06/22/2001 11:00PM

Reno Rumble takes Cardinal in Prairie Fest


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Trainer Chris Block and his family, the ownership group Team Block, swept the two turf races in Arlington's Prairie State Festival when the big gray gelding Reno Rumble swept past the field and won the $75,000 Cardinal Handicap by 2 1/2 lengths.

The Prairie State Festival featured six $75,000 stakes races for Illinois-breds. Earlier in the day, Ioya Two won the Lincoln Heritage Handicap for the Blocks.

Reno Rumble, a 7-year-old homebred by Vigors, avenged a second-place finish in last year's Cardinal. Off form in three starts this year, Reno Rumble ran one of the better races in his career, launching a powerful bid from the back of a full field under jockey Mark Guidry and powering to the lead in midstretch.

"He just exploded," said Guidry, who won two stakes on the day. "He ran home with all heart."

Said Block, "I wasn't real confident today, but up the backside and going into the turn, I said this is the old Reno Rumble."

Reno Rumble, who is owned in partnership with Lin Gisham, ran 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:42.61. He outfinished another 7-year-old, Treat Me Doc, and the early pacesetter, Smilin' Slew, and paid $11.40 to win.

The Illinois champion Chicago Six pressed the early pace but faded to finish last.

Lincoln Heritage: Ioya Two, again

Ioya Two successfully defended her title in the Lincoln Heritage Stakes, edging past the pacesetting Cozy to win by three-quarters of a length. Winning for the eighth time in 23 starts for Team Block and trainer Chris Block, Ioya Two received a perfect trip under Mark Guidry, racing just off the early pace and staying in the clear for most of the 1 1/16-mile turf race. Cozy, a 14-1 shot, attended a quick pace throughout the race, stayed gamely under jockey Earlie Fires but was unable to hold off the winner in the final furlong. Erin Murphy made a late run to be third.

Ioya Two, a 6-year-old homebred by Lord at War, won this race last year by a half-length over Wade For Me. She scored as the heavy favorite at $4 to win and was timed in 1:42.45.

White Oak: Tic N Tin in minor upset

Under his favorite rider, Ramsey Zimmerman, Tic N Tin rallied from just off the pace to score a minor upset in the White Oak Handicap.

"I'm ecstatic," Zimmerman said. "Through thick and thin [trainer Ron] Brandenburg always puts me on Tic N Tin."

Zimmerman kept Tic N Tin just behind the pacesetting pair of Out of My Way and Magic Doe, asked his horse for run turning for home, and made the lead in midstretch. Classic Appeal, the more talented half of a favored Richard Hazelton-trained entry, made a mild late run to finish second, a neck in front of longshot Out of My Way.

Tic N Tin ran six furlongs in 1:10.35 and paid $11.40 to win. Davey's Cutlass, the second choice and defending champ, never contended and finished eighth.

Purple Violet: Shemya, start to finish

Shemya took command of the Purple Violet Stakes leaving the gate and led all the way, winning by five lengths over the longshot Shania's Code.

Shemya, a Valiant Nature filly, had lost her last two races by a combined 33 lengths, but trainer Gene Cilio said she was suffering from lung infections in both of those starts. A healthy Shemya had won her maiden by nearly 10 lengths this spring at Sportsman's Park and the $75,000 Violet Stakes in her third race, and this was the filly that showed up Saturday.

With Ray Sibille riding, Shemya covered a mile in 1:38.27. Owned by Crowns Way Farm and Joseph Marovich LLC, Shemya paid $9.80 to win.

The longshot Shania's Code saved second by a half-length over Ballado's Baby, the 5-2 favorite.

Springfield: Cilio sweeps 3yo races

A race after Shemya won the Purple Violet, trainer Gene Cilio completed a sweep of the Prairie State's

3-year-old races when Act of War won the Springfield Stakes.

Ridden by Eddie Razo, Act of War raced in last place on the backstretch before commencing a steady wide rally that propelled him to the front just inside the final furlong. The narrow third choice, Act of War paid $7.40 to win, with Crack the Vault second, and favored Lil Mephistopheles a somewhat flat third. The winner ran a mile in 1:38.15.

Act of War, a colt by Lord at War, won his first stakes race for his owner and breeder, R'N R Breeder's. Earlier this spring, he had finished second to Lil Mephistopheles in the Jim Edgar Futurity at Sportsman's Park.

Isaac Murphy: Rain Boots upsets

David Halfacher's Rain Boots skimmed the rail and upset the Isaac Murphy Stakes at $39.60.

Ridden by Eddie Perez and trained by Tom Dorris, Rain Boots came through a narrow opening on the inside and outfinished Lil Bobbie Too and Sandy's Way, who finished second and third as the favorite and second choice. The winner scored by a neck and ran six furlongs in 1:11.20.