Chris Block-trained 6-Year old loves the 1 1/2-mile distance and the Arlington Course. Stablemate Mister Marti Gras entered here and in Arlington Handicap
Abdulla al Monsoori's Our Channel leads a group for the $200,000 American Derby (gr. IIIT) on "Million Preview Day" at Arlington Park, hoping to recover from a poor run in the June 7 English Derby (Eng-I).
Tim Keeley's My Option drew well clear of pacesetter Flower Spell to win the Chicago Handicap (gr. III) June 28 at Arlington Park. The 4-year-old Belong to Me filly covered the seven furlongs in 1:23.72.
After rallying to an upset victory in a tough allowance race one month ago at Keeneland, Afortable will return to Arlington Park for his stakes debut May 24 in the Arlington Classic Stakes (gr. IIIT).
Given the colt's Chicago connections, it's not surprising Bob Baffert would send Midnight Hawk to the April 19 Illinois Derby at Hawthorne. As for his plans from there on out, you'll have to read between the lines.
Fort Prado, who raced for Team Block in Illinois for seven seasons, has sired his first winner from his freshman crop.
Trainer Chris Block has a solid success rate at Kentucky Downs, where his family's Team Block has run eight horses to three wins, three seconds, and a third in stakes competition over the years.
Two-time grade III winner Mister Marti Gras will try for a second straight stakes score when he faces an expected five other older horses in the $150,000 Washington Park Handicap (gr. III) Aug. 31 at Arlington Park.
Tim Keeley's homebred My Option earned her first graded stakes score in the $150,000 Arlington Oaks (gr. III) at Arlington Park July 20, fending off the bid of Frivolous to preserve the decision by a neck.
Mister Marti Gras won the inaugural $125,000 Mystic Lake Mile at Canterbury Park July 13 as the 3-5 favorite, a race after Awesome Flower was victorious in the $100,000 Lady Canterbury Stakes.
Donegal Racing's multiple grade I winner Dullahan takes on two-time Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) victor Rahystrada in the July 13 renewal of the 1 1/4-mile turf event at Arlington Park.
Four runners from the Feb. 16 Mac Diarmida Stakes, headed by Resolute Group Stables' second-place finisher Teaks North, are among 10 entered to contest the $150,000 Pan American Stakes (gr. IIT) March 23 at Gulfstream Park.
Promising 3-year-olds Dewey Square and Bambazonki each worked five furlongs at Gulfstream Park Feb. 24 in preparation for the upcoming Palm Beach Stakes (gr. IIIT) at 1 1/8 miles on turf.
The Illinois Racing Board Jan. 29 approved an increase in the purse for this year's Illinois Derby (gr. III) at Hawthorne Race Course and a renewal of the $400,000 American St. Leger started last year at Arlington.
Trainer Chris Block was represented by his 1,000th winner Jan. 12 at Gulfstream Park, when 5-year-old All for Thee rallied through the stretch to score a hard-fought neck victory at odds of 12-1 in the second race of the day.
Defending winner Heavenly Landing takes on nine older fillies and mares Jan. 5 in the $100,000 Marshua's River Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park, including Team Block's highly consistent Leading Astray.
An overflow of 24 sophomore fillies passed the entry box for the $125,000 Pin Oak Valley View (gr. IIIT), forcing Keeneland officials to split the Oct. 19 running of the race into divisions for the second time in history.
Leading Astray kicked off a big day for Team Block in fine fashion Sept. 15, notching her fourth triumph in a row and becoming a graded winner in the $175,000 Pucker Up Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park.
Ioya Bigtime, staked to a loping lead by Jeffrey Sanchez, refused to buckle under relentless pressure from favored Rahystrada to win the $200,000 Kentucky Turf Cup (gr. IIIT) on the grass course at Kentucky Downs Sept. 15.
Mister Marti Gras goes for a repeat victory in the $150,000 Washington Park Handicap (gr. III) as a co-highweight at 119 pounds Sept. 1 on the Arlington Park Polytrack surface.
Backers who saw past a winless record in 2012 were rewarded by the 5-year-old Illinois-bred, who shocked in the $150,000 Stars & Stripes Stakes (gr. IIIT) July 14. He rolled to victory for Team Block at odds of 41-1.
Team Block's Never Retreat, who had been scheduled to make her final start in the Jan. 7 Marshua's River Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park, has been retired from racing.
Fast-closing Mister Marti Gras collared Alma d'Oro in deep stretch for a half-length victory in the Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) at Churchill Downs Nov. 4.
Never Retreat, ridden by the red-hot Julien Leparoux, overcame the far outside post to capture the $350,000 First Lady Stakes (gr. IT) on the Keeneland turf Oct. 8.
