Saturday's Phil Georgeff Illinois Festival of Racing brought out some great performances from horses that figured. Five of the six winners were favorites.
In the running of the Illini Princess Handicap
, R. Otto Stable's Julie's Prize
dominated by 11 1/4 lengths while winning in a stakes-record 1:44 as the 7-10 choice in the field of seven. Trained by Anthony Mitchell, Julie's Prize shot to the lead on the far turn for jockey Larry Sterling Jr. and cruised to the easiest of victories.
Julie's Prize returned $3.40, $2.80 and $2.20. Moon Shine Time came back $9.80 and $4.00. Samantha B. closed to run third, returning $3.00 to show. The win was Julie's Prize's fourth on the year and fifth in her career. The $51,975 top prize boosted her career earnings to $298,542.
In the Sun Power Stakes
, Jaguar On The Run Stable's favored Jaguar Friend
posted a game win under jockey Randall Meier. Pressed by Matthew's Blessing through a first quarter in :22 and a half in :45 4/5, Jaguar Friend fought off Sir Fidgity by a neck.
Trained by Frank Springer, Jaguar Friend returned $6.20, $4.20 and $3.00. Sir Fidgity came back $8.60 and $4.20 while Iron Rogue closed late to run third at $3.20 to show. The win was Jaguar Friend's second on his career as the $54,720 winners share boosted his career earnings to $75,520.
In the Showtime Deb
, Canadian invader No Beans
, favored at 7-2, emerged triumphant for owner John Hillier and trainer Scott Fairlie.
Settling back off the early pace set by Keep This Cat and Gold Spike, No Beans, who donned blinkers, wasn't rushed as the leaders went :21 4/5 and :45 4/5 to the half. At the top of the stretch, it was anyone's race as there were five runners contending for the front. No Beans and jockey James McKnight split horses with a sixteenth of a mile to go and drew off to a length victory in a final time of 1:11.83.
The win was the second on No Beans career as she returned $9.00, $6.00 and $3.80. Journey Fever moved nicely through on the inside to get up for second, paying $11.80 and $6.60 while Keep This Cat held well for third, returning $5.40 to show.
No Beans collected the winner's share of $73,365, boosting her career earnings to $128,821.
In the Lightning Jet
, 6-5 favorite Out of My Way stumbled badly leaving the gate, opening it for Bulldog George
, who defeated Silver Bid by a neck after a fierce speed duel. Silver Bid stuck a head in front in the stretch, but skimming the rail, Bulldog George never gave in and clawed his way back to take the lead in the final 70 yards in stakes record time of 1:09 2/5.
Bulldog George and jockey Eusebio Razo Jr. returned $6.20, $3.60 and $2.60 as the only winning non-favorite in the Illinois series of races. Silver Bid came back $4.20 and $3.20 while Classic Appeal closed to finish third, returning $4.20 to show.
The win was the fifth on the year for Bulldog George and 12th for his career. The $51,795 winner's share for the Lightning Jet boosted her career earnings to $230,805. Summer Mis
shouldered 127 pounds in the Powerless Handicap
, but it proved to be no issue as she went on to a game 2 3/4-length victory as the 4-5 selection.
Breaking sharply, Summer Mis and jockey Larry Sterling Jr. went gate to wire to win in a stakes record time of 1:10.48. Summer Mis gave Sterling Jr., trainer Mitchell and owner Otto Stables a double for the Georgeff Festival card.
Summer Mis returned $3.60, $2.60 and $2.40. Gracility held well to finish second, paying $7.20 and $4.20 while Cashmere Miss closed on the outside to run third and pay $4.20 to show.
The win was the fifth straight for Summer Mis, sixth on the year, and ninth for her career as the winner's share of $55,980 for the race pushed her career earnings to $414,883.
In the showpiece event of the Georgeff Festival, the Robert F. Carey II Handicap
, 3-year-old Wiggins
took on older runners for only the second time of his career and handled them with ease as the 3-5 choice in the field of 11.
Heading immediately for the lead, Wiggins and jockey Eusebio Razo Jr. guided the field through fractions of :23 4/5, :47 3/5, 1:11 3/5. Opening up in the stretch, Wiggins, who paid $3.20, $3 and $2.60, cruised under the wire for a two-length win in the final time of 1:43.89. Longshot Scooter Roach ran on nicely to finish second, paying $8.60 and $6.00 while Baker Road was third, returning $3.80 to show.
The win was the fifth on the year for the Pacella, Schwed, and Rizza-owned runner and seventh on his career. The Anthony Granitz trainee earned $71,610 for the race and boosted his career earnings to $323,474.