|Arlington Park Stakes advance
Contact: David Zenner (847) 385-7535
GUIDED TOUR FAVORED IN $400,000 WASHINGTON PARK HANDICAP
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 19, 2001) -- Morton Fink's Guided Tour, upset winner of the $831,000 Stephen Foster Handicap in his last start, will likely be a heavy favorite when he faces four foes in the $400,000 Washington Park Handicap Saturday at Arlington Park.
The Washington Park Handicap, a Grade II race for 3-year-olds and upward, received a $150,000 purse hike for its 2001 renewal and has been increased in length to America's classic distance of a mile and a quarter. Since its 1926 inaugural, the Washington Park has been an important stop for top handicap horses and has been won by such cracks Equifox, Armed, Coaltown, Round Table, Dr. Fager, Spectacular Bid and Black Tie Affair.
A son of Hansel, Guided Tour posted a half-length upset over Grade I Dubai World Cup champion Captain Steve in the Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs June 16. In that mile and an eighth Grade II race, the 5-year-old gelding raced on the inside early before angling out four wide in the stretch to overtake that rival at the sixteenth pole for the victory.
It was the second score of the year for the Niall O'Callaghan trainee who previously captured the Grade II San Antonio Handicap at Santa Anita Park in February. In between those races, he ran fifth in the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap, finished second in the Grade III National Jockey Club Handicap at Sportsman's Park and was third in the Grade II Hawthorne Gold Cup. Assigned starting high weight of 116 pounds by racing secretary David Bailey, Guided Tour will have the services of his regular rider, Larry Melancon.
Slated to face the high weight are: Cam Allard's A Fleets Dancer, 115 pounds, Robert Landry; Richard E. Trebat's Chicago Six, 114, Rene Douglas; Michael Tabor's Duckhorn, 114, Mark Guidry; and Stronach Stables Inc.'s Milwaukee Brew, 114, Rick Wilson.
Duckhorn, fourth to Guided Tour in the Stephen Foster, beat that rival in their previous meeting when he wired the field in the $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup May 19 at the south suburban oval. Earlier this year the 4-year-old son of Not For Love won the Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Handicap at Laurel Park.
Chicago Six, Illinois champion older male last year, looks to rebound after a fifth-place run in the Hawthorne Gold Cup and a 13th-place finish in the Cardinal Handicap in his last two starts. Prior to that, the 6-year-old Wild Again horse rattled off five straight stakes scores culminating with a victory in the National Jockey Club Handicap beating both Guided Tour and Duckhorn in the process.
A Fleets Dancer invades from Canada after back-to-back tallies at Woodbine Race Course where the son of Afleet captured a $73,900 allowance race at a mile and an eighth and the Grade III Dominion Day Handicap at the Washington Park distance of a mile and a quarter. Last year, the Roger Attfield charge won three of 12 races including the $100,000 Valedictory Handicap at the suburban Toronto oval.
Though winless in three starts this year, Milwaukee Brew has earned nearly $90,000 this season by virtue of his third-place finish in the Grade III Westchester Handicap at Aqueduct, his fourth-place run in the Grade I Pimlico Special and his runner-up placing in the Grade III Baltimore Breeders' Cup Handicap at Pimlico.
Arlington Park, the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill., will run its 102-day live racing meet from June 13 through October 28, 2001. Arlington Park, which merged with Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN) in September 2000, also operates five off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities -- "Trackside" at Arlington Park (Arlington Heights) and Quad City Downs (East Moline), and in Chicago, Rockford, Waukegan. For further information on Arlington Park, visit our website at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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