Cat Genius, Riddlesdown, Bien Nicole Win at Arlington

The promised improvement in weather didn't arrive at Arlington Park, Saturday's host for the 2002 Breeders' Cup, in time for racing Friday, where three one hundred grand stakes were run on a sloppy main track and yielding turf course.

In the $100,000 Gilded Time Stakes for 2-year-olds at seven furlongs, which attracted a field of five, even-money favorite Cat Genius defeated Desert Warrior by five lengths.

The Florida-bred dark bay or brown colt by Western Cat won in 1:23.01 in the slop.

Cat Genius, ridden by Eusebio Razo, Jr., broke on top, set the pace throughout from the inside on a clear lead and was not menaced through the drive. Desert Warrior rallied late to take the place spot, while stalker Omega Code held on for third, 5 3/4 lengths behind Desert Warrior.

Cat Genius is owned by John R. Parker and is trained by Thomas Amoss.

"The race was really won in the first eighth of a mile," said Amoss.
"I was surprised they let us get an easy lead like that.  I thought that gave us a huge advantage."

The winner paid $4, $3 and $2.40. Desert Warrior returned $4 and $2.40. Omega Code paid $2.60.

Riddlesdown Wins on Disqualification

Gary A. Tanaka's pace-setting Riddlesdown was defeated by Tap the Admiral in the $100,000 John Henry Handicap, but was awarded the victory due to interference in the stretch.

The 5-year-old son of Common Grounds, ridden by Jorge Chavez was racing inside of Tap the Admiral, with Edgar Prado aboard. Tap the Admiral was found to have lugged in during the stretch, knocking Riddlesdown off stride. Tap the Admiral went on to win by a half-length.

"My horse was going good and all of the sudden I feel something and I look and it's the horse behind and he's hit me and I'm going sideways," said Chavez. "I lost my stride but my horse came back again. The officials could see it on the replay."

Niall O'Callaghan trains Riddlesdown.

National Anthem was third, two lengths behind the leaders.

The winning time for the 1 3/16 mile on the yielding turf was 1:59.83.

Sent off at 7-2 in the field of seven, Riddlesdown paid $9.20, $4.60 and $4.40. Tap the Admiral returned $5.80 and $4.60. National Anthem paid $5.

Bien Nicole Draws Away

Kristine and John Richter's homebred Bien Nicole pressed the pace and rallied to take a 3-length victory over Verruma in the $100,000 Estrapade Handicap for fillies and mares.

It was the fifth straight win for the 4-year-old daughter of Bien Bien. She covered the 1 1/16 mile on a yielding turf in 1:44.52.

Verruma was 2 1/2 lengths in front of Kiss the Devil. Stylish, the 2-1 favorite in the field of 10, finished ninth after saving ground most of the way.

Bien Nicole was ridden by Don Pettinger and is trained by Donnie Von Hemel.

Sent off at 9-2, Bien Nicole paid $11.60, $6 and $5. Verruma returned $9.80 and $7.40. Kiss the Devil paid $9.60.

(Chart, Equibase)