04/25/2008 11:00PM

Instill upsets Stonehouse in Milwaukee Ave.


STICKNEY, Ill. - Instill got back to Illinois-bred racing, and got back on a winning track, scoring a 10-1 upset over heavily favored Stonehouse in the Milwaukee Avenue Handicap, one of six statebred-restricted stakes races on Saturday afternoon at Hawthorne Race Course.

Instill won the Jim Edgar Futurity by five lengths over this racetrack last fall, but raced against open stakes horses in three subsequent starts. After a decent fourth in the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn, Instill turned in a non-effort over Turfway's Polytrack in the John Battaglia, and was a troubled sixth here April 5 in the Illinois Derby.

"He got stopped real bad in the derby," winning trainer John Wainwright said.

While Instill switched into a restricted race Saturday, he is a 3-year-old, and was facing older horses for the first time in his career. Still, Instill was able to wear down pace-setting Stonehouse, who fought back when Instill and jockey Jesse Campbell challenged in upper stretch, but could not match strides with the winner in the final yards.

"I had ridden Stonehouse before, and I knew he'd be on the lead," Campbell said. "He came back, and I thought he might get me."

Instill led by a head at the stretch call. At the finish line, the margin was a mere neck.

Instill ran 1 1/16 miles in a good 1:43.98, and paid $22 to win. Batten was almost nine lengths behind Stonehouse in third.

Governor's Lady: Secret Kin rolls

Secret Kin's four-race winning streak ended last July 7 with a second-place finish in an Arlington stakes race. That turned out to be Secret Kin's last race until March, but after finishing third in a March 22 comeback race here, Secret Kin looked like her 2007 self winning the $91,725 Governor's Lady by 4 1/4 lengths.

"We had some trouble with her feet at Arlington last summer," trainer Chris Block said, "and we just immediately stopped and said we'll wait for her 4-year-old season. We wanted to get that [prep race] in her, and it set her up well."

A Team Block homebred, Secret Kin won for the fifth time in nine starts, rallying from well behind a fast early pace under jockey Eddie Perez. Odds-on favorite Pretty Jenny tracked fractions of 21.76 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 45.14 to the half, and was no match for Secret Kin's stretch run.

Secret Kin paid $15.20 to win, and ran six furlongs in 1:10.87. Magnetic Miss finished third.

Peach of It: Stop a Train holds on

Third in the Peach of It Handicap last year, Stop a Train made amends this year with a three-quarter-length win over Copper State.

Stop a Train, the 7-5 favorite, tracked a moderate early pace, and had enough left to hold off a late challenge from 8-5 second-choice Copper State. Home's the Best rallied mildly for third.

Six-year-old Stop a Train won only once from nine starts last season, but has been among the best Illinois-bred female route horses for several years now, and still is capable of showing her best.

"She's just a tough older mare, and she's doing good right now," said trainer Christine Janks, who gave the winning mount to Chris Emigh.

Stop a Train paid $4.80 to win, and was timed in 1:46.73 for 1 1/16 miles.

Chicagoland: Janks wins again

Janks and Emigh won their second stakes races of the afternoon in the Chicagoland Handicap when High Expectations rallied in the stretch to beat the Janks-trained Mighty Rule by 1 3/4 lengths.

High Expectations ($9.40) won the six-furlong Chicagoland for the second year in a row, running six furlongs in 1:10.18. A Silky Sullivan-type late-runner, High Expectations' victory was facilitated by a fast pace, as Rochester Cat and Distorted Groom blazed through an opening quarter-mile in 21.48 seconds. Pace-pressers Caruso and Mighty Rule pounced at the top of the stretch, but were no match for High Expectations' rally.

Land of Lincoln: Ex-claimer scores

Classic R. J. had been a claimer for most of his 11-start career. Saturday, he suddenly became a stakes winner.

Claimed for $25,000 by trainer Tom Amoss for owner Maggi Moss on Feb. 18 at Fair Grounds, Classic R. J. completed his rapid claimer-to-stakes-horse ascent with a three-length win in the $98,275 Land of Lincoln. He paid $14.40 to win, and was timed in 1:10.77.

* Silver Stairs ($19.80) wore down odds-on favorite Big Lou, then barely held off a late run from Carts Italian Rose to win the $106,700 Lady Hallie by a nose.