04/27/2013 7:17PM

Hawthorne: My Option impressive in Pretty Jenny victory

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Four-Footed Fotos
Luv Bandit ran the best race of his career winning the Milwaukee Avenue.

STICKNEY, Ill. – Six different riders and six different trainers won the six stakes races for Illinois-breds on Saturday at Hawthorne, and on an afternoon when wealth got shared all around, the 3-year-old filly My Option looked like a horse who would be taking home plenty more loot - in Illinois-bred stakes, if not beyond – before her career is out.

My Option appears to be a route horse, with two-turn wins on turf and dirt, including a rich futurity, in her three starts at age 2. Saturday, in the $87,025 Pretty Jenny Stakes, My Option was running just six furlongs making her first start since Dec. 1. She began poorly, breaking last, but dashed coolly into contention before hitting the far turn, and bounded away from nine foes to win by five lengths. Her six-furlong winning time of 1:11.15 was almost a full second faster than it took her 3-year-old male counterpart Purging the Stone to win the Land of Lincoln later on the card.
 
My Option, by Belong to Me and out of the good Illinois broodmare Out of Options, was bred and is owned by Timothy Keeley, and it took her all of one morning’s training to impress trainer Chris Block. My Option had been in early training at Fairmount last summer before joining Block’s string at Arlington.

“They told me it looked like she had talent,” Block said. “The very first day I watched her gallop, I said, ‘You know, I think they’re right.’ ”

My Option finished second by a neck in her career debut, a short Polytrack sprint, before winning the two routes. In a typical year, My Option would have wintered in Florida, but My Option was stuck here this winter because of the equine herpesvirus outbreak at Hawthorne. A potential prep for Saturday’s stakes failed to full, so instead, Block brought My Option into the Pretty Jenny with a fast half-mile work last weekend: The filly definitely was ready. Her first move brought her into contention, and My Option quickly finished off her rivals turning into the stretch, running by herself to the wire. She paid $5.60 to win as the favorite, and was distantly followed home by Beeway and Scarlet Power.

My Option will be stretched out to longer races at the Arlington meet, and if, as her trainer believes, she improves with distance, My Option should have a strong 3-year-old campaign.

The day’s other two decisive winners were Luv Bandit, who captured the $87,425 Milwaukee Avenue by 2 1/2 lengths, and Algonquin Posse, who was home by 4 1/4 lengths in the $88,800 Third Chance Stakes.

Luv Bandit takes Milwaukee Avenue

Luv Bandit ($23.40), a 4-year-old Yonaguska gelding bred and owned by Judy Dorris, trained by her husband, Tom Dorris, and saddled by the couples’ son, Chris Dorris, ran the best race of his life while making his third start this meet.

“They told me to take a long hold and let him go at the three-eighths pole, and that’s what I did,” said jockey Noel Vigil, who rode the second stakes winner of his career.

Coalport rallied for second in the Milwaukee Avenue, with Dad Are We Here a good third after being wiped out shortly after the start.

Algonquin Posse ran the fastest six furlongs of the day, 1:10.25, cruising to a front-end score over favored Missjeanlouise in the Third Chance. Ridden by Chris Emigh, the 5-year-old mare won her first stakes for owner William Stiritz and trainer Scott Becker.

Pair of close ones

Signsealndeliver and Diva’s Diamond did not win by much, but both turned in game performances in narrow victories. Signsealndeliver, winner of the Lightning Jet here last fall, sliced between horses in midstretch, taking several bumps from his stablemate, B Two Special on the way to a half-length score in the $85,650 Robert Molaro. After surviving a tough stretch battle, Signsealndeliver survived a stewards’ inquiry and jockey’s objection to give trainer Roger Brueggemann a one-two finish.

Diva’s Diamond made an early lead and set a solid pace from the rail in the $90,425 Peach of It, briefly ceding the front to Braden’s Dream before coming back to win by a neck. Tim Thornton rode the winner for trainer Carlos Silva and owner-breeder Asiel Stable.

** And finally, to end the day, an improbable victor, with Purging the Stone closing from last to first under journeyman jockey Uriel Lopez in the $89,625 Land of Lincoln. The winner, based at Fairmount with trainer Jerry Hammond, paid $88.40 to win, and while Purging the Stone’s future does not look as bright as a horse like My Option, his first-place cut of the purse was just as good on this day.