Pucker Up Draws Full Field of Twelve
Photo: Coady Photography
Volcat won the Virginia Oaks on July 21 at Colonial Downs.
A full field of 12 grass-favoring sophomore fillies, topped by Virginia Oaks (gr. IIIT) winner Volcat and Italian transplant Angegreen, will line up Sept. 15 for the $175,000 Pucker Up Stakes (gr. IIIT) going 1 1/8 miles on the turf at Arlington Park.
Slated as the eighth on an 11-race card with an approximate post time of 4:44 p.m. CDT, the Pucker Up is the final graded stakes race of the 2012 season at the Chicagoland oval. It will be part of a stakes tripleheader that includes a pair of $65,000-added races for state-breds—the Lady Lionel Handicap for fillies and mares at a mile on the turf, and the Tex's Zing Handicap for the boys at 1 1/16 miles on the lawn.
Angegreen, an Italian-bred daughter of Ekraar, makes her first start in this country for trainer Graham Motion after being purchased by Team Valor International & Robert LaPenta earlier this year. The chestnut filly was quite accomplished in her native country, winning three of five starts and finishing second in May in the group II Italian Oaks, her final start overseas. Mike Smith will be aboard the 7-2 morning line favorite, who breaks from post 9.
Volcat seeks to build a three-race win streak for Landaluce Educe Stables and trainer Ken McPeek. Since the daughter of After Market was shifted to turf in June, she has a third and two wins, the July 21 Virginia Oaks at Colonial Downs being her first graded stakes score. Robby Albarado gets the mount on the 124-pound highweight, who has been assigned 6-1 odds on the morning line.
Another filly likely to make an impact in the Pucker Up is the Roger Attfield-trained Miss Cato, 9-2 on the morning line. The British-bred daughter of Notnowcato has only made two starts in the U.S. since being imported from England, finishing fourth in the American Oaks (gr. I) at Betfair Hollywood Park and second beaten a neck in an allowance race at Del Mar last month.  
Spendthrift Farm's graded stakes-placed filly Treasured Up, third in the June 16 Regret Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs, faced stakes company in her last three starts since beating an allowance field at Keeneland in April for trainer Al Stall Jr. The daughter of Medaglia d'Oro   held her own in the Regret but went backwards in her last start, running sixth of seven as the beaten favorite in the July 21 Arlington Oaks (gr. IIT).  
Joining the top quartet are Roger McDaniel's Julia's Star and Team Block's Leading Astray, each of whom won a division of the Hatoof Stakes on Arlington Million Day Aug. 18.
Julia's Star, a Joan Scott-trained daughter of El Prado, won two of her past three starts while finishing fourth to Volcat in the Virginia Oaks between those victories. 
Illinois-bred Leading Astray rallied to win the second division of the Hatoof under Eduardo Perez, who will ride the Chris Block trainee again in the Pucker Up. The daughter of Belong to Me has four wins from five starts and a second-place finish, all on the turf.
$175,000 Pucker Up Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 8, 4:44 p.m.), 3YO Fillies, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Ann of the Dance (KY), M. Mena, 118, W M Catalano, 30-1
2. Treasured Up (KY), T. Thornton, 118, A M Stall, Jr., 6-1
3. Zapper Belle (KY), R.B. Homeister, Jr., 118, D C Peitz, 30-1
4. Soonerette (OK), T. Riggs, 120, D K Von Hemel, 20-1
5. Dame Marie (KY), F. Geroux, 118, E Kenneally, 15-1
6. Rare Event (KY), J.K. Court, 118, V H Oliver, 15-1
7. Freedom Reigns (IRE), J. Graham, 118, D Matthews, 6-1
8. Volcat (KY), R. Albarado, 124, K G McPeek, 6-1
9. Angegreen (ITY), M.E. Smith, 118, H G Motion, 7-2
10. Leading Astray (IL), E.E. Perez, 120, C M Block, 6-1
11. Julia's Star (KY), S.O. Madrid, 120, J Scott, 15-1
12. Miss Cato (GB), F.C. Torres, 120, R L Attfield, 9-2

Most Popular Stories