Cozze Up Lady, who in her career has come back from two long layoffs, will try to win the $150,000 Chicago Handicap (gr. III) at Arlington Park for the second year in a row when she faces nine fillies and mares in the seven-furlong dash June 28.
Trained by Bret Calhoun, the 5-year-old daughter of Cozzene was out for more than eight months following her victory in last year’s Chicago, but returned in top form, winning the 5 1/2-furlong Mardi Gras Stakes at Fair Grounds in her first race back.
Cozze Up Lady will carry second highweight of 119 pounds, one pound less than topweight Apropos, and will be ridden by Miguel Mena, who was last aboard the mare in her victory in the Chicago Handicap.
In all, she has won six of her 14 career starts, for earnings of $293,759.
Apropos, trained by Al Stall, finished right behind Cozze Up Lady in the Winning Colors, but finished ahead of her when third in the Madison Stakes. Prior to that, the 5-year-old daughter of First Samurai won the American Beauty Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
Another filly with stakes credentials who competed in the Madison Stakes is the Neil Pessin-trained Eden Prairie, who was fifth at Keeneland after setting the early pace. The 4-year-old daughter of Mizzen Mast was second after leading most of the way in the Bayou Handicap at Fair Grounds in her previous start and captured two other small stakes after leading or pressing the pace. She was also second, beaten a neck, in the grade II Raven Run Stakes at Keeneland last fall, so she could be dangerous if allowed to slow the pace down and not get involved in any speed duels.
One filly who apparently has found a home on a synthetic surface is Disco Barbie, who woke up on the synthetic surface at Presque Isle Downs, winning a pair of allowance/optional claimers by 8 1/4 lengths and seven lengths, respectively. The daughter of Pure Prize is trained by Dale Capuano and will break from the far outside post position under 118 pounds.
Breaking from the rail will be the Illinois-bred Fire Tricks, a fast-closing second at 18-1 in the Isaac Murphy Handicap for state-breds in her last start.
Other consistent fillies entered are Chortle, who has finished fourth or better in 10 of her last 11 starts; My Option, who has run in 10 consecutive stakes, finishing worse than fourth in only one of them; Queen's Award, who was knocking heads with Groupie Doll and Judy the Beauty last year; and Flower Spell, who has a win and two seconds in her last three starts on dirt, grass, and synthetic.
$150,000 Chicago Handicap, Gr. III, Seven Furlongs, fillies and Mares, 3-Year-Olds and Up, 9th Race, 5 p.m. (CDT)
1. Fire Tricks (IL), E. Esquivel, 114, S. Wilson
2. My Option (IL), E. Perez, 117, C. Block
3. Cozze Up Lady (KY), M. Mena, 119, W.B. Calhoun
4. Allanah (KY), C.H. Marquez JR, 114, K. Gorder
5. Apropos (KY), C.A. Emigh, 120, A. Stall Jr.
6. Flower Spell (KY), R. Homeister Jr,. 116, I. Mason
7. Queen’s Award (KY), S. Russell, 118, E. Caramori
8. Eden Prairie (KY), F. Geroux, 118, N. Pessin
9. Chortle (KY), E. Perez, 117, B. Williamson
10. Disco Barbie (KY), A. Gallardo, 118, D. Capuano