Surgical Strike, Flipcup find Arlington winner's circle

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

May 28th, 2016

The addition of blinkers and a slow pace ensured favorite Surgical Strike a closer stalking trip in Saturday's $100,000 Arlington Classic (G3). The Red Giant colt took advantage by wearing down One Mean Man and Swagger Jagger after a prolonged stretch drive in the 1 1/16-mile grass test on yielding ground.

Well positioned against the rail in fourth by James Graham, Surgical Strike bided his time as Two Step Time led One Mean Man and Swagger Jagger through splits of :25.64, :51.31, and 1:17.21. The leader fell back approaching the final turn, with Swagger Jagger moving up to engage One Mean Man for the lead and Surgical Strike poised to strike after moving outside for running room.

In deep stretch One Mean Man re-rallied to grab the lead back from Swagger Jagger, but Surgical Strike's grinding bid outside both was good enough to get the win by a head in a time of 1:47.51.

The 17-10 favorite in a field of 11 three-year-olds, Surgical Strike paid $5.40. One Mean Man finished second by three parts of a length over Swagger Jagger.

This was the second career stakes win for the Ben Colebrook trainee, who races for Edward Seltzer and Beverly Anderson. Unplaced in his first three stakes attempts, the chestnut has fared better of late. Third in the WEBN at Turfway in February, Surgical Strike next prevailed in the John Battaglia Memorial, finished a close third in the Spiral (G3) and also in the American Turf (G2) after attempting to rally from far back. His record now stands at 11-3-1-3, $290,813.

Surgical Strike was produced by Preemptive Attack, a Smart Strike half-sister to multiple Canadian champion Bold Ruritana. Surgical Strike is half-brother to Grade 2 winner Strike Treasure.

One race earlier, Flipcup ran her synthetic surface record to five wins in seven attempts with a game victory over favorite No Fault of Mine in the $100,000 Arlington Matron (G3) over 1 1/8 miles.

Saving ground under Chris Emigh as Tiz Lately set an early pace of :25.05 and :49.29, Flipcup made a three-wide bid for the lead around the far turn as She's Not Here edged ahead of Tiz Lately after three-quarters in 1:13 39.

Seizing control at the three-sixteenths, Flipcup opened up a one length advantage but was soon challenged by No Fault of Mine. Despite drifting out, Flipcup managed to hold on for a neck victory in a time of 1:51.32. A claim of foul against the winner by the rider of No Fault of Mine was disallowed.

"She was drifting out pretty good, but we didn't bump," Emigh said.

Owned by Team Penney Racing, Wachtel Stable and Brous Stable, Flipcup paid $12.20. No Fault of Mine, the 9-5 choice, finished 3 1/2 lengths clear of second choice Brooklynsway, who stumbled at the start and trailed early before rallying.

This was the fifth career stakes win for Flipcup, a five-year-old daughter of Milwaukee Brew trained by Bill Mott. Campaigned primarily on dirt against New York-bred company, she's found more success on the synthetic surfaces of Arlington and Woodbine. The Arlington Matron was her second graded win following last October's two-length score in the Maple Leaf (G3) at Woodbine.

Produced by the Touch Gold mare Dream Affair, Flipcup's career mark now reads 19-7-4-5, $533,266.

(Four Footed Fotos)