Informed Decision, on a four-race winning streak following back-to-back grade I wins for trainer Jonathan Sheppard, towers over the field for the $150,000 Chicago Handicap (gr. III), the Independence Day headliner at Arlington Park.
Owned by Augustin Stable, the 4-year-old daughter of 2001 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos is a perfect four-for-four at the Chicago's seven-furlong distance, including wins in Keeneland's Madison Stakes (gr. I) and Churchill Downs' Humana Distaff (gr. I) in her prior starts this year. Informed Decision has won seven of nine starts lifetime and earned $722,217. She also won the Raven Run (gr. II) at Keeneland during her current streak.
Though she has never raced at Arlington, Informed Decision has won all three of her starts on Polytrack at Keeneland. She is 3-5 on the morning line.
Informed Decision overcame much trouble to win the May 2 Humana Distaff on a sloppy track at Churchill. She was steadied and blocked in the drive, yet managed to weave her way to victory by three-quarters of a length for jockey Julien Leparoux, who was riding the gray/roan filly for the first time. In the Madison, she defeated the highly regarded Ventura, getting up just in time to win by a head.
Leparoux will visit Arlington from his Kentucky base to again ride Informed Decision, who drew post 3 in the six-horse field and will carry top weight of 124 pounds. She spots her rivals nine to 11 pounds.
Authenicat, a Woodbine-based daughter of D'wildcat owned by Vinery Stables and Fog City Stables, enters off a 1 1/4-length victory in the $125,000 Ballade Stakes. The Josie Carroll-trained 4-year-old has posted all six of her career wins over synthetic surfaces. Regular rider Robert Landry will make the trip from Canada to partner with Authenicat.
Robert Adams' Unforgotten seeks her first victory of 2009 after finishing last of nine in Churchill’s Fleur de Lis (gr. II) June 13. In her prior start, the daughter of Northern Afleet was second in the Allaire duPont Distaff (gr. II) at Pimlico on the Preakness undercard. A career earner of $412,113, the Dallas Stewart charge will be ridden by Fernando Jara.
Crown of Diamonds, coming off an allowance victory at Arlington for trainer Eoin Harty, Tiz to Dream, and Choragus complete the field.
$150,000 Chicago Handicap (gr. III, Race 9, 4:56 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 7 Furlongs (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Crown of Diamonds (KY), J Alvarado, 113, E G Harty
2. Tiz to Dream (KY), J M Campbell, 114, I R Wilkes
3. Informed Decision (KY), J R Leparoux, 124, J E Sheppard
4. Authenicat (ON), R C Landry, 115, J Carroll
5. Unforgotten (FL), F Jara, 115, D Stewart
6. Choragus (KY), E E Perez, 113, C M Block