ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. -- All Fired Up, who finished in the money in three of his four career starts, overcame the favorite Saturday to win the 21st running of the Arlington-WasOington Futurity for 2-year-olds at Arlington Park.
The third-place finisher, Smart N Slick, the 5-to-2 favorite at the gate, collapsed and died after crossing the finish line.
All Fired Up, a 16-1 longshot, beat the second-place finisher, Holme On Top, by a length and a half to win the $577,425 race. Coax Me Chad finished fourth.
Arlington Park spokesman Tom Rivera described Smart N Slick as 'one of the best horses in the country.'
'He collapsed at the turn at the end of the race,' Rivera said. 'He crossed the finish line and his jockey said he galloped out all right.'
Smart N Slick won the Grade 1 Sapling Stakes Aug. 13 and was the favorite in the futurity. The colt won its last three starts and was ridden by Donald Miller Jr., who guided Deputed Testamony to an upset victory in this year's Preakness Stakes.
Rivera refused to speculate on the cause of death. He said it is likely an autopsy would be performed.
A horse died of a heart attack at the end of the race at Arlington on opening day this year.
The Illinois-registered All Fired Up, ridden by Rick Evans, went off at 16 to 1 odds at post time and paid $35.20, $18.20 and $7.60. The colt was 1 lengthsahead of second-place finisher Holme On Top, who paid $6 and $3.20.
Rene's Rainbow took an early lead but faded before the halfway mark.
All Fired Up led a field of 17 entrants to take home $329,955. The dark bay and brown colt, owned by Muckler Stable, Inc., was trained by Timothy J. Muckler. Before Saturday's race, All Fired Up had earned $56,217.
All Fired Up won the Grade 3 Juvenile stakes at Ak-Sar-Ben on Aug. 13, finishing a head in front of Rene's Rainbow. He also finished second by a neck in the Joliet Stakes July 30 at Arlington Park.
All Fired Up's only out-of-the-money performance was in the Tremont Stakes at Belmont, where he was left at the gate. He is the current favorite to nail down Illinois-bred 2-year-old Colt of the Year honors.
Trainer Muckler said the colt 'had nothing but trouble' during an earlier appearance at Belmont Park. He said All Fired Up was disturbed by the crowds and 'wasn't mature enough to handle the excitement.'
His dead heat for second in the Joliet stakes earlier this year 'showed me he had what it took,' Muckler said. He was further encouraged by the colt's ability to come from behind in his victory in the Juvenile.
The Arlington-WasOington futurity is one of the world's richest races for two-year-old thoroughbreds. The Arlington race was first run in 1927, and combined in 1962 with the WasOington Park futurity.
Since 1973, the futurity has been restricted to colts, a rule that ends with this year's race.
Both All Fired Up and Coax Me Chad were supplemental entries, with a premium of $15,000 paid to get them into the race.