On a humid and (at times) rainy day at Arlington Park, Illinois-bred older grass horses took centre stage for a pair of 1 1/16 mile stakes races. The Mike Spellman Memorial Handicap, named after the late turf writer for the Daily Herald, featured a field of six fillies and mares, including graded stakes performers LOVELY LOYREE and PRADO’S SWEET RIDE. The open-company complement, the Black Tie Affair Handicap, was the long-awaited eight-year-old debut of multiple Grade 1 winner THE PIZZA MAN — but he had four other foes to face, and they would not let him have it easy.
One race saw a well-backed victor. In the other, a longshot prevailed. But, in both, speed held over the rain-soaked grass.
Head over to Picks and Ponderings, read my recap of today’s stakes action at Arlington, and check in with the best turf horses Illinois has to offer!