09/19/2008 11:00PM

Stormy Ballad wins maiden in stakes


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - No wins trumped nowhere to run in the $100,000 Lake Michigan Stakes on Saturday at Arlington Park, with the maiden Stormy Ballad home first by one length over tough-trip favorite Amazing Results.

Stormy Ballad had lost all nine of his races coming into the Lake Michigan, a 5 1/2-furlong turf race for 3-year-olds. He had lost races at Tampa, Gulfstream, and Arlington, and on turf, dirt, and synthetic tracks. But things set up perfectly for Stormy Ballad on Saturday.

Chitoz, the solid second-choice in a six-horse field, set the early pace from the fence, and while the fractions seemed slow - 23.12 seconds for the first quarter-mile, 46.75 to the half - the Arlington lawn still was drying out from last weekend's heavy rain. Junior Alvarado kept Stormy Ballad in a pressing spot into upper stretch, when he edged his mount up alongside Chitoz. Down at the fence, Amazing Results and Rene Douglas had crept into contention around the turn - and there they stayed until the final yards.

With Chitoz directly in front of him, Stormy Ballad holding him in, and Grand Sensation up close three paths wide, Amazing Results didn't find running room until well inside the sixteenth pole. He quickened between horses, but Stormy Ballad still had run, and remained clear under the wire. Grand Sensation passed Chitoz late and finished third.

Stormy Ballad, trained by Tony Granitz for Cottonwood Stables LLC, paid $42 to win as by far the longest price in the race. He was timed in 1:04.68 over soft turf.

Dynaman wins again

Right now, Dynaman cannot be stopped - a stark contrast to the first part of his career. A winner in just one of his first 14 races, Dynaman won his fourth in a row on Saturday at Arlington, capturing the $53,600 John Henry Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths over General Charley.

Dynaman, a 5-year-old gelding purchased at auction this past winter in Kentucky, entered the Arlington meet eligible for an entry-level allowance race. He cleared that condition in May, won a second-level allowance in July, and a third-level allowance Aug. 9 before taking down his first stakes on Saturday.

Dynaman, trained by Danny Miller and co-owned by Miller Racing and Mike Conway, slipped through a narrow hole on the fence rallying through the stretch under Carlos Silva. He quickly opened daylight, with General Charley gamely holding off longshot Tom Archdeacon for the place.

Dynaman paid $10.60 to win, and was timed in 1:45.24 for 1 1/16 miles over soft turf.