09/28/2009 11:00PM

Peyote Patty finishes Arlington meet 4 for 4


There probably is nobody sadder to see the 2009 Arlington Park meeting draw to a close than the connections of Peyote Patty, who capped off a perfect 4-for-4 Arlington summer with an upset victory in the $100,000 Virginia H. Tarra Illinois Owners Stakes here Sunday afternoon.

Peyote Patty has won five in a row dating to the Hawthorne spring meet, and might well be 5-for-5 here this summer had she not acted up at the gate and gotten scratched just before the Isaac Murphy Handicap in June. But that is the only blemish on her 2009 Arlington season. Peyote Patty, based at Fairmount Park with trainer Steve Fridley, won her first three starts this meet by more than 15 lengths combined, but before Sunday, the filly had never raced on turf, and she had made only one prior start around two turns.

But apparently, nothing can stop Peyote Patty right now. She had been off since Aug. 12, and after trying to make a clear early lead Sunday under Tim Thornton, Peyote Patty had to endure a protracted front-end battle with Positivelycharming, with the pair setting splits of 24.33 seconds to the quarter, and 48.09 to the half over turf rated "good" and playing slow. Meanwhile, Positivelycharming's stablemate, the odds-on favorite Closeout, sat just in behind the leaders, getting a perfect trip. But that did not help at all.

After backing off the pace into the far turn, Peyote Patty and Thornton made a quick move to take the lead before the quarter pole. The pair came into the stretch with a clear lead, and no one ever really got close, with Closeout a flat fifth of seven, and second choice Never Retreat edged for second by longshot Chantilly Lady.

Peyote Patty, owned by Steve Fridley, was timed in 1:44.94 for one and one-sixteenths miles, and paid $27 to win.

* Junior Alvarado captured his first riding title, holding off James Graham in a tight finish. With two races to go Sunday, Alvarado held a three-win lead in the jockey standings.