06/20/2008 11:00PM

Gentleman Chester plays spoiler


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Gentleman Chester, who hadn't won since he captured the Springfield Stakes on last year's Prairie State Festival, won the Black Tie Affair on Saturday at Arlington, denying Fort Prado his fourth consecutive victory in the race.

Fort Prado won the Springfield in 2003 then reeled off three straight wins in the Black Tie Affair, but the streak ended Saturday. He could not run down Gentleman Chester, who took the lead in midstretch after getting first run on Fort Prado.

"We thought if we could get the opportunity to get the jump on Fort Prado we would," said winning rider Jesse Campbell.

Gentleman Chester, based at Churchill Downs with trainer Ralph Nicks, lost two races last summer after his Springfield win, and didn't race between September and May 4, when he finished second as the odds-on favorite in a statebred turf allowance race here. He improved markedly Saturday, rallying to a sharp 1 3/4-length win over Fort Prado, who was three-quarters of a length better than pacesetting Majestic Zeal.

Gentleman Chester was timed in 1:43.09 for the 1 1/16 miles over "good" turf, and paid $15.20 to win.

White Oak: Mighty Rule boosts Janks

Mighty Rule ended his string of close losses in 2008, breaking through with a half-length victory in the $86,400 White Oak, and giving his trainer, Christine Janks, her third straight win in the race.

Mighty Rule came into the race with a pair of seconds and thirds from four starts this year, two of them stakes. Racing in second place most of the way, he wore down the game pace-setting Classic R.J. in the final furlong for his second stakes win.

"He tries harder than any horse I've ever had," said Janks.

High Expectations got the fast pace he needs, but made no impression, finishing fifth.

Classic R.J., who set splits of 22.10 seconds for the first quarter, and 44.93 for the half, held well for second, a head in front of short-priced favorite Last Gran Standing. Mighty Rule ($8.80) was timed in 1:09.27 for six furlongs.

Heritage: Lady Lionel survives inquiry

Lady Lionel turned in a strong performance finishing first in the $97,350 Lincoln Heritage Stakes, then her connections had to sweat out a long inquiry and objection before finally getting their picture taken.

Racing from off the pace, Lady Lionel made a strong move into the stretch, but she and jockey Junior Alvarado lurched inward inside the eighth pole after taking the lead in upper stretch from last year's winner, Royal Leah. The inquiry sign went up, with Campbell on Royal Leah claiming foul, but the stewards ruled no change, and Alvarado, who came to Chicago a month ago from Florida, had his first local stakes win.

Lady Lionel scored her biggest win for trainer Moises Yanez, who also sent out third-place finisher Tour d'Aura, who made most of the running in the 1 1/16-mile grass race.

Lady Lionel was timed in 1:44.48, and paid $8. Favored Love Handles had a terrible trip and finished 10th.

Murphy: Magnetic Miss sharp in win

As sharp as Magnetic Miss looked winning an overnight stakes prep for the $86,500 Isaac Murphy Handicap, she was even sharper in the Isaac Murphy itself, going up to contest a hot early pace, but finishing with plenty of energy to score a 1 3/4-length win over the longshot Taylor Madison.

Trained by Spanky Broussard, and ridden by 61-year-old Earlie Fires, Magnetic Miss broke sixth from the fence, but soon engaged Twin Buttes for the lead, sizzling through the half-mile in 44.32 seconds. Still, no one got close to her, with Taylor Madison rallying only mildly for second, well clear of Modjadji. Favored Secret Kin never was a factor and finished fifth. Magnetic Miss ($8) was timed in 1:09.78 for six furlongs.

* Trainer Chris Block worried how Apple Martini would adjust from races around two turns on turf to a one-turn mile in the $88,400 Purple Violet Stakes. Quite well, apparently. With Rene Douglas putting her in contention down the backstretch, Apple Martini ($7.80) overpowered the pacesetters and went to a three-quarter-length win over Sun for Fun.

* Amazing Results ($6.40) wore down a game Mr. Mischief in the Springfield Stakes to give Block a sweep of the day's 3-year-old stakes. Well placed on the rail throughout the one-mile Polytrack race by Douglas, Amazing Results switched out in upper stretch and pushed past Mr. Mischief in the final furlong to score a one-length victory.