Updated on 09/15/2011 2:02PM

Snow Dance puckers up & wins


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Lightly trained or not, Snow Dance was by far the best horse in Saturday in the Grade 3, $150,000 Pucker Up Stakes at Arlington.

While trainer John Ward said before the Pucker Up that Snow Dance's primary goal this fall is the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes next month at Keeneland, and that he had not pushed her to make the Pucker Up, Snow Dance still had no trouble disposing of 12 rivals in the nine-furlong turf race.

Hoping to bring the filly to a peak later in the fall, Ward gave Snow Dance only one easy five-furlong breeze after her win Aug. 20 in the Grade 2 Lake Placid Handicap at Saratoga, but Snow Dance's ability on turf seems boundless. The 3-year-old Forest Wildcat filly, owned by Ward's primary client, John Oxley, has won all four of her starts since Ward switched her to turf this summer.

She had never been headed in a grass race before the Pucker Up, but racing from off the pace for the first time she rated smoothly for jockey Craig Perret.

The 50-year-old Perret, who has ridden here sparingly this summer, won his third Pucker Up - but it has been 33 years between victories. A young Perret won consecutive runnings of the race, aboard Gay Sailorette in 1967 and Another Nell in 1968.

The second-choice Casual Feat led the Pucker Up through a fast early pace, a quarter-mile in 23.14 seconds and a half-mile in 46.85, with Snow Dance clear on the outside, about four lengths behind the leader. Snow Dance kept up with the pace without being urged and Perret waited to ask her for run until she had turned for home. When Perret gave the filly her head, Snow Dance shot to the front, putting the race away by the sixteenth pole. Behind her, three horses fought it out for second, with Kiss the Devil getting up by a head over Twilite Tryst, who was a head in

front of Sluice.

Snow Dance, the heavy favorite, paid $3.80 to win. She ran one-and-one-eighth miles in a fast 1:47.93 over a firm turf course, completing her final furlong in less than 12 seconds.

*Earlier Saturday, Spanish Glitter turned the tables

on her rival Southern Tour, winning the $54,000 Miss

Oceana Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths. Spanish Glitter and

Southern Tour met July 14 in the Grade 3 Azalea at

Calder, with Southern Tour finishing second, almost

three lengths ahead of Spanish Glitter. But on this

day, Spanish Glitter pressed the pacesetting Southern

Tour, surged to the lead at the stretch call, and drew

away in the stretch. Raintree Lake closed late to

finish second, a half-length in front of Southern


Spanish Glitter, trained by Bernie Flint and ridden by

Rene Douglas, ran six furlongs in 1:10.87 and paid

$5.60 as the second choice.