|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
Columbine Stable's Sligo Bay, an Irish-bred import who won his only start in this country in May, galloped Thursday morning at Arlington Park just before the break in a tune-up for his engagement Sunday in the Grade II American Derby, middle leg of Arlington's Mid-America Triple.
Sligo Bay went to the track under free-lance exercise rider Andy Durnin, with trainer Beau Greely looking on from the clubhouse apron.
Greely, who brought Manndar here last year to finish second in the Arlington Million, arrived in Chicago Wednesday after attending the sales at Keeneland. Sligo Bay, as well as a handful of other Greely trainees with stakes ambitions, came from California last week with Durnin, best known as the exercise rider for 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus.
Sligo Bay won the Grade III Cinema Handicap at Hollywood May 20 in his first and only start for Greely.
"I bought him as a 2-year-old at the end of last year and shipped him over here in January," said Greely. "With his breeding, (by Sadler's Wells out of a full sister to Devil's Bag) I was pointing him for these summer races here all along. This is a great turf course and a great turf program. I came to appreciate it all the more after being here last year.
"When I ran him in the Cinema, he really surprised me," said Greely of Sligo Bay. "I knew he was a class horse, but I thought he might need a race, and I was asking him to go a mile and an eighth. I wasn't worried about the distance - he'd won at a mile and a quarter as a 2-year-old - but it was his first time out in seven months.
"Turning for home, I hoping he was going to get third," Greely admitted. "But then at the sixteenth pole he just exploded. We had done some throat surgery on him this winter and it seems to have really helped."
Legendary reinsman Laffit Pincay Jr., the winningest jockey of all time and the only one to reach the 9,000-lifetime wins milestone, returns to Arlington Park this Sunday, where he won the first American race of his career on July 1, 1966.
Pincay will ride Columbine Stable's Sligo Bay for trainer Beau Greely in Sunday's $250,000 American Derby.
Despite the 35-year gap since that initial American score aboard Fred W. Hooper's Teacher's Art, the Hall of Fame rider remains at the top of his game.
Earlier this week, the 54-year-old Pincay won the riding title at Hollywood Park, garnering his 15th title at that Southern California oval with a win in the final race of the spring-summer meeting that closed Monday.
K. K. & Vilasini Jayaraman's Royal Spy, seven-length winner of the Grand Prairie Turf Challenge at Lone Star Park July 3, arrived at Arlington Tuesday accompanied by assistant trainer Tom Howard to prepare for his upcoming engagement in Sunday's 87th running of the Grade II American Derby.
The middle leg of Arlington's Mid-America Triple, the American Derby is Arlington's oldest stakes race, and will be contested at a mile and three-sixteenths over the grass. The race will also be run for an increased purse of $250,000 this year.
The Mid-America Triple concludes with the Grade I Secretariat as part of the International Festival of Racing on August 18, Arlington Million Day. The Grade II Arlington Classic, first leg of the series, was won by Gary & Mary West's Baptize, who is not an expected participant in the American Derby.
Also on the grounds at Arlington Thursday was Dr. K. K. Jayaraman, owner of Royal Spy along with his wife Vilasini. Trainer Cole Norman is due in later in the week.
Dr. Jayaraman, formerly a prominent cardiologist with a practice in central Arkansas, retired to devote himself full-time to his Thoroughbred ownership and breeding interests, now located in Ocala, Florida at Tiffany Farm. Vilasini Jayaraman is also a retired doctor who is an active participant in the operation of Tiffany Farm.
The Jayaramans will start Lady Virginia, four and a-half-lengths the best in her last start at Lone Star, in Saturday's secondary feature, the $60,000 Winning Colors Stakes.
One racing day after the largest win payoff and largest exacta of the season were recorded locally, the Arlington Park tote board lit up once again Wednesday with the highest trifecta of the season: a payoff of $21,979.40 based on a $2 wager.
The trifecta is a wager where patrons are asked to pick the first three finishers of a particular race in their correct finishing order.
Wednesday's season record payoff came when Mac Fehsenfeld's Talkingaboutmygirl, at odds of more than 17 to 1, tallied by three-quarters of a length in the third race of the day for a win payoff of $37.80.
Finishing second in the race was Conway, Henry & Miller Racing Stable, Ltd.'s Perpetual Love at more than 12 to 1. That filly was a half-length in front of Francisco Parra Garcia's Shimed at the wire, who went postward at odds of better than 60 to 1.
Gainsborough Farm's Momentous, a daughter of Summer Squall who has won her last two starts in allowance company at Churchill Downs, heads a field of eight 3-year-old fillies in Saturday's secondary feature, $60,000-added Winning Colors Stakes at one mile. The sophomore distaffer test serves as a prep for the Grade III Singapore Plate on August 11, formerly run as the Arlington Oaks.
The Grade III Delaware Oaks, another 3-year-old filly stakes that will be run at Delaware Park Saturday, will be simulcast as a "special event" between Arlington's fifth and sixth races. In addition to the Delaware Oaks special simulcast, Arlington will offer 10 live races.
Jockey Lonnie Meche registered a riding double at Arlington Wednesday, winning the opener aboard Larry F. Telle's Double Zero Seven and the fifth on Edward F. Stoll III's The Rain King. The Louisiana native has now visited the winner's circle five times from 12 mounts at the meeting.
On July 20, 1935, Belair Stud Stable's Omaha, the 1935 Triple Crown winner, made his final start in the United States, capturing the mile and a quarter Arlington Classic in 2:01 2/5 at the local oval.
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