Rags Racing Stable's Sarah Sis made every pole a winning one in the Grade 3 Chicago Handicap on Saturday, crossing the wire a full length in front. A 4-year-old daughter of Sharp Humor, Sarah Sis covered seven furlongs on Arlington's polytrack, rated fast, in 1:23.16, earning her first victory since Keeneland's G2 Raven Run last fall for trainer Ingrid Mason.
“She's a ready made product, a very nice filly,” Valdivia said after the race. “I pretty much was a passenger. She was ready to go, broke out of there and just rated so kind under pressure. I felt like I was loaded. I knew when I called on her she would be tough to beat.”
“We're going to try to get a Grade I this year,” added Mason.
Sarah Sis broke sharply under Jose Valdivia Jr., but Kathballu to her outside was quick off the blocks as well. The two covered the first eighth of a mile together, and Sarah Sis appeared uncomfortable with the pressure, as she carried her head tilted awkwardly to the outside. Valdivia allowed Sarah Sis to take a half-length lead, after which the filly relaxed then through a quarter mile in :23.56 along the inside rail. Kathballu tracked that speed along Sarah Sis' flank, followed by the three-wide Tiz Lately. Sarah Sis remained composed through a half-mile in :45.92.
Entering the final turn, Seeking Treasure moved up to make a bid from third, but Sarah Sis never looked threatened and turned into the lane a half-length in front. Despite strong urging aboard Kathballu, that filly was never able to threaten, and settled for second as Sarah Sis found more in the final sixteenth of a mile to win by a length. You Bought Her finished third, and Minks Aprise just got up to be fourth.
Bred in Kentucky by Dr. Catherine Rene White, Sarah Sis sold for $10,000 at the Keeneland September sale. She returned to the sales ring to bring $20,000 at the Ocala June 2-year-old sale from current owner Joe Ragsdale. She went on to qualify for the 2015 Kentucky Oaks, and is now a four-time graded stakes winner. Ragsdale entered her in the Fasig-Tipton Fall mixed sale at the end of 2015, but the filly RNA'd for $1.2 million, and Ragsdale chose to continue racing her. The Chicago Handicap is her first win of 2016, and brings her overall record to 7-4-0 from 18 starts, with earnings of $660,000.
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