Thursday, September 12, 2013
I O Ireland heads Pucker Up
Hit The Board Stables' I'm Already Sexy and Team Block's I O Ireland, each the winner of a division of the Hatoof Stakes on Arlington Million Day, return in search of an initial graded stakes victory in the $175,000 Pucker Up Stakes at Arlington Park Sept. 14.
The Aug. 17 division winners headline a field of eight 3-year-old fillies entered in the Pucker Up, to be run at 1 ⅛ miles over the turf.
A daughter of Ready's Image, I'm Already Sexy captured the first division of the Hatoof by 4 ¾ lengths in a quick 1:40.93 over about 1 1/16 miles to earn her first black-type victory. The Wayne Catalano trainee also won over the course when dead-heating with Flower Spell in an open allowance July 5. Florent Geroux, who was aboard for both of I'm Already Sexy's 2013 scores, has the mount from the inside.
The Chris Block-trained I O Ireland took her division of the Hatoof by a neck while getting the distance in 1:41.69 to pick up her first victory of the season after going 2-for-3 as a 2-year-old in 2012. The Giant's Causeway filly has been racing in stakes company all year save for a fourth-place finish in an allowance race at Arlington July 13. Seth Martinez will be aboard I O Ireland for the first time, and the duo leaves post 7.
While six of the eight entrants in the Pucker Up exit a division of the Hatoof, a filly who comes from a different spot may provide their toughest competition. Augustin Stable's Remember Then brings an unblemished record into the race, which will be her first in stakes company. A Jonathan Sheppard-trained daughter of Pulpit , Remember Then will also be making her turf debut Saturday after posting two victories over the Keeneland Polytrack and one on dirt at Delaware Park. Kent Desormeaux picks up the mount from the 2 hole.
Others in the race are Haynes Stables' Every Way and G. Watts Humphrey Jr.'s Frivolous, the second- and fourth-place finishers in the I O Ireland division of the Hatoof; Tim Keeley's My Option and World Thoroughbreds Racing's Miss Scout, the third- and fourth-place finishers in the I'm Already Sexy split of the Hatoof; and Jerry Jamgotchian's recent Indiana Downs maiden winner Phonybooksnrecords.
My Option and Frivolous boast a one-two finish in the Arlington Oaks over Polytrack in July.