Jockey Kent Desormeaux riding Dynaforce wins The Beverly D. race at Arlington Park on Saturday August 8th.
George LeClaire | Staff Photographer
It was 1989 when John Chandler watched his mare Aleeta Maria win an Arlington Park allowance turf race.
Little did he know 20 years later he would be watching that mare's daughter win a Grade I race on the same turf course.
As Dynaforce came charging down the stretch to claim the $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes on Saturday before a crowd of 28,141, Chandler couldn't have had a prouder moment in the sport he's loved since he bought his first horse in South Africa in 1959.
"This is what you live for," said the 68-year-old Chandler, who was born in South Africa. "Everything thing you breed, you hope is going to be a Grade I winner. You've got to be optimistic."
Not everyone in the crowd was all that optimistic that Dynaforce would prevail in the talented field of eight.
The son of Dynaformer was sent off as the fifth betting choice at 7-1.
Favored Pure Clan (3-2) placed third behind runner-up Alnadana (8-1), an Irish bred who last raced in France.
"When the turf came up soft and I didn't see a lot of horses closing, I was more confident about our chances," said Chandler, whose 6-year-old mare has won 5 of 15 career starts for $441,000.
Dynaforce sat second all the way around for the 1 3/16th miles turf event.
Tizaqueena, a 20-1 longshot from the Michael Stidham barn, set all the fractions, including a 50.3 half.
When push came to shove, Dynaforce had plenty in reserve to pass the front-runner and hold off late bids of Alnadana and Pure Clan, who rallied five wide.
Dynaforce, who is by the same sire (Dynaformer) as the late Kentucky Derby hero Barbaro, was ridden by Kent Desormeaux, who rode Take The Points to a similar-style victory just one race in earlier in the Beverly D.
"It was déjà vu," Desormeaux said. "Everything I said about that race went exactly the same in this one. It was a nice, easy pace to the half and then we let her stretch it out in an attempt to take the foreign turn of foot away from them down the lane."
Jockey Christophe Soumillon, who guided Alnadana, said being on the lead would have been a better option for his filly.
"But the other horse (Tizaqueena) went to the lead quite fast and got to the fence, so I had to wait and make it up the last 300 meters. I had no excuses. She gave quite a good performance."
Jockey E.T. Baird said Tizaqueena ran a great race for owners Michael Porcaro of Palatine and Ted and Jean Barlas of Chicago.
"We got pretty nice fractions for the first part and turning for home, she kicked it in," he said. "She had a hard race. That's a tough bunch of fillies. I think she gave it her all."