Chance Dance pressed the pace of longshot It's Spooky, overtook that rival in the lane, and held off a late challenge from favored Julie's Prize to win the $75,000 Estrapade Handicap by a head Saturday at Arlington Park. Carlos Marquez Jr. rode the daughter of American Chance who covered the 1 1/8 mile over a fast track in 1:50.54. The Estrapade was originally carded for the turf but was moved to the main track after a heavy overnight rainstorm. Neither Marquez nor Richie Scherer, who saddled Chance Dance in place of his father, co-owner Merrill Scherer, were concerned about the switch in surface. "We wanted to run on the grass," Scherer said. "She has a grass pedigree. She's very consistent on both turf and dirt, but we still think she's a little better on the turf." "I saw she won on the dirt before, so I wasn't worried that the race came off the turf," Marquez added. It's Spooky set a measured pace of :24.57 for the opening quarter mile, :49.13 for the half and a three-quarter mile split of 1:13.84 before giving way in the lane. As Chance Dance made the lead at mid-stretch, Julie's Prize mounted a strong rally in the middle of the track and came up a head short at the wire. "You have to give (Julie's Prize) a lot of credit," Marquez said of his challenger. "She's a very nice mare. I knew she was coming but I think we got the jump on her. I knew she was coming but my filly didn't give up. She gave me 100 percent today." It was five lengths back to It's Spooky, who finished third in the six-horse field.
Chance Dance, second choice in the wagering, paid $8.40, $2.80 and $2.40. Julie's Prize paid $2.40 and $2.40. It's Spooky returned $3. (Chart, Equibase)