Nancy Vanier and Cartwright Thoroughbreds IV's Love Handles rallied from the back of the pack at the top of the stretch to run down even money choice Jennie R. in the waning yards to win the $100,000 Ada L. Rice Illinois Owners Stakes by a half-length on Saturday at Arlington Park.
Diego Sanchez rode the Brian Williamson-trained daughter of Sahm, who covered the mile and a sixteenth over firm turf in a meet-best 1:41.32, just off the track record of 1:41 set by Zeeruler in 1992.
"The filly ran great," said Sanchez. "All the time I had confidence in her. She relaxed and was comfortable all the way around there and in the last furlong, she finished strong."
"The race set up real well for us," said Williamson. "I was glad to see Honour Colony and Jennie R. out there on the lead."
Honour Colony had the early advantage, leading Jennie R. through quick fractions of 23.20 seconds for the opening quarter, 47.02 second for the half mile and 1:10.89 for three-quarters mile.
Jennie R. took the lead at the top of the lane and got the mile split in 1:35.11 before being overtaken late by the winner.
"She relaxed real nice for me," said E. T. Baird, who rode the beaten favorite. "She saw the other filly coming late and she fought back as best she could."
It was another three lengths back to Honour Colony, who ran third in the five-horse field. Rich in Spirit and Lady Lionel completed the order of finish.
The Ada L. Rice was the first stakes win Love Handles, an Illinois-bred 4-year-old homebred filly. She earned $60,000 to push her bankroll to $172,980 while bettering her overall record to four wins from 17 starts.
Sent off at odds of nearly 7-1, Love Handles paid $15.80, $5.40 and $2.80. Jennie R. returned $2.60 and $2.20. Honour Colony paid $2.80.