09/18/2012 6:42PM

Fairmount Park: River Bear comes through in Tex's Zing Stakes


There is little in the way of stakes racing these days at Fairmount Park in downstate Illinois, and on a rare stakes-filled day of racing there was little in the way of predictability. River Bear, who tallied sharply in the Tex's Zing, was the only winning favorite among six $50,000 Illinois-bred stakes Tuesday at Fairmount.

River Bear, a very salty 7-year-old bred and owned by Dana Waier Thoroughbreds, has been based much of his career at Fairmount, trained there by either Leroy or Rusty Hellman. River Bear has been one of the top Illinois-bred sprinters for years, and has even shipped into open Kentucky competition with some success. His form holds at Fairmount, where he won Tuesday for the sixth time in eight races while ridden to victory by Tim Thornton for Rusty Hellman.

River Bear ($4) lost ground on the turn of the Tex's Zing and had little pace at which to run, but still beat front-running Royalrap by about three lengths, stopping the timer in a fine 1:10.82 for six furlongs on a slow-playing track. Four Left Feet finished third.

Fairmount owner Bill Stiritz had horses for three Tuesday stakes and finally broke through in the last of them when his Nagys Piggy Bank scored a mild upset over front-running favorite Hope for Today in the Pete Condellone Memorial. Stalking the pace under Robby Albarado, Nagys Piggy Bank collared Hope for Today at the top of the stretch and went on to win by more than three lengths. He ran one mile and 70 yards in 1:41.27 and paid $14.40 to win. Luv Bandit finished third.

Jockey Francisco Torres, in from Chicago, won the two older-female stakes, taking the Lady Riss on 11-shot Campo Joti, and the Bungalow aboard Sweet Lemon Chello, whom Torres sent straight to the lead. Steve Manley trains Campo Joti ($25.60), a former $5,000 claimer, while Paul Darjean handles Sweet Lemon Chello ($8.60), who won her second straight race. Even-money favorite Dundalk Dust could only finish fourth.

In the All Sold Out for 2-year-old fillies, Arlington maiden-claiming winners Chase the Weasel ($26) and Fifth of April finished one-two, with 12-1 Chase the Weasel up by a head. Jeffrey Sanchez rode the winner for trainer Tammy Domenosky. Delstar ($11.80) edged Purging Stone by a nose to capture the Troy Our Boy for 2-year-old colts and geldings. Fairmount-based John Wainwright trains the winner, who was ridden by Chris Emigh.