07/29/2010 2:46PM

Dashel finds niche in Arlington turf sprint


A 5-for-8 record typically means stakes races have been, or will be, on the agenda. But in the case of Dashel, there is no need to rush.

“Not at this point,” said Chris Block, who trains Dashel for his family’s high-profile Illinois stable, Team Block.

Lacking a stakes race, the Saturday program at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Ill., is highlighted by a $46,920 turf-sprint allowance that has become the specialty of Dashel, who has a two-race winning streak.

A homebred, Dashel is a “hard-nosed filly who gives her best when she goes out there,” Block said. “It seems she’s found her niche sprinting on the grass. We’re just trying to find spots like this, which sometimes can be hard to find. We’ve been fortunate that these races have been coming up here at Arlington.”

Dashel, with Eddie Perez to ride from post 5, is one of eight fillies and mares in the eighth of nine races on a Saturday card that begins at 1 p.m. The five-furlong race is governed by a third-level allowance condition and a $62,500 claiming option being exercised by the connections of just one of the starters, Kimbo.

Dashel has used a steady stretch kick to start her career so successfully, and there seems to be plenty of pace that might facilitate that style Saturday. Bella Notte, despite having competed in two-turn races lately, still looks fast enough to be a major front-end factor in this race, and Kip Berries and Kimbo also could be on or near the lead.

Bella Notte, alternately trained by the father-son team of Hugh and Mac Robertson, looms a major danger when stepping into open company. A 6-year-old mare, she has been a dominant factor in Minnesota-bred company for the last year or so, having won two restricted stakes from her last four starts.

Dee’s Rose, beaten a nose by Dashel last out, is another obvious threat.

One other allowance (race 4), also a turf sprint, is among the rest of the Saturday card.

The next major Arlington stakes come during the Aug. 21 International Festival of Racing, led by the 28th Arlington Million.