Willmott Stables Inc.'s Aud, a 15-1shot, rallied between horses mid-stretch and drew off to a 1 3/4-length win in the $175,000 Pucker Up Stakes (gr. IIIT) on Saturday at Arlington Park. Brian Peck was aboard the Anthony Reinstedler-trained filly that covered the 1 1/8-mile grass test over "yielding" turf in 1:49.16. Aud raced in the middle of the pack while saving ground early, angled to the outside turning for home, found room between horses approaching the eighth pole and responded under strong urging. "She's a nice filly and she settled really nice for me," said the Kentucky-based Peck. "The idea was to make one last run and that's what happened. Everything worked out for us. I just wanted to make sure I had a good clear place to make my run when I started to run because once you get her started and turn the keys, she goes full blast." The Pucker Up was the second stakes victory in as many tries over the Arlington turf for Aud, who won for the fourth time in nine trips to the post. In July, she captured the Double Delta Stakes here but followed that with a ninth-place run in the Lake George Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Saratoga. "We gave her a little freshening after the Lake George and she's really done super here," said Reinstedler. "She really likes Arlington Park." The victory was worth $105,000 and boosted her bankroll to $192,915. Hail Hillary, who had the lead at the furlong marker, held on to finish second in the field of 12 3-year-old fillies. It was another nose back to Julie's Prize and a half a length farther back to 7-5 morning line favorite Hoh Buzzard, ridden by Gary Stevens.
Stevens was making his first appearance at Arlington Park since being injured at the finish of the Arlington Million (gr. IT) four weeks ago. "I had a little bit of bad luck," noted Stevens of his trip aboard the beaten favorite. "We missed the break, and that cost us, and then we got in a pocket and couldn't get out. She was frustrated, and I was, too." Aud paid $32, $15.80 and $9.80. Hail Hillary, sent off at odds of more than 40-1, returned $27.40 and $13.60. Julie's Prize, the longest price in the race at odds 54-1, paid $14.20. The three longshots combined for a $31,266.80 trifecta and with the favorite in fourth combined for a superfecta worth $47,556. Keeping the Gold, Plume Rouge, Sue's Good News, Meet Me At Midnite, Cat's Cat, Achnasheen, With Certainty and Sarie Marais completed the order of finish. (Chart, Equibase)