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 (VIDEO).
The 46-year-old Illinois native was not on hand to get in the picture, however; he was in Chicago, where he is a board member of the Illinois HBPA, attending a contract meeting with Hawthorne officials.
Block was well-represented nevertheless, as his parents were on hand for the occasion. David Block, managing partner of the highly successful Team Block operation, said, "Naturally we're very proud. We've had some great wins here in recent years.
"We bought this filly (privately) with the idea of running her on grass at Arlington Park, our home track, but she didn't do very well (or in two starts on Polytrack)," he continued. "Before we bought her, she had run her best races on dirt, so when this spot came up we thought it was a good opportunity to get her going again. I guess she'll be going back to stakes from here."
Reached during a break of his meeting in Chicago, Chris Block said, "I wish I could have been there, but I'm happy that my parents were there to represent us. Everything I've done in my career I owe to them. Gulfstream is a great track and we've done well there the last few years."
A daughter of Elusive Quality, All for Thee won the Go For Wand Stakes at Delaware Park and finished a game third behind St. John's River in the Delaware Oaks (gr. II) as a 3-year-old when trained by Anthony Dutrow for previous owners. The Jan. 12 victory came in her fifth start for the new connections and was her first outing since finishing seventh in a Keeneland allowance on Oct. 21.
All for Thee paid $25.80 for $2 to win and was timed the one mile in 1:35:11 over the fast track. Fantasy of Flight was second while Ami's Dini finished another neck back in third. Chris Block has had good success with a small winter string at Gulfstream in recent years, winning the 2011 Donn Handicap (gr. I) with Giant Oak and other stakes with Team Block mares Never Retreat and Askbut I Won'ttell.