Updated on 09/17/2011 11:17AM

Classic Appeal on his best game

Four Footed Photos
A muddy Classic Appeal coasts down the Hawthorne stretch Saturday under Carlos Silva to take the $100,000 Chicagoland Handicap by 7 1/4 lengths.

STICKNEY, Ill. - Classic Appeal's also-ran days officially are over.

Classic Appeal went winless in 2002, but after having throat surgery over the winter to improve his breathing, Classic Appeal has come back a different horse. He won his second straight race Saturday, crushing a solid field of Illinois-breds in the $100,000 at Hawthorne.

Classic Appeal's emphatic win in the six-furlong Chicagoland put an exclamation point on Illinois Champion's Day, which featured six $100,000 stakes races for statebreds. Far behind the early pace, Classic Appeal ($4) and jockey Carlos Silva stormed off the turn and won by a widening 7 1/4 lengths. His time of 1:11.22 on a dull track was outstanding.

Owned by Asiel Stable, Classic Appeal gave Silva and trainer Richard Hazelton two stakes wins on the card, but this one was especially impressive. Classic Appeal had only one horse beaten at the quarter pole, but passed seven rivals in about one furlong.

Gumbo Love scores

Gumbo Love won the battle of talented statebred 3-year-old fillies in the Violet, beating She's Fantastic by 3 1/2 lengths. Favored Book the Devil lost all chance following a disastrous break.

Bred and owned by Jay Collier, Gumbo Love gave Clayton Pierce the first stakes win of his training career. Pierce trains privately for Collier and grooms all the horses in his racing string himself.

"Clayton is the man," said the winning rider, Zoe Cadman.

Gumbo Love won her career debut here March 2 by almost nine lengths, then finished second three weeks later in an open company allowance race. Saturday, she broke well and got good position behind the pacesetters, Baltic City and Fighting Fever. Cadman asked Gumbo Love to take the lead turning for home, and she easily passed the leaders and drew away to a 3 1/2-length win.

Gumbo Love ($8) completed six furlongs in 1:12.90.

Baker Road battles back

With help from jockey Eddie Razo, Baker Road successfully defended his title in the Milwaukee Avenue Handicap. Baker Road had a difficult outside post and was caught three wide on both turns. But Razo saved horse and Baker Road, who was passed turning for home, came back in the final furlong and won going away.

Act of War bid four wide to take the lead entering the stretch, but the move proved premature. Baker Road came back on the inside and caught Act of War inside the sixteenth pole. He went on to win by 3 1/2 lengths.

Baker Road ($4.40) completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.84.

Julie's Prize beats elders

Julie's Prize, a 3-year-old facing older horses for the first time, was bet down to 6-5 in the Peach of It Handicap, and struggled to win by a neck over longshot Fly By You. Her time of 1:49.44 for 1 1/16 miles was sluggish, and Julie's Prize needed an ideal ground-saving trip to win.

Finally, with Sterling riding hard, Julie's Prize began to move, and she had enough late run to edge the 35-1 Fly By You at the finish.

'Mister Joe' a wide winner

My Beau Mister Joe raced as impressively as he did wide in the Land of Lincoln, winning by three-quarters of a length despite racing at least eight paths off the rail in the stretch.

A maiden winner in his last start, My Beau Mister Joe came from well back in the pack after breaking from the post 13 under jockey Eddie Razo. Razo saved as much ground as he could on the turn but raced wide again in the stretch as he ran down the pace-setting Bold America.

My Beau Mister Joe ($35) completed six furlongs in 1:13.19.

Seven Bridges wins Win Won

Seven Brides ($9) turned a perfect pace-pressing trip into a 2 1/2-length win over Win Won in the $100,000 Governor's Lady.

Seven Brides, owned by Ben Barnow, trained by Richard Hazelton, and ridden by Carlos Silva, took the lead turning for home and easily held off a late run from Win Won.