Team Block's Embarrassing drew clear of a field of six fillies and mares on Saturday at Arlington International Racecourse, winning the the Mike Spellman Memorial Handicap to give trainer Chris Block the all-time stakes win record at the Chicago course.
Breaking from post 2, jockey Jose Lopez guided Embarrassing to the rail and sat behind the early leaders who went a quarter in :24.50 and a half mile in :48.93. After six furlongs in 1:13.78, Embarrassing made her move turning for home and swept by leader and race favorite, Kool Kate. Embarrassing covered the 1 1/16th miles in 1:46.33 over a yielding Arlington turf course.
“She's always been a really talented filly,” Block said after Embarrassing's victory. “She needed those first two races off of that layoff, but once she gets going she's a really nice filly. She's starting to figure things out and I think she can progress much more from this win.”
After sitting on 44 stakes wins for over a year, Block has finally broken through and scored the milestone victory of 45. The previous record was held by long time Arlington legend, Harry Trotsek, who was inducted in the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame in 1984.
“It's fantastic, and also very humbling to pass Harry Trotsek,” said Block. “I couldn't have done it without my team. I can't say thank you enough to all of my team, my owners, and especially the horses. It's pretty special to do it with a homebred as well. We breed here in Illinois and a lot of these stakes wins have come with homebreds.”
Embarrassing is a 4-year-old filly by Fort Prado and is now 4 for 10 lifetime. The Mike Spellman Memorial Handicap was only her third start of 2019, and was her first career stakes victory.
Embarrassing returned $18.40 to win, $6.00 to place, and $4.20 to show.
Rounding out the top three were #10 Kool Kate who paid $2.80 to place and $2.40 to show, and #1 Applique who paid $4.60 to show.
Correction: The article has been updated to include the correct spelling of Hall of Fame trainer Harry Trotsek.
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