06/20/2003 11:00PM

Out of My Way wins White Oak for third in row


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Out of My Way couldn't win a race last year. Now, he can't lose.

After going 0 for 7 in his 2002 campaign, Out of My Way has climbed to the best form of his career this season. Saturday, he won his third consecutive start with a stakes record-setting victory in the $84,150 White Oak Handicap.

Out of My Way won the Springfield Stakes during the Prairie State Festival in 2000, and missed by less than a length a year later in the White Oak, but after his disappointing season last year, the 6-year-old Out of My Way seemed to have lost a step.

Not so. Out of My Way won an open allowance race by four lengths here opening day, took an overnight handicap on June 1, and outdid himself in the White Oak, running six furlongs in a record 1:09.16. The Maryland invader Take Achance on Me shot to the early lead, running a quarter-mile in 22.46 seconds and a half in 45.18 with Silver Bid and Out of My Way tracking him.

Take Achance on Me held firm to the stretch call, but jockey Curt Bourque had Out of My Way looking him in the eye at the eighth pole, and even as Take Achance On Me dug in, Out of My Way bulled to the front, drawing away to win by three and one-half lengths.

Take Achance on Me held second ahead of Manitowish and Classic Appeal, the co-favorite.

Trained by Gene Cilio, Out of My Way paid $6.80 to win.

Springfield: Wiggins by five

Wiggins, last year's Illinois 2-year-old champion colt, saved his best race of 2003 for the Prairie State Festival, where he dominated 10 opponents in the $86,600 Springfield Stakes.

Wiggins won his 2003 debut, a statebred allowance race, by more than eight lengths, but was beaten more than two lengths at Arlington in an overnight handicap prep for the Springfield.

Wiggins had raced on the lead in his recent loss, but jockey Eddie Razo relaxed him behind a fast pace this time. As Big Glori went an opening quarter-mile in 22.88 seconds, Wiggins rated in midpack, waiting for the turn to make his run. He advanced steadily approaching the quarter pole, took the lead turning for home, and drew away for a five-length win over Home of Stars. Lord Jones finished third, while favored Shandy was a troubled fourth.

Wiggins, trained by Tony Granitz, had never won beyond 6 1/2 furlongs, but had no trouble going the distance.

Said Razo, who won his second stakes of the day, "I had horse the whole way."

Wiggins, who ran a mile in 1:36.22, paid $9.60 to win.

Purple Violet: Keeping the Gold

Keeping the Gold easily beat maidens, easily beat allowance horses, and Saturday, in the $86,450 Purple Violet, she easily beat Illinois-bred stakes horses for her third straight win.

Contesting a moderate pace from the rail, Keeping the Gold and jockey Eddie Razo opened up daylight at the top of the stretch to win by a comfortable length. Julie's Prize rallied well along the inside to finish second, while late-running Rathleen was up for third.

A 3-1 shot, Keeping the Gold paid $8.40 to win, running a mile on dirt in 1:36.48.

My Sweet Heart and Gumbo Love went for the early lead, going an opening quarter-mile in 23.71 seconds. Keeping the Gold snuck through to challenge on the inside, and clearly was going the best as she spun off the turn on the way to her first stakes win for trainer Chris Block.

Isaac Murphy: Summer Mis wires

A short one-week break between races had a profound effect on the filly Summer Mis: It made her run like crazy.

Summer Mis set a fast pace to the quarter-mile pole but had plenty left in the stretch to hold off Seven Brides, winning the $84,550 Isaac Murphy Handicap by one and one-quarter lengths. Win Won rallied late for third, as Summer Mis, the favorite, paid $5.60 to win while running six furlongs in 1:10.62.

Summer Mis, trained by Tony Mitchell, won the Purple Violet Stakes on last year's Prairie State card, but had raced just a week ago, finishing fourth in the Grade 3 Chicago Breeders' Cup.

Lincoln Heritage: Kate the Great

Kate the Great set a quick pace in the $84,600 Lincoln Heritage, but had plenty left to hold off her highly regarded stablemate, Ellie's Rose.

Michelle Boyce trains both fillies, and Ellie's Rose, the winner of this race last year, was favored for her at even money. But it was the 4-1 Kate the Great and 56-year-old Earlie Fires who struck the front a few strides out of the gate and never looked back. Ellie's Rose's late run netted her second, a half-length ahead of Soccory.

Kate the Great, who was timed in 1:42.41 over firm turf, paid $10.60 to win.

Cardinal: Act of War gets there

Act of War rallied from last to first to win the Cardinal Handicap, capping off the Prairie State Festival on Saturday at Arlington.

Act of War raced far behind of the pace in the early going, but began rolling on the far turn and won by two lengths.

His victory gave consecutive stakes wins to jockey Bourque and trainer Cilio, who had just won the White Oak. Act of War ($10.20) ran 1 1/16 miles on turf in 1:42.15.