07/03/2010 11:00PM

Informed Decision gets job done in Chicago

Four Footed Fotos
Informed Decision edges Rinterval in the Chicago Handicap.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Informed Decision won the Chicago Handicap for the second time in a row, but it was no cakewalk this time. The champion female sprinter of 2009, she surged to the lead in midstretch of the seven-furlong Polytrack race, but had to work hard to hold off 33-1 shot Rinterval, who came back strong after setting the pace.

Informed Decision won the by a head, her first victory in three 2010 starts, and did not disappoint her trainer, Jonathan Sheppard.

"She was giving nine pounds [124-115] to a horse who had won a half-million dollars," Sheppard said, referring to Rinterval. "I thought she won with authority."

Informed Decision arrived here Friday night after traveling by van from Presque Isle Downs in western Pennsylvania. Saturday night, she and the rest of the horses stabled at Arlington were treated to a large fireworks display. Informed Decision showed her appreciation by rearing back so hard she broke her halter, Sheppard said.

Informed Decision, the best horse ever sired by Monarchos, pretty much ran out of her bridle last summer at Arlington, winning the Chicago Handicap by almost five lengths. But on a windy, sweltering Sunday afternoon at Arlington, Informed Decision found herself in a stretch dogfight. Rinterval, in from Kentucky for trainer Eric Reed, set fractions of 22.59 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, and 46.51 to the half. Informed Decision and Julien Leparoux tracked the pace from third while racing three wide and in the clear. At the quarter pole, Leparoux asked for run, and Informed Decision gave it to him, collaring Rinterval just before the eighth pole. But the pace-setter came back on the champ, cutting down her lead in the final yards.

"I think with another sixteenth or an eighth of a mile, I could have beat her," said Rinterval's jockey, Julio Felix.

It was 3 1/2 lengths back to Secret Kin in third, with tepid second-choice Never Retreat fourth. Informed Decision, owned by George Strawbridge, paid $2.40 to win and was timed in a moderate 1:24.34 for the seven furlongs.

Sheppard said Informed Decision was to return to Presque Isle on Sunday night. She will be pointed to the Grade 1 Ballerina Stakes at the Saratoga meet.