My Option and Eduardo Perez take the Arlington Oaks.

My Option and Eduardo Perez take the Arlington Oaks.

Four Footed Fotos

My Option Takes Arlington Oaks

Illinois-bred filly gets first graded stakes win for Tim Keeley at Arlington July 20.

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 determined neck (VIDEO) .

The 3-year-old Illinois-bred daughter of Belong to Me came off a runner-up finish for trainer Chris Block by half a length to Bold Kitten in the Chicagoland oval's restricted June 1 Purple Violet Stakes. On Saturday she ran 1 1/8 miles on the all weather track in 1:52.85 under jockey Eduardo Perez, besting five other sophomore fillies as the 5-2 second choice.

"She is very competitive and very classy. I was concerned that the Purple Violet took a lot out of her, so I backed off on her training," Block said. "Her works were slow early, so I kept her slow because she can get real aggressive.

"Going a mile and an eighth, I knew she was going to have to drop the bridle and settle. She did for the most part except a little around the first turn, but she settled up the backside. I liked the way she was moving up the backside and on the far turn."

My Option was well-reserved between foes in the early going as Gold Edge and 2-1 favorite Sky Girl vied for the lead through a quarter in :24.95, a half in :49.65, and three-quarters in 1:15.01. While those two went neck-and-neck, My Option steadily advanced in the four path, then was roused to challenge on the outside racing into upper stretch.

"I knew I had a lot of horse. I just tapped her on the shoulders and she took off pretty good," Perez said. 

Sky Girl faded to third as the eventual winner continued with a solid late kick for a mile in 1:40.04, holding off Frivolous at the end.

My Option returned $7, $4.20, and $2.80. Frivolous brought $9 and $4, while Sky Girl paid $3.20. Bold Kitten, Gold Edge, and Seaneen Girl completed the order of finish. Mary Bernice was scratched.

My Option, bred in Illinois out of the Cohiba mare Out of Options, won the Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante Stakes as a juvenile at the end of last season to secure honors as the Illinois champion 2-year-old filly of 2012. She came back to take the Pretty Jenny Stakes in April and has now won four of six starts, with two seconds, for earnings of $261,263.

"We'll look at the Hatoof (on Aug. 17)," Block said. "That would be a race to seriously consider. We'll see how she comes out of this and we'll put that on the calendar and look at it."