|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
Five of the top 10 horses ranked nationally in Daily Racing Form's weekly divisional ratings among older males have been nominated to the 69th running of the Grade II Washington Park Handicap to be run at Arlington Park July 21.
In addition to that fact, three of those in the top 10 not nominated to the local fixture are currently inactive due to various physical problems.
Michael E. Pegram's Captain Steve, currently the top money earner in the nation with $4,111,200, is among the nominees to the Washington Park, to be contested for an increased purse of $400,000 over Arlington's main course at a mile and a quarter. Captain Steve won the Grade I Donn Handicap at Gulfstream in February, and followed that with a score in the Grade I Dubai World Cup at Nad Al Sheba in March.
Tracy Farmer's Albert the Great, coming off a tally in the Grade II Suburban Handicap July 1 at Belmont Park, is also a Washington Park nominee. The Nick Zito trainee had won the Grade II Brooklyn Handicap June 10 at the New York oval in his start before that.
Juddmonte Farm's Aptitude, adjudged winner of the Grade I Hollywood Gold Cup at the Southern California oval July 1, is also on the list of nominations to the Washington Park, as is another conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, the Chilean-bred Lido Palace, owned by Amerman Racing LLC. Lido Palace was second behind Albert the Great last time.
Morton Fink's Guided Tour, the fifth Washington Park possibility among Daily Racing Form's top 10, won the Grade II Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs on June 16.
The list of 19 nominations to this year's Washington Park Handicap was released Thursday afternoon. Included among it's past winners are such legendary names as Calumet Farm's Armed, a two time winner in 1946-47; Tartan Farm's Dr. Fager in 1967; Hawksworth Farm's Spectacular Bid in 1980; and Jeffrey Sullivan's Black Tie Affair in 1991.
In an effort to assist Arlington Park customers in wagering, a number of changes will be seen at the track starting Friday, July 13.
A "Wagering Information Center" gazebo, staffed with a wagering host on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, will be located in the Park area between the Band and Million tents.
New signage will be placed at the mutuel kiosks located in the Park area and near the Marquee Tents, as well as in the Million Tent, that explain "How to Make a Bet." Also, more information on how to make a bet, odds payoffs and exotic wagering combinations will appear in the Daily Racing Guide.
In addition, minimum wagering and newcomer wagering windows will be added on the Apron level and in the Park.
The success of last Sunday's "Make Room for Rob Komosa Day" campaign at Arlington Park drew an appreciative letter from the entire Komosa family.
The former Palatine High School football player is a quadriplegic as a result of an injury suffered during practice two years ago.
"What is so difficult to explain is how a person gets to be so encouraged and supported by hundreds of people," Komosa said during an electric interview with Arlington television personality Christine Gabriel last Sunday.
Further donations to the "Make Room for Rob" Trust may be made, with attention to Mark Schalke, at Harris Bank Palatine, 50 N. Brockway St., Palatine, IL 60067.
Arlington's defending rider champion Mark Guidry, also currently the leading rider at Arlington, will be out of town Saturday to ride in the "Summit of Speed" at Calder Race Course in Miami, Florida. Guidry will ride Nelson Bunker Hunt's Hattiesburg in the Grade III Azalea Breeders' Cup Stakes, which offers a purse of $250,000. Hattiesburg won the Ribbon Stakes at Arlington earlier this season. Guidry also has the mount on WinStar Farm LLC's One by the Knows in the $250,000 Carry Back Stakes, and Ed Wachtel's Wired to Fly in the Grade III Princess Rooney Handicap, that offers a purse of $400,000.
Jockey Frankie Lovato Jr., who enjoyed success at Churchill Downs Sunday aboard Tom R. Durant's Lunar Bounty in the 100th running of the Grade II Bashford Manor for trainer Ronny Werner, will team with that conditioner once again at Calder during their "Summit of Speed" on Saturday. Lovato will ride Durant's Wild Ego in the $30,000 Wild Man Stakes, as well as that owner's Wild Hits in the $100,000 Calder Turf Sprint Handicap. Also on Saturday at Calder, Lovato has mounts on Buckram Oak Farm's Ousstoura in the Azalea Breeders' Cup; aboard Tarek, also for that owner in the Carry Back; and astride Assmar, also for Buckram Oak, in an allowance race. Lovato will also ride Brenda Jones' She's Like Rio in the $30,000 Lucky Lavender Girl Handicap.
On Saturday at Arlington Park, in addition to nine live races, a simulcast of the $200,000 Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs will be offered as part of the local program at 4:40 p.m., between Arlington's eighth and ninth races.
Keary Sibille has picked up the book for jockey Carlos Silva effective immediately. Sibille, who also handles engagements for Tommy Molina, is the son of veteran rider Ray Sibille. Silva split amicably with Scott Hare after a working relationship of a year and a half. Hare continues to represent jockey Jesse Campbell.
Kudos are in order for the two "ASPIRE Star" Award Winners for June, 2001, who were recognized for their outstanding performances which exemplify their commitment to the principles of ASPIRE that make Arlington Park a unique experience.
On July 15, 1987, 14 years ago, Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg made racing history at Arlington Park by becoming the first thoroughbred trainer to win 5,000 races. The milestone victory came with Art's Chandelle.
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