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updated: 8/12/2017 7:43 PM

Oscar Performance stars in winning role

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  • John Starks/jstarks@dailyherald.comJockey Jorge A. Vargas, Jr. reacts as he wins the American St. Leger on Postulation at the Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights Saturday.

      John Starks/jstarks@dailyherald.comJockey Jorge A. Vargas, Jr. reacts as he wins the American St. Leger on Postulation at the Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights Saturday.

 
 

It certainly was a thumbs-up effort by Oscar Performance when he cruised home to a 2¼-length victory as the 3-2 favorite in Saturday's $400,000 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park.

In fact, the entire career of the 3-year-old's career has been drawing rave reviews.

The daughter of Devine Actress won for the sixth time in nine starts as jockey Jose Ortiz patiently sat second all the way around in the 1¼-mile turf test.

The New York-based Ortiz and Oscar Performance then cruised by the pace-setting Sonic Boom in the final furlong to go 3-for-3 in Grade I races. It was his second straight Grade I victory going the distance of 1¼ miles.

"With his pedigree, being out of Theatrical, you would hope as he matured he would settle into a nice route horse," said trainer Brian Lynch, a New York-based trainer who has won six Grade I races. "I don't think the race could have worked out any better. It was textbook."

It was the 27th Grade I triumph for owner and breeder John Amerman, who once headed up the Mattel Corporation.

Amerman named the horse due to his pedigree.

"No. 1, it's wonderful to be able to name the horses," he said. "No. 2, we had a dam by name of Devine Actress. She was very, very talented. People have even told we could have beat Zenyatta. But she got hurt. And Devine Actress was by Theatrical. So then you say, 'Whoa, my goodness, that's an Oscar.' "

And the Kentucky-bred Oscar Performance has sure lived up his name. Amerman throws much of the credit to his trainer.

"He is a great trainer," Amerman said. "I'm proud of him and our jockey. Jose just has the ability to know when to run a horse, and they respond to him. It's like he pushes the button and Oscar goes. And he is such a nice man."

Permian, the second favorite in the race who finished last, took a bad step right near the finish and jockey William Buick was thrown from the horse.

Arlington Park Twitter reported that Buick was sitting up, talking and moving. He was transported for evaluation and reportedly in good spirits. Permian was humanely euthanized.

American St. Leger:

• Kentucky-bred Postulation, trained by Edward Graham and going off at odds of 5-1, scored a 2¼-length victory in the $250,000 American St. Leger Stakes. The 5-year-old, who ran his last two races at Delaware Park, finished ahead of Taghleeb and favored Keystoneforvictory.

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