Unbeaten Happy Ticket Stomps Chicago Foes

(from Arlington report)
Stewart Madison's undefeated Happy Ticket turned back a talented group of fillies and mares, including defending champion and grade I stakes winner My Trusty Cat, with a 3 ½-length victory in the $175,000 Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) on Saturday at Arlington Park.

Eusebio Razo Jr. rode the 4-year-old filly to her ninth straight victory. They covered the seven furlongs in 1:22.54.

The Louisiana-bred daughter of Anet was racing for the first time outside of her native state and making her first attempt in a graded stakes race.

"She won eight in a row, and she was never tested in any of those races," said winning trainer Andrew Leggio Jr., who picked up his first Arlington Park stakes victory. "Mr. Madison thought it was time for us to step up a notch, and she did."

Happy Ticket broke alertly and raced up close to the pace which was set by 30-1 longshot Silver Crown, who led through a half mile in :46.26.

"She broke so quickly, the ground kind of broke out from under her," said Razo, who was astride the filly for the first time in the Chicago Breeders' Cup. "Every time I asked her, she was right there. Turning for home, she switched leads; I hit her one time, and she went on with it."

The $105,000 winner's share elevated Happy Ticket's earnings to $382,260.

Savorthetime rallied from the back of the pack to finish second in the seven-horse field, a half-length clear of Injustice. My Trusty Cat, the 4-5 betting favorite, ran fourth, followed by Silver Crown, Fly Away Angel, and Two Punch Gal.

"The pace was a little slow, and I was in behind horses early," said Shaun Bridgmohan, rider of the beaten favorite. "I asked her to move a little bit on the turn when the winner started her run, but she couldn't stay with her. She did make a little run in the stretch."

Sent off as the second choice, Happy Ticket paid $7.60, $4.60, and $4.20. Savorthetime returned $4.60 and $3.80. Injustice paid $4.

(Chart, Equibase)