ILLINOIS FESTIVAL OF RACING: SIX $125,000 STAKES RACES
annual Illinois Festival of Racing takes place today. Six races worth an
estimated $125,000 each ($100,000 added plus $25,000 IB), featuring the best Illinois breds in training are on tap.
races feature a number of former stakes winners. We’ll just mention some that
have scored in a stakes race over the last two years or so.
THE ILLINI PRINCESS HANDICAP (8 Nominations). Fillies
and Mares, going a mile and a sixteenth.
champ Dundalk Dust was the upset winner in 2010. She
was racing on dirt for the first time, which was the only reason that she got
away at such a great price ($12.40). In her very next start Dundalk
Dust surprised again, this time in the Grade 2 Fall City Handicap at
Churchill. It’s been a different story this year, she hasn’t been able to
find the winner’s circle, but that could change with the return to the track of
her first “big” victory.
Seans Silverdancer is another that
could return to form. She won her career debut here in last fall and followed
that up with a dominating victory in the Debutante to close out the year. She
never fired in her only other dirt start, in Louisiana, but we do know that she likes
Catalina Way won the Peach of It
Handicap here in the spring. She has a love for the track and the distance. She
doesn’t have many poor efforts. Could lead all the way in
Patty never won on a fast dirt track but she’s a multiple stakes winner and she
is always right there. On or off the lead, she’s a legitimate threat.
SUN POWER STAKES (11 Nominations). Two-year-old Colts and Geldings, going
six furlongs, are the stars of this show. We get a couple of stakes winners in
here but most are still learning.
Hundred dominated in his first two races, including the Prairie Meadows
Juvenile Mile but was given the difficult task of taking on graded stakes
company in the Arlington Washington Futurity in last and doing it from the 13 hole. He faded after pressing the pace. But, he’s turning
back in distance and moving back to state breds.
Professor won both of his starts at Fairmount, including the Troy Our Boy, and
did it fairly easily. We’ll find out today if he can compete on this
SHOWTIME DEB STAKES (12 Nominations). There are no stakes winners among this
field of eight 2-year-old fillies going six furlongs but there will be after
POWERLESS HANDICAP (14 Nominations). Fillies and Mares, going
Chance might be better on Polytrack but she won the Showtime Deb here last fall
and she finished second in the Pretty Jenny here in the spring. She reeled off
three dominating victories at Arlington
in her last three starts
Hope won the Isaac Murphy at Arlington
the last time she faced state breds. She finished
third in this race last year.
scored in the Governor’s Lady here in the spring. She’s always capable on or
off the pace. Kathleen L is winless this year but she did score in last year’s
edition of this race. All six of her victories came on this track.
Tomato gets an honorable mention. She hasn’t won in a couple of years but has
eight local victories combined with over $312,000 in Hawthorne earnings.
THE LIGHTNING JET HANDICAP (14 Nominations) 3-yr-old and up
going six furlongs.
is one great race.
Operator is a lightly-raced 7-year-old but when he runs…Wow! He crushed the
field in the White Oak Handicap at Arlington
in his last start, generating one of the highest Beyer Speed Figures (114) of
Bear, the winner last year, always seems to get up for the big races. He hasn’t
raced since June but He does thrive off layoffs.
Bullet Bob won the Texas Zing at Fairmount by 40 lengths. But, he had only one
BUCK’S BOY HANDICAP (13 Nominations). 3-yo and up. One
and one sixteenth miles
has been off since June but this former $5,000 claimer has been something else,
layoffs included. He won 11 of his last 19 races, three of last four, including
the Milwaukee Avenue
here in April. Don’t know the reason for his lengthy layoff but he deserves the
benefit of the doubt.
Power wired the field in the Springfield
at AP this summer.
Bran is a five-time local winner, He’s been lightly raced this year but he did
win a stakes race at Fairmount in August. He took the Milwaukee Avenue and the $100k Essex
Handicap at Oaklawn in 2010.