Grade I winner Giant Oak faces stiff competition from nine challengers in Hawthorne Racecourse's marquee fall event.
Never Retreat picked up her second grade II win of the season on the Woodbine turf when she outlasted a deep field to capture the Canadian Stakes (Can-IIT) Sept. 18.
Lothenbach Stable's Mister Mardi rallied from far back to get his first graded stakes win, taking the $100,000 Washington Park Handicap (gr. III) at Arlington.
Never Retreat, beaten as the favorite when second to Bay to Bay in last month's Nassau Stakes (Can-IIT), turned the tables on her rival at Woodbine in the $313,395 Dance Smartly Stakes (Can-IIT) July 10.
Never Retreat, upset winner of the Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland in April, faces a triple threat from the Roger Attfield barn in the $300,000 Nassau Stakes (Can-IIT) on the Woodbine turf course June 4.
Giant Oak, winner of the Donn Handicap (gr. I) earlier this year, tops a field of 11 entered in the May 6 Alysheba Stakes (gr. III) that is part of the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) undercard at Churchill Downs.
Never Retreat found a yielding turf to her liking when she swept past the leaders in the stretch and cleared off for a 1 3/4-length win in the $200,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland April 16.
Team Block's Never Retreat, trained by Chris Block and ridden by Julien Leparoux, took over from Persuading at the top of the stretch and went on to win the $100,000 Honey Fox (gr. IIIT) by a length March 5 at Gulfstream.
Giant Oak, who won the Clark Handicap (gr. I) via disqualification last out, validated that win by posting a rallying victory in the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) Feb. 5 at Gulfstream Park.
Askbut I Won'ttell figures to make things tough in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf when she takes on 13 rivals in the 1 1/8-mile race at Gulfstream Park Saturday, Jan. 29.
Shaun Bridgmohan and Chris Block took their winning act to Florida in the $100,000 My Charmer Handicap (gr. IIIT), as Askbut I Won'ttell ran down pacesetter Trip for A. J. in the final yards Dec. 4 at Calder Casino.
Giant Oak picked a good time to break his 14-race losing streak, as he was placed first in the $500,000 Clark Handicap (gr. I) when stewards disqualified favored Successful Dan for interference Nov. 26 at Churchill Downs.
Dundalk 5 LLC's Dundalk Dust, the only 3-year-old in the field, rallied from last in a six-horse field to win the $161,250 Falls City Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares by three lengths at Churchill Downs Nov. 25.
Askbut I Won'ttell switched off the hedge in upper stretch and ran down favored Kiss Mine and My Baby Baby to register her first graded stakes win in the $113,900 Cardinal Handicap (gr. IIIT) Nov. 7 at Churchill Downs.
The favorite, he holds off Giant Oak by three-quarters of a length.
Free Fighter, unplaced in two starts since upsetting the Louisville Handicap (gr. IIIT) in May, is back to defend his title in the $100,000 Stars and Stripes Turf Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park Aug. 21.
The most money ever was wagered June 30 on a single race, $379,220, and on a single race card, $2,140,490.
Team Block wins the White Oak Handicap with Shrewd Operator, while trainer Christine Janks scores with Big Looie in the Springfield Stakes June 19 at Arlington Park.
Free Fighter seized the lead from Eagle Poise coming into the stretch and drew off in the lane to produce a determined upset at odds of 12-1 in the $113,800 Louisville Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs May 22.
Free Fighter, with James Graham aboard, outfought 9-10 favorite Brass Hat through a long stretch battle to produce a half-length victory in the $125,000 Stars and Stripes Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park Sept. 7.
Virginia Tarra Trust's homebred Giant Oak, successful in his seasonal turf debut while winning the Arlington Classic last out, will look for his first graded stakes win July 11 in the $300,000 American Derby (gr. II) at Arlington Park.
Euphony and Vacation earned their first graded wins on a big stakes day at Arlington Park May 23.
The Virginia H. Tarra Trust's Giant Oak, runner-up in the Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) at Churchill Downs and the recent Illinois Derby (gr. II), is out of consideration for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) winner Musket Man and Illinois-bred Giant Oak lead a wide-open field of 11 in the 52nd edition of the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) April 4 at Hawthorne Race Course
Perhaps no horse on the Derby trail is more aptly named than Giant Oak, who makes many of his opponents look like saplings next to him. A big, long-striding son of Giant's Causeway, his size, stride, and style of running can also be a detriment, as he demonstrated in the Risen Star Stakes.
Giant Oak's breeze on March 7, clocked in 1:00.80 for five furlongs, was a routine move in advance of Fair Grounds' $600,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) on March 14. However, just past the wire, trainer Chris Block's big horse bobbled briefly, giving the Illinois-based conditioner some moments of concern until he was able to check out his horse back at the barn.
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