06/18/2016 7:30PM

Cammack gives trainer seventh Black Tie Affair victory

Four-Footed Fotos
Cammack wins the Black Tie Affair at Arlington on Saturday.

Trainer Chris Block won the Black Tie Affair Handicap for Illinois-bred turf horses for the seventh time when Cammack led from start to finish in the $54,450 race Saturday at Arlington.

Block swept the Black Tie Affair exacta when Peej finished second, and while his two other runners in the race finished fifth and sixth, Block at one point trained the first seven finishers in the Black Tie Affair. His family’s ownership and breeding partnership, Team Block, bred the first-, third-, fourth-, and fifth-place finishers.

Cammack, a 6-year-old by Giant's Causeway and out of Fort Pond, the mare who produced the Block’s strong racehorse and current stallion, Fort Prado, didn’t race between November 2014 and this past February, and he twice started in $25,000 conditioned claimers this winter. Cammack had won his last two starts, however, and he benefitted from setting a dawdling pace under Cisco Torres in the Black Tie Affair.

Cammack led through splits of 25.29 and 49.92 seconds, easy fractions on a firm course, and the two-length lead he opened at the stretch was sufficient to hold clear Peej’s challenge by a half-length. Peej got somewhat hung up in traffic around the far turn, but couldn’t muster the needed rally while finishing 1 ½ lengths clear of Revolt. Cammack ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.82 and paid $16.40 to win.

Amen Kitten, the 121-pound starting highweight, never got involved and finished ninth.

Stormin Elle upsets Spellman

Stormin Elle, who hadn’t won since July 2014, turned away heavily favored Lovely Loyree to win the $53,800 Mike Spellman Memorial Handicap for Illinois-bred fillies and mares.

Under Arlington’s leading rider Jose Valdivia Jr., Stormin Elle tracked the slow pace of  7-2 second choice Cabana, put her pace rival away in the upper stretch, and had plenty left to hold clear a mild run from Lovely Loyree, who when last seen was racing competitively with Tepin in graded turf stakes at Tampa Bay. Stormin Elle beat her by one length with Lovely Loyree, favored at 2-5, just a half-length better than 26-1 shot Smiling Gambler.

Stormin Elle, trained by Wayne Catalano for John and Joe Cochonour, didn’t start between September 2014 and this past April, and had finished seventh and fifth in her two starts this year. She got back to her best form from a couple years ago, however, getting her last 2 1/2 furlongs in a strong 29.37 seconds, and held clear the 123-pound co-heighweight Lovely Loyree, who was making her first start since March 12.

Stormin Elle was timed in 1:43.05 for 1 1/16 miles on firm turf and paid $23.60 to win. She’s a daughter of Stormello out of the El Prado mare, El Belle.