Kevin Warner's Warner Thoroughbreds' Quiet Force took command at the head of the lane in the Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) July 11 and powered his way to a three-quarter of a length win over Middleburg in the 1 3/16-mile turf race.
Video: Arlington H. (G3T)
Up With the Birds, the even-money race favorite, was 3 1/4 lengths back in third, edging Dramedy for the show spot.
The winner will take a shot next at next month's Arlington Million Stakes (gr. IT) according to his connections.
"This was our goal last year but he got injured and we had to give him time off," said winning trainer Mike Maker. "I thank Mr. Warner for giving him time."
Quiet Force came into the Arlington Handicap off just one start this year, a third-place effort as the favorite in a one-mile allowance test at Parx Racing in late May. The 5-year-old son of Dynaformer won his final two outings of 2014, including a minor stakes score at Indiana Downs July 2 before heading to the sidelines.
In the $100,000 Arlington Handicap he sat just off the early fractions set by Dramedy of :24.02, :48.39, and 1:13.34 over the soft going at Arlington International. Striking the front after a mile in 1:38.34, he cruised to the wire in 1:56.50.
"He broke good, we sat second, and he relaxed," said winning rider Julian Leparoux. "There wasn't too much pace. He feels good; I think we'll be back for the (Arlington) Million. The ground is soft, but it's good. There's a nice cut in the ground."
"When I see Julian close, I don't have any worries," Maker said of the ride.
Quiet Force paid $12.20, $4.40, and $2.60. Middleburg paid $3.20 and $2.40 as the second choice and Up With the Birds, the even-money favorite, paid $2.10 to show. The $1 exacta, 10-9 paid $18.20.
The Pizza Man, R. Great Adventure, and Triple Threat were scratched.
"Great trainer; great jockey—these are the guys who do all the work," Warner said. "It was a great effort. I'm just happy."
Quiet Force was bred by the French powerhouse of Werthiemer and Frere and is out of the Royal Academy mare Quiet Royal. Quiet Royal, a group III winner in France, was also classic-placed in France and was third in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) at Keeneland. She is out of a half sister to Wertheimer and Frere's Dare and Go, who stopped Cigar's legendary winning streak in the 1996 Pacific Classic (gr. I).
Warner claimed Quiet Force for $40,000 in March of 2014 out of a mile effort at Santa Anita from the Fanning Family Trust and trainer Jerry Fanning. Fanning had claimed the dark bay or brown horse out of his previous start for Wertheimer and Frere and trainer Richard Mandella.
Quiet Force has now won six of 13 starts and has earned $249,070.