|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
Robert E. Sangster's La Vida Loca, in the money in her last three starts, all in stakes company, should rule the choice when she heads a field of seven sophomore distaffers in Sunday's featured $60,000-added Flawlessly Stakes over the world-famous Arlington Park grass course.
If the field remains intact in the race restricted to 3-year-old fillies, the nine-furlong turf test will have a gross value of $63,500 with a $38,100 share of that sum going to the owners of the victress.
La Vida Loca, an Irish-bred, comes into the Flawlessly following a one-race invasion of Southern California where she finished third in the Grade II San Clemente Handicap at Del Mar July 29. In that one-mile event over the lawn, La Vida Loca came from just off the pace to gain the advantage at the eighth pole but weakened in the final furlong, beaten less than two lengths for all of it.
In her start before that at Churchill Downs June 16, La Vida Loca had finished third in the Grade III Regret, beaten two and a quarter lengths by the winner. Previously, the chestnut daughter of Caerleon out of a Darshaan mare had won the $100,000 Edgewood at the Twin Spires oval May 12.
The talented and popular jockey Shane Sellers, returning from a severe knee injury which has sidelined him for the last 10 months, has been named to handle the reins on La Vida Loca. Sellers, who rode 219 winners here in 1991 while winning the local jockey championship, will be making his Arlington Park return to competition Sunday, one day after accepting his first mount since his layoff. The Louisiana-born reinsman is expected to keep his tack primarily at Arlington until Keeneland opens in the fall.
Sure to provide strong competition for La Vida Loca is James Tafel LLC's Scoop, who is coming off a courageous third-place finish behind the Eclipse Award-winning Caressing and runner-up Gal On the Go in the Grade III Singapore Plate here August 11.
In the Singapore Plate, run over the main track, Scoop closed willingly to be beaten four and a half lengths by the winner of last fall's Grade I Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Veteran jockey Marlon St. Julien has been listed in the irons on Scoop.
Named to oppose La Vida Loca and Scoop are: Nancy & Bob Bartels' Amybdancing, Randy Meier aboard; Michael Reavis' Glory Glory, Larry Sterling Jr. up; Carolyn & Harry Disko's I Can Go Go, Chris Emigh slated; Glen Hill Farm's Sheikh Away, Earlie Fires in the irons; and Regatta Stable's Twilite Tryst, Rene Douglas astride.
David P. Holloway Racing Stable, Inc.'s Bet On Sunshine, who looms a strong choice in Saturday's $100,000 Arlington Sprint, might use this weekend's test in his own bid for an Eclipse Award.
Holloway, who purchased the 9-year-old Bet On Sunshine early in his sophomore year, has now enjoyed successful campaigns from his gelding for more than six seasons.
Included among Bet On Sunshine's many successful stakes outings are trips to the winner's circle in two of the three runnings of the Arlington Sprint. The altered son of Bet Big also has taken down winning honors in the Grade III Aristides Handicap at Churchill Downs in each of the last two summers.
However, the one that has gotten away to date is a win in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Sprint. Last fall at Churchill, an 8-year-old, Bet On Sunshine was shuffled back at the break but still closed to finish third, beaten only a length for all of it.
"He didn't get a very good trip last year," said owner Holloway of the fall championship event held at the Twin Spires oval in 2000. "He had a bad start, and got a little further back than we wanted. It wasn't anybody's fault, it was just one of those things that happens in racing.
"But this coming fall in New York, we're going to have a good trip and win it," said Holloway, reinforcing his wishes with positive thinking, "and if they're not careful, we'll come back and win it again next year.
"He may be a 9-year-old," Holloway said, "but he thinks he's only four or five, and to tell you the truth, he's a better horse now than he was when he was four or five."
Holloway purchased Bet On Sunshine in the spring of his 3-year-old season on the advice of Junior Serna, who managed Allen E. Paulson's Ocala farm at the time.
"He had been sold originally to some people from California," said Holloway of Bet On Sunshine, "but they hadn't paid for him so they took the horse back. Junior told me this horse could really run. I think I paid $22,000 for him.
"I've owned other horses with other people, but when 'Sunshine' came along, it opened up another world for me," said Holloway. "He was an honest horse from the word go. He's been fun for my family, the trainer and a lot of other people."
Holloway, a native Kentuckian who has lived just outside Louisville all his life, was asked how he hooked up with Paul McGee as a trainer.
"Through a veterinarian friend of mine who practiced at Churchill Downs at the time," Holloway answered. "He was the same fellow who introduced me to Junior Serna. I asked my friend who was the best young up-and-coming trainer at Churchill Downs and he said: 'Paul McGee, to my way of thinking.' I went to see McGee about taking over the horse, and he said he would, although he wasn't too excited at first. After he saw him, however, he got excited quickly. He knew he had hit a home run."
Finally, Holloway was asked if he would be coming up to Chicago from Louisville to watch Saturday's race.
"I'll see you in the winner's circle," Holloway said, reverting to positive thinking.
Arlington Park's top three conditioners, Jerry Hollendorfer, Chris Block and Wayne Catalano respectively, will be the guests of Arlington television personality Christine Gabriel and announcer John G. Dooley in a special Trainers' Forum Sunday at Arlington.
The Trainers' Forum will be held at Noon Sunday in The Starting Gate Area of the Grandstand, and the three top horsemen will entertain questions from the audience.
Jockey Robby Albarado had a riding triple on Thursday at Arlington, winning the opener with Peter Abruzzo & George Todaro's The Lord's Tune; the fifth with Michele Boyce, Lorraine Arturi & Sam Belpedio's Fiery Diablo; and the eighth with Flying Column II's Generous Rosi.
Jockey Marlon St. Julien scored a riding double, winning the second race with Eddie Kenneally's Halo Virginia and the seventh aboard Godolphin Racing, Inc.'s Dubai Squire.
On August 25, 1984, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas saddled his first Arlington winner, Lucky Lucky Lucky, in the Arlington Oaks.
On August 25, 1985 more than 35,000 fans at Arlington Park watched Great Britain's Teleprompter win the "Miracle Million."
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