Block Doubles in Prairie State Festival

Block Doubles in Prairie State Festival
Photo: Four Footed Fotos
Apple Martini takes the Purple Violet, the first of 2 wins for trainer Chris Block in the Prairie State Festival at Arlington.
(from Arlington Park report)
Trainer Chris Block, the leading conditioner in Prairie State Festival history, tallied two more stakes victories in the ninth Illinois-registered series at Arlington Park June 21.

The 41-year-old Champaign, Ill., native won two of the six stakes -- the $88,400 Purple Violet Stakes with Apple Martini and the $93,950 Springfield Stakes with Amazing Results.

Apple Martini, who races for the Virginia H. Tarra Trust, saved ground early and rallied in the stretch to get up for a three-quarter length victory in the one-mile Purple Violet, getting the distance in 1:36.76 while returning $7.80, $4.40 and $3.

Rene Douglas rode the daughter of Giant's Causeway  

Team Block’s Amazing Results, also ridden by Douglas, finished strongly to capture the one-mile Springfield Stakes by a length over Mr. Mischief in 1:35.48. The son of Grand Slam paid $6.40, $4 and $3.40.

Trainer Christine Janks, who ranks second in career Prairie State Festival tallies, found the winner’s circle with Arbaway Farm, Carson Springs Farm and David Campbell’s Mighty Rule in the $86,400 White Oak Handicap, scoring by a half-length in 1:09.27 for the six furlongs. The son of Gilded Time was ridden to victory by James Graham and paid $8.80, $4.40 and $3.

In other Prairie State Festival races, Charles Sigrist and Del Sol Farm’s Lady Lionel ($8, $4.20 and $3) survived a claim of foul by Jesse Campbell, the jockey of runner-up Royal Leah, to win the $97,350 Lincoln Heritage Handicap by 1 3/4 lengths in 1:44.48 under jockey Junior Alvarado. The victory was the first in Festival competition for both Alvarado and trainer Moises Yanez and the first ever stakes win for Sigrist. Lady Lionel is a daughter of Lucky Lionel.

Nick Mamatas and John Kerber’s Gentleman Chester, who won last year’s $88,300 Springfield Stakes, made a three-wide move into the stretch and held off the late charge of three-time defending champion Fort Prado to win the $92,950 Black Tie Affair Handicap by 1 3/4 lengths under Campbell. The son of 2000 Arlington Million (gr. IT) winner Chester House is trained by Ralph Nicks and ran the 1 1/16-mile journey over “good” turf in 1:43.09. He paid $15.20, $5.80 and $3.60.

In the first of the afternoon’s six stakes races, the $86,500 Isaac Murphy Handicap, Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires guided Richard Rudolph and Michael Vranich’s Magnetic Miss to a front-running 1 3/4-length victory over Taylor Madison. The Spanky Broussard-trained daughter of Deposit Express covered the six furlongs in 1:09.78 and paid $8, $4.60 and $3.40.

(Chart, Equibase)

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