Steeplechase Farm's Mandy's Gold, highweighted at 116 pounds, and Carl Pollard's Caressing, champion 2-year-old filly of 2000, will be the likely favorites for the $150,000 Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III), a seven-furlong race for fillies and mares, at Arlington Park on June 8.
The Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap, the kickoff event on Arlington Park's $6.3 million, 38-race stakes season, will share the spotlight with the simulcast of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) from Belmont Park. In addition, the first 10,000 paid admissions to Arlington on Saturday will receive special edition, commemorative 75th anniversary calendars.
A daughter of champion Gilded Time, Mandy's Gold has won half of her 10 lifetime starts. Most recently, the 4-year-old filly was a front-running winner of the My Juliet Stakes at Philadelphia Park. As a 3-year-old, the Michael Gorham trainee crossed the line first in each of her first five races but was disqualified from the victory in the Comely Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct and placed second forinterference to Two Item Limit. Following the Comely, she didn't race again until January of this year when she finished third in the The First Lady Handicap (gr.III) at Gulfstream Park. Rene Douglas has the mount.
Caressing, who won the Singapore Plate (gr. III) here last year, makes her first start since getting in foal to 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus. As a 2-year-old Caressing won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) en route to being named Eclipse-Award winning 2-year-old filly. In two starts this year, the David Vance-trained 4-year-old finished fourth in the Oaklawn Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) in her seasonal bow and ran third in the Bayakoa Stakes at the Hot Springs, Ark. racetrack. Chris Emigh will ride.
Slated to face the top pair (in alphabetical order with riders and weight assignment) are: Richard L. Duchossois' Applesolutely (C. H. Marquez Jr., 111 pounds); Darby Dan Farm's Cat and the Hat (Eusebio Razo Jr., 114); Louie J. Roussel III's Extended View (Randall Meier, 115): R. T. M. Racing's Faccia Bella (Carlos Silva, 112); and My Jo Lee Stable's Soul Onarazorsedge (Ray Sibille, 113).