Devil By Design wins Chicago Handicap
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Doug Clark/Four Footed Photos Devil By Design makes her way to the finish line in the Grade III Chicago Handicap at Arlington Park on Sunday. She was the race by 1¾ lengths.
Perhaps the 5-year-old mare Devil By Design was just trying to upstage one of her co-owners on Sunday afternoon at Arlington Park.
Rising early at 5 a.m., Tanya Gunther hit the shores of Lake Michigan near Navy Pier to run 6½ miles.
Gunther then was at Arlington Park in the afternoon to watch her thoroughbred compete in the $100,000 Grade III Chicago Handicap.
Like Gunther, who has competed in two Kentucky half-marathons already this year, Devil By Design showed she had some stamina, too.
The daughter of Medaglia d'Oro made a sharp three-wide move nearing the final quarter mile of the 7-furlong Polytrack event.
Under the confident handling of jockey Corey Nakatani, Devil By Design swept past Dr. Zic (3-1) and Tidal Pool (8-5) approaching the eighth pole to win by 1¾ lengths over the fast-closing La Rocca with jockey Seth Martinez.
Sent off as the third betting choice ($10.60 to win) in the field of eight, Devil By Design won her fifth race in seven tries at the distance.
Her sixth win in 14 starts was worth $58,200 and increased her bankroll to $259,874.
"This is exciting," said Gunther, a Canadian native making only her second visit to Arlington Park. "I was here about 20 years ago with my father."
Her father John Gunther, who purchased Glennwood Farm in Versailles, Ky., in 1991, and England Hedge Fund Manager Tony Chedraoui, also own Devil By Design, who Tanya foaled and raised at Glennwood.
The mare had been off since November of last season.
Said Gunther: "She had a tough campaign (fourth in the Grade I Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga). It was a little bit of fatigue and the high-pressure environment of being in a race track stall. We just put her on the farm for a while, letting her gain some weight and be happy.
"Kenny (McCarthy, a 16-year assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott) did a great job getting her fit and back to the track."
"As well as she performed (Sunday) on the Polytrack, there's a lot of races out there for her now," McCarthy said. "We can look around. Going back to Saratoga for the Ballerina could be a logical spot."
Tanya Gunther, who now lives in Versailles, said she really enjoyed her stay in Chicago, where she got her wish of a graded stakes win for her mare.
Chicago was her kind of town and the Chicago Handicap was Devil By Design's kind of race.
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