Third Chance, the fast 4-year-old filly owned by ABC-7 Chicago news anchorman Ron Magers, Bob Marcocchio and others, began her career with an appetizing six-length win at Arlington 25 months ago.
On Saturday, she wrapped up her gifted history at the local oval with a victory by almost seven lengths, and that led to the ice cream celebration that had been publicly promised to the racing fans on hand by the acknowledged dean of Chicago newscasters.
“Third Chance has to win the race (Arlington’s $66,400 Addison Commack Stakes) for me to buy the fans on hand tomorrow free ice cream,” said Magers on Friday’s radio show, “but with tomorrow’s weather forecast expected to be around 55 degrees, it may not cost me too much. She will be going against the boys for the first time in her career, so we’re asking all the fans to give her a little ‘Girl Power.’ If they wish for that for her, our filly should be able to win the race – but in racing, you never know.”
Magers proved correct about Third Chance being able to win the race. The Illinois-bred daughter of Kafwain galloped home with a 6 3/4-length win. He was also right about the suddenly chilly temperatures in Chicagoland. However, he was wrong about only a few people showing up to collect on the free ice cream. Approximately 500 Arlington fans showed up to collect, and they all received their, ah, just desserts.
“That was all right with me,” said Magers. “I had a lot of fun with the whole promotion and I wanted to thank all the fans at Arlington for the support they’ve given us over the last couple of years. Third Chance finished her Arlington career with seven wins from nine starts and she finished in the money in the other two.”
Shortly after entry time for the Addison Cammack last Wednesday, Third Chance’s trainer Jimmy DiVito was asked about running his filly against male rivals.
“There really weren’t a lot of other options for her,” DiVito said. “The filly division of the stakes didn’t fill. But I think she fits here. I think we’ll be in good shape.”
Had DiVito ever run a filly against male rivals before?
“One other time, I think,” said DiVito. “I did it with Ann of the Dance last year in her race before the (Grade III) Arlington-Washington Lassie. She won.
“Wait a minute, now that I think about it, I did it one other time with Allaboutimage last year as well,” said DiVito. “She ‘dead-heated’ for the win in her race so on Saturday I’ll be trying to make it three-for-three.”
Third Chance, who will race once more before going to the breeding shed next spring to be bred to City Zip, also proved the old adage “the third time is the charm” for Magers. She is out of Magers’ broodmare Temporada. The first one, Stormy Afternoon, broke down early in his sophomore season. The second foal, named Azevedo (Magers’ mother’s maiden name), was killed in a barn fire.
Temporada, incidentally, is out of Magers’ mare Lemhi Go, who won the 1992 Arlington Matron.
TORRES WINS FOUR SATURDAY; LEADS JOCKEY STANDINGS BY TEN WINS
Chicago-raised jockey Francisco Torres, 43, in pursuit of his first riding title at his hometown oval, won four races Saturday at Arlington to lead the jockey standings by 10 wins going into the final week of the local season that brings down the curtain September 30.
Topping the list of Torres’ win quartet was his victory aboard Ron Magers and Bob Marcocchio et al.’s Third Chance in Saturday’s $66,400 Addison Cammack Stakes, but the Mexican-born rider also swept Saturday’s Daily Double with Knollwood Stables’ Hughes the Daddy and Robert Heckmann’s Mr. Schnitzel and concluded his four-bagger with Ashby Thoroughbreds’ Chalice in Saturday’s sixth race.