David Beard's Zydeco Affair battled back along the rail to overtake Larry B in deep stretch to win the $75,000 Manila Stakes by a neck Saturday at Arlington Park.
The son of Islefaxyou was ridden by Arlington Park's all-time leading jockey, Earlie Fires, who notched his 100th stakes win at the suburban Chicago oval.
"My horse broke good," said Fires, "so I went ahead and put him up there and let that other horse (pacesetter Del Diablo) go on. I wanted my horse to be just a little covered up, but not completely covered up. I wanted to be on the outside where we can move out and not have to split horses, but he did it (raced on the inside) like an older horse."
Up close early, Zydeco Affair took a short lead on the final turn in the one-mile grass race, was passed by Larry B in the stretch but responded gamely along the inside when asked for his best. He covered the distance in 1:38.53 over firm going.
The Manila was the second straight added-money score for the Tony Richey-trained 2-year-old, who captured the $100,000 El Joven Stakes at Retama Park on Aug. 31. The $45,000 winner's check from the Manila boosted his earnings to $118,233.
Larry B, a $3,000 supplemental entry, was last through a half mile before rallying to take a short lead in the stretch but was unable to hold off the victor. It was three more lengths back to Dr. Phil, who finished third in the 11-horse field.
Sent off at odds of nearly 11-1, Zydeco Affair paid $23.60, $9.40 and $6. Larry B returned $8 and $7.40. Dr. Phil paid $11.80.