06/15/2010 11:00PM

As usual, Janks goes all-out for Prairie Festival


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Each year in Chicago there are 18 stakes races worth $100,000 each for Illinois-breds, with an Illinois Day at Hawthorne's spring and fall meets, and one at Arlington in June.

Suffice it to say that success in this generous statebred stakes program is the province of the few.

In the last five Illinois-bred stakes days, five trainers have combined to win 18 of the 30 stakes races. Spanky Broussard and Roger Brueggemann have won two each during that period, while Chris Block and Brian Williamson have both scored three wins. And then there is the queen of the Illinois-bred stakes program, Christine Janks, whose stable has captured eight of those last 30 statebred-restricted stakes in Chicago.

All five trainers are in action during Saturday's Prairie State Festival and its six Illinois-bred stakes. Broussard's best Illinois-bred, Stonehouse, died weeks ago of a twisted gut. He has just one runner on Saturday's card and Williamson only two, but Brueggemann has horses in four stakes, including two in the White Oak for older male sprinters. As for Block, he has entries in three stakes, including the three-headed monster of Shrewd Operator, Lalo's Baby Bear, and Amazing Results in the White Oak.

And Janks? Well, the Janks operation will be busy throughout the afternoon, with two horses entered in four different stakes. Big Looie will be among the favorites in the one-mile Springfield for 3-year-olds, with Rich City Dude as a back-up there. High Expectations and Tazz look like outsiders in the White Oak, but Cruise and Nicks both are major players in the six-furlong Isaac Murphy for older female sprinters. And finally, Pathway and Jitterbug Blues are among 15 entered in the Lincoln Heritage for older female turf horses.

Most of the stakes fields are bulging -- 64 horses were entered in the six races -- a welcome change from the slow pace of entries much of this meet.