09/07/2013 1:54PM

Fairmount Park: Illinois-breds in spotlight Tuesday with six $50,000 stakes

Four Footed Fotos
Work All Week will be a heavy favorite in the Tex's Zing on Tuesday.

The six Illinois-bred stakes races carded for Tuesday at Fairmount Park carry purses of $50,000 each, barely half the money a straight maiden race offered at the recently concluded Saratoga meeting. But this is downstate Illinois, not upstate New York, and the highest-quality racing day of the Fairmount meet does feature a clash of ownership titans.

Fairmount Park owner William Stiritz’s racing operation has racked up 91 victories in 2013, the fifth-highest total in North America. Still, Stiritz has fallen far off the pace set by Midwest Thoroughbreds Inc., the juggernaut conceived and managed by Richard Papiese at his company’s base south of Chicago. Midwest, which has become the perennial leading North American owner by wins, had won 286 races from 1,057 runners through Friday.

Stiritz and trainer Scott Becker have the upper hand in terms of numbers Tuesday, with seven horses entered in four stakes, but while Midwest and its Chicago-based trainer Roger Brueggemann have entrants in only two races, they do send out the most talented horse on the program. Work All Week, one of 10 horses in a good edition of the Tex’s Zing, a six-furlong dash, has won five of his seven career starts, and none of his rivals has gotten close to him on dirt.

At Hawthorne this spring, Work All Week won statebred-restricted maiden and first-level allowance races by a combined 19 lengths, and after three Arlington races over Polytrack, he beat solid open-allowance foes Aug. 13 at Indiana Downs by 2 3/4 lengths.

But Work All Week, a 4-year-old homebred gelding by City Zip, suffered his only 2013 defeat in his lone stakes start this year. The loss came June 8 at Arlington, where Work All Week hooked up on a heated speed duel and was tagged in deep stretch by Sweet Luca, a capable runner lacking Work All Week’s talent.

Work All Week is well drawn Tuesday on the outside, his three potential pace rivals all inside him, and if he should somehow falter, Midwest and Brueggemann also have the closing threat Signsealndeliver entered. River Bear, one of the top Illinois-bred sprinters of the last half-decade, also has a shot, while Stiritz and Becker put in the pair of Nagy’s Piggy Bank and Royalrap.

Nagy’s Piggy Bank was cross-entered in the Pete Condelone Memorial, and since he easily won the 2012 edition of that race, and the short field there is significantly softer than the group in the Tex’s Zing, expect Stiritz and Becker to choose that spot – and to win a couple of the other stakes.

In the Bungalow, a route for fillies and mares, they have another two-horse entry, Rosie My Rosie and Our Domain, and in the Lady Riss for female sprinters, two more: Algonquin Posse and Win’em All.

Chicago shippers figure to dominate the pair of 2-year-old stakes, the Troy’s Our Boy and the All Sold Out.