|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
Barry Golden's Where's Taylor, a courageous third in the Grade III Arlington Handicap last year despite lack of running room, suffered a double dose of poor racing luck at Churchill Downs on the Fourth of July.
Where's Taylor made the pace in Churchill's Grade II Firecracker Breeders' Cup Handicap but then failed to withstand the topweighted Irish Prize at the wire.
Then, adding insult to injury, Where's Taylor, who is trained by Arlington-based conditioner Mike Stidham, was disqualified from second and placed third by the stewards following an objection.
"Watching the race, I didn't even know anything had happened," said Stidham assistant Hilary Pridham, who accompanied Where's Taylor to Louisville from Chicago. Stidham went to Lone Star Park to saddle another horse on the America's Birthday holiday. "Robby (jockey Albarado) said he didn't know anything had happened, either.
"Later, looking at the head-on shot," Pridham said, "I could see where we came out a little bit, but it seemed to me that the winner came in as well to make things tight for the third horse." (Jockey Calvin Borel, aboard Aly's Alley, the third horse under the wire, objected against each of the first two finishers.)
More of local interest, however, is whether or not Where's Taylor might make a return in the $250,000 Arlington Handicap on July 28 as part of this year's Million Day Preview program. The 5-year-old son of Absent Russian was beaten less than two lengths for all the money last summer in the mile and a quarter event despite suffering from tight quarters in the lane.
"It's not out of the question," said Pridham of the 2001 Arlington Handicap, "but it might be unlikely. It seems to me that whenever we ask him to go more than a mile and a sixteenth he gets caught, but I won't be the one that has to make the final decision."
Thomas Orr's Tub Tosser and Dee Davenport's Spectacular Cat, less than a length apart when first and third respectively in Arlington's $50,000 Joe Marovich Stakes on June 17, face each other again and six additional rivals in Sunday's featured attraction, the $50,000 Alydar Stakes for 3-year-olds at one mile.
In the Joe Marovich, contested at seven furlongs, both Tub Tosser and Spectacular Cat came from far back, but the winner moved into contention at the eighth pole while the third-place finisher improved his position only in the final furlong.
Tub Tosser, an Arkansas-bred son of Proper Reality, won the restricted Rainbow Stakes at Oaklawn March 31, and was then fifth in the $50,000 Northern Spur at the Spa on April 13 during the Racing Festival of the South.
Spectacular Cat won the $75,000 Spectacular Bid here last Labor Day weekend, but then was a disappointing fourth in the Grade II Arlington-Washington Futurity.
Both colts will share the top impost of 120 pounds, with Eddie Martin Jr. getting the riding assignment on Tub Tosser and Tim Doocy handling the reins aboard Spectacular Cat.
Sure to provide strong competition for the top two is Dan White & Pepper Tree Farms' One Special Judge, also in with 120 pounds. The Judge T. C. colt finished in front of Spectacular Cat when fourth in Oaklawn's Northern Spur, but was then never a serious threat when fourth in the $50,000 Prairie Mile at Prairie Meadows. Rene Douglas is slated in the tack.
Completing the field are: Arthur Vogel's Storm Mist, 116, Mark Guidry aboard; Virginia Tarra Trust's Sky Tower, 118, Ray Sibille up; Dandy Dan Farm, Inc.'s Sterna, 116, Earlie Fires riding; Nancy & R. Kaster & Nancy & D. Propson's Copper Country, 116, Zoe Cadman astride; and B. Wayne Hughes' Discreet Hero, Shane Laviolette at the controls.
Charlie Swain, the former jockey and nationally known racing official who died Sunday at 81 in Hot Springs, Arkansas, made his mark in Arlington Park history by winning the 1951 Modesty aboard champion Sickle's Image.
The Grade III Modesty, now the final local prep for the Grade I Beverly D., will be contested July 28 this year as part of Million Day Preview.
Prior to the Modesty, Mr. Swain's most active year at Arlington Park came in 1948, when he rode 11 winners at Chicago's premier oval.
PGA golfer Glen Day, who shot an opening round 71, five strokes behind tournament leader Mark Wiebe Thursday at the Advil Western Open, will be among the visitors at Arlington Park Friday.
Day teed off earlier in the day at 7:42 a.m. at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club, and was bringing both his and Jeff Maggert's caddy along for a day at the races.
The $1,000 Don MacBeth Memorial Dash, a 70-yard foot race for Arlington Park jockeys that will be contested over "terra firma" without the benefit of horses, has been carded between Saturday's sixth and seventh races. The exhibition race, which will not offer wagering, is part of "Jockeys Across America Day" festivities at the local oval, which will also include jockeys autographing posters as part of the charity benefit for injured riders and their families.
Jockey Randy Meier will remain at Prairie Meadows Friday night to ride Surpa for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer in the $250,000 Iowa Derby and Please Sign In for trainer Eugene Brajczewski in the $125,000 Iowa Distaff Stakes. Thursday at the Iowa oval, Meier finished fifth aboard the Brajczewski-trained Curious Conundrum in the $150,000 Iowa Oaks. Two other Chicago-based horses competed in that event - Dancin Emi, who finished fourth, and Kerry Blue, who ran sixth. The Iowa Oaks was won by Unbridled Elaine with Pat Day astride.
Headlining the list of doubles recorded Thursday at Arlington Park was one posted by local horseman Wayne Catalano, with last year's Arlington jockey champion Mark Guidry in the irons. The Catalano-Guidry team registered with Frank C. Calabrese's Pacific Palisades in the fourth race, and came right back to the winner's circle with Calabrese's What a Fox in the fifth.
Local horseman Frank R. (Bobby) Springer saddled the victor in the seventh race, posing in the winner's circle with Russell L. Reineman Stable, Inc.'s Distorted Power, and returned following the tenth with Reineman's Special Home. Both races were on the grass.
Jockey Shane Laviolette rode two winners, capturing the second race with J. Patrick McNamara's Savannah Hanna, and coming back aboard Distorted Power.
Jockey Rene Douglas recorded a "bookend" riding double, winning the opener on Terry Bruner & Mary & Bob Swanson's What's Up Dog, and repeating in the finale on Special Home.
On July 7, 1934, 67 years ago, Mary Hirsch became the first female to be licensed as a trainer, and it was in Illinois. Hirsch was subsequently licensed in Michigan later that year and was licensed by The Jockey Club to train in New York two years after that.
On July 7, 1948, 53 years ago, jockey Tony Skoronski won five races at Arlington Park.
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