill on the turf in the sixth race Friday. Homeister suffered a bruised wrist in what was her second spill of the meet, the first coming June 19.
** A sudden downpour before the last race Sunday led racing officials to transfer the race from the turf to the Polytrack, although unlike in some other jurisdictions, there were no multi-race contingencies for bettors who had handicapped it as a turf race.
Mandola easily won the race as the 2-1 favorite to cap a 50-cent pick four worth $935.75 and a single winning 50-cent pick-five ticket that paid $12,588.
** A pair of $39,000 allowances highlight a nine-race Thursday card at Arlington. Graham has the mount for Larry Rivelli on the standout favorite, Breaking Ball, in race 3, while the morning-line choice in race 5, Endless Drive, is a lukewarm 7-2 choice in what clearly is a well-matched field of nine turf sprinters.
** The next major stakes on the Arlington schedule are the Million Day races. Allowance races will serve as the featured events for this coming Saturday.
- 1.Posted 04/12/2013 01:51PM
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