Chantilly Naya has won four of eight starts.

Chantilly Naya has won four of eight starts.

Hodges Photography/Lynn Roberts

Chantilly Nayla Tops Field in Arlington Oaks

Half a dozen sophomore fillies pursue first graded stakes win at Arlington Park.

Half a dozen sophomore fillies have an opportunity to land their first graded stakes victory in the $100,000 Arlington Oaks (gr. III) July 3.

The Oaks, at 1 1/8 miles on Polytrack, is the ninth race of a twilight program that precedes a music and fireworks show honoring America's birthday at Arlington Park. The probable post is 7:42 p.m. CDT.

Five of the Oaks contestants have graded stakes experience, led by Chantilly Nayla, who could be favored off her runner-up effort in the Beaumont Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland two starts back. Owned by Team Valor International and Highfield Stock Farm and trained by Wayne Catalano, the Five Star Day filly is coming off a troubled fifth on the Arlington lawn in the American One Thousand Guineas May 22.

Chantilly Nayla won three in a row prior to the Beaumont -- one each on synthetic, turf, and dirt -- but will be going nine furlongs for the first time in the Oaks. The bay has won four of eight starts and will be ridden from post 2 by James Graham, who has won twice previously on her.

Michael Stidham trains Upperline, making her first appearance since a fifth-place showing in the Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland April 3. She ran third in the Herecomesthebride Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park prior to that.

Upperline, who is owned in partnership by Stone Farm, John Adger, Oak Crest Farm, and Stidham, broke her maiden at Arlington in her debut nearly a year ago. She ran second to champion juvenile filly She Be Wild in the Top Flight Stakes in her next start over the track. E.T. Baird takes the reins on the Maria's Mon miss who breaks from the rail.

Snow Top Mountain has two wins and two seconds in four races for trainer Tom Proctor, with three of her starts coming on grass. She made her stakes debut in Churchill Downs' Regret Stakes (gr. IIIT) June 12 and came from 15 lengths off the pace to finish second, beaten three-quarters of a length, in the 1 1/8-mile event on a "good" course.

Owned by Barbara Hunter, the gray/roan daughter of Najran broke her maiden at 1 1/16 miles over Keeneland's Polytrack in her second start April 7. She followed that effort with a one-length allowance victory on the Churchill lawn five weeks later. Jesus Castanon will be her fifth rider in as many races.

Age of Humor started the year with a victory in Aqueduct's Busanda Stakes Jan. 9 for trainer Michael Maker. Her promise, following a third in the Silverbulletday Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds and a close second in the Bourbonette Oaks (gr. III) at Turfway Park, landed her in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).

Sent off at 44-1 April 30, the Distorted Humor filly stopped after pressuring the pace along the inside and finished 12th of 14, nearly 22 lengths behind the victorious Blind Luck. In her most recent start, Age of Humor ran at non-threatening seventh in the Dogwood Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill May 29.

Dundalk Dust is unbeaten in two starts, both at Arlington, though they were more than 10 months apart. She won her debut over maidens on a yielding turf last August and returned to score by three lengths June 6 in an off-the-turf first-level allowance race at 1 1/16 miles. The Illinois-bred daughter of Military is owned by Dundalk 5 and trained by Chris Block.

Completing the Arlington Oaks field is Laura Babe, runner-up in a Churchill Downs allowance race in her last start. Chris Emigh rides the daughter of City Zip in her Arlington debut for trainer Richard Jackson.

$100,000 Arlington Oaks (gr. III, Race 9, 7:42 p.m.), 3-Year-Old Fillies, 1 1/8 Miles (Synthetic)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Upperline (KY), E T Baird, 118, M Stidham
2. Chantilly Nayla (KY), J Graham, 118, W M Catalano
3. Laura Babe (KY), C A Emigh, 118, R Jackson
4. Age of Humor (KY), Q Hamilton, 122, M J Maker
5. Dundalk Dust (IL), E E Perez, 118, C M Block
6. Snow Top Mountain (KY), J L Castanon, 118, T F Proctor