Rahystrada gets another Arlington Handicap

The Sports NetworkJuly 13, 2013 

Defending winner Rahystrada made it two straight and three out of four in the Arlington Handicap with Saturday's victory in the $200,000 grass race at Arlington Park.

Trained by Byron Hughes and ridden by Rosie Napravnik, Rahystrada captured the 1 1/4-mile turf event after pressing the pace being set by Beer Garden. Sent off at 3-1, the 9-year-old gelding held off 2-1 favorite Dullahan down the stretch to post a half-length win over the late running 29-1 longshot Temeraine.

Dullahan finished third followed by Najjaar, Keep Up, Coalport and Beer Garden. Suntracer was scratched.

The time for the Arlington Handicap was 2:01.66 over a firm turf course.

"We're as amazed as anybody," said Hughes. "He keeps telling us he wants to go, so we go. Great ride by Rosie. She had it all in hand. It was great."

Rahystrada won last year's Arlington Handicap by a neck over Boisterous who earlier Saturday captured Belmont Park's Man o'War Stakes. The 9-year-old chestnut gelding also won the race in 2010.

Owned by Robert E. Courtney Jr., Rahystrada adds $117,600 to his bankroll which now stands at $1,371,750 with 14 wins in 44 starts.

Rahystrada was coming off a fourth in the Monmouth Stakes on June 9. He began the year at Churchill Downs with a second-place finish in an optional claiming race behind Big Blue Kitten, last week's United Nations Handicap champ.

Next up for the veteran racehorse will be next month's Arlington Million, a race he dead heated for show in 2012. He also finished fourth in 2010 and fifth in 2011's Million.

Rahystrada paid $8.80, $4.20 and $3.20. Temeraine returned $19.60 and $8.00, and Dullahan paid $3.40 to show.

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