|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
Talk about a long day. Arlington Park newcomer Ronny Werner went out of town to win the $250,000 Iowa Derby Friday night by seven and a half lengths with Tom R. Durant's Touch Tone, but was back at his Arlington Park barn during training hours Saturday morning to accept congratulations on the Iowa event.
"We drove back after the race," said Werner, whose wife Cindy accompanied him on the trip and shared the driving chores on the way home. "We got in about 3:30 in the morning."
What time did Werner get to the Arlington barn Saturday?
"Actually, I cheated and slept in a little bit," Werner said. "I didn't get to the barn until about 7 o'clock this morning."
During his absence Friday, there was another promising outing by the Werner barn here at Arlington Park, when the 2-year-old first time starter Thunder Days, also owned by Durant, finished a close second in the lone juvenile race of the day.
"I thought that colt did good," said Werner of the young and inexperienced son of Thunder Gulch, "and (leading rider Mark) Guidry did a good job riding him. He didn't ask the colt, he told him what he wanted him to do. He's the man that put that horse where he finished."
Werner, of course, was also pleased with the winning effort by Touch Tone in the Iowa Derby and expanded when asked of his assessment of that 3-year-old son of Pick Up the Phone.
"He is so intelligent," Werner said. "He has done everything I've asked of him, and he does everything so relaxed, that I'll keep stepping him up. As long as he keeps stepping up to the plate, I'll keep stepping him up.
"What's next? I really haven't thought about it," said Werner. "I'll see how he comes out of the Iowa Derby over the next few days, and then I'll start looking around to see what's out there for him. But I would think it will be a graded stakes race."
After breaking Touch Tone's maiden at Keeneland, Werner saddled the sophomore to win the Alysheba Breeders' Cup at Lone Star in his next start. After that, the colt was third in Belmont's Riva Ridge.
Werner, a Texas native who has used Lone Star Park as his base of operations until this summer, is happy about his decision to try the Arlington circuit.
"I love it here, I really do," said Werner. "This is a super area to live in, and most racetracks can't boast of a surrounding area like this one. My wife came here with me and we're really enjoying ourselves. However, we had to leave our kids home in Grand Prairie, because we didn't want to be moving them around while they're still in school."
Local trainer David Hinsley's shedrow won "Barn of the Month" for June, and will be recognized for that achievement during winner's circle ceremonies July 12.
Other local horsemen swept the rest of June's honors, and were presented with their awards during Friday's twilight racing program.
Conditioner Chris Block won Arlington's Trainer of the Month for June, and was recognized after Friday's fifth race.
"All my owners shoot for this meeting," said Block. "We try to have our horses ready for this meeting, but all the rest of it is up to the horses. So far, they've responded well."
Jockey Mark Guidry, Arlington's defending rider champion and the leading rider so far this year, was honored following Friday's seventh race.
"We're going to try to keep it going," said Guidry. "We can't linger on yesterday. We're trying to win today." (Guidry promptly went out and won the eighth race aboard Peter Abruzzo & George Todaro's Anstar.)
Owner Frank C. Calabrese accepted Owner of the Month Award for June after the ninth race and almost won that race, finishing second with Incitatus to the victorious Orleans Road, owned by Laurie and Jack Wolf.
"It would have been nice to have won this race," said Calabrese after accepting his award. "That would have given me nine wins for the meeting this year." (Like Guidry, Calabrese is defending his championship of last season.)
Jerry Hollendorfer & Marta Racing Ventures' Trickey Trevor, always well placed, took command in the lane and held sway late for a three-quarter-length tally in Friday's sixth race restricted to maiden 2-year-olds at five furlongs.
Like nine of the 11 other juveniles in the race that went postward after a late scratch at the gate, Trickey Trevor was making the first start of his career.
"We bought him in Florida through Dan Kenny," said Hollendorfer of the son of Demaloot Demashoot out of a Silver Deputy mare. "He'd been working good so we were hopeful that he would run well."
Asked about future plans for the chestnut, Hollendorfer was cautious, but nevertheless mildly optimistic.
"Everybody likes to think big, especially when they win their first time out like that," said Hollendorfer. "So we'll keep hoping for good things until he proves otherwise.
"We'll see what races are available between Kentucky and here and then make a decision," Hollendorfer said.
The trophy presentation for Saturday's Grade III Hanshin Cup will be made by Takeki Yamazaki, a director of the Japan Racing Association, and Dr. Hiroaki Tanabe, general manager of the New York office of the Japan Racing Association.
Saturday's ninth race will offer quinella wagering, although that exotic wager is not indicated in the racing program.
Jockey Frank Lovato Jr. is at Woodbine Race Course Saturday to ride Epona Farm's Badouizm for trainer Richard Lundy in the Grade III Dance Smartly Handicap. The Dance Smartly is a significant stepping stone to the Grade I Beverly D. to be contested at Arlington August 18.
Owner Joel Stable, trainer Tommy Tomillo, and jockey Shane Laviolette combined for a back-to-back double on Friday's racing program, scoring with Dr Willie Carson in the fourth and coming right back with Wig in the fifth.
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer also scored a double, winning the sixth with Trickey Trevor, and the eighth with Anstar.
Jockey Rene Douglas swept Friday's two turf races, winning the seventh with Pam Slaughter & Jack Murphy, Ent.'s Jake the Flake, and the ninth with Orleans Road.
On July 8, 1980, 21 years ago, trainer Moises Yanez saddled his first Arlington Park winner, S. Davila's Mountain Near in the second race of the day.
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