Arena Elvira notched her third straight victory and first in a graded stakes when she pulled away to a 6 ¾-length triumph in the $98,000 Turnback the Alarm Handicap (gr. III) Nov. 4, the opening-day feature at Aqueduct Racetrack (VIDEO).
With Junior Alvarado in the irons, the 4-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper tracked Banker's Buy through an opening quarter-mile in :25.17 and a half in :50.71, then moved alongside the pacesetter on the far turn. Straightening for home after six furlongs in 1:16.21, Arena Elvira began opening up through the stretch under a hand ride. She hit the wire in 1:51.59 for the 1 1/8 miles.
“My filly didn’t break and I got stuck behind the horse in front (Banker’s Buy), but the rest was easy,” said Alvarado. “I asked her, and she responded right away. In the end, I was just keeping her straight. I wasn’t asking for much.”
Check Point held on for second by 1 1/4 lengths, with Go Unbridled closing to edge 4-5 favorite Tiz Miz Sue by a head for third. Banker’s Buy completed the order of finish.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Arena Elvira returned $4.30, $2.60, and $2.10 as the 11-10 second choice in the field of five. She earned $60,000 to increase her bankroll $314,930 for owner Carolyn Wilson and extended her record to 6-3-2 from 11 starts, including back-to-back victories in the Madame Jumel and Sightseek stakes at Saratoga Race Course.
“Junior rode her perfectly,” said Mott’s assistant, Leana Willaford. “The one horse we thought might show a little speed did. (Arena Elvira) was in a perfect stalking position and everything went smooth. Nice job on Junior’s part.”
Bred in Kentucky by Northwest Farms, Arena Elvira is out of the Twining mare Two Item Limit and sold for $210,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sale Co. in March 2009.