|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
Inaugurated last year as a stakes race, the $75,000 Top Flight Stakes was designed for 2-year-old fillies as the final local prep for the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie, the showcase event for juvenile distaffers to be run later in the fall.
The upcoming renewal of the Top Flight, to be contested next Saturday, has attracted 16 nominations, whose connections can still dream of having a filly as good as the race's namesake.
Top Flight, a foal of 1929, won the third running of the Arlington-Washington Lassie in 1931, and used that victory as a springboard to national championship honors later that season. Owned by C. V. Whitney, she won seven stakes in a row during the season and retired the following year with 12 wins from 16 starts. As a 3-year-old, Top Flight returned to the local oval to win the Arlington Oaks on her way to a divisional championship once again. She was elected to the National Museum and Racing Hall of Fame at Saratoga in 1966.
WinStar Farm LLC's Honest Deceiver, with two wins from two starts in her brief career, would appear to be the strongest threat in the upcoming second running of the Top Flight. Trained by Elliott Walden, the daughter of Is It True broke her maiden at first asking July 29 and reinforced that promise with a three and a quarter length tally in the $60,000 Eliza Stakes on August 12.
However, also among the undefeated nominees to the Top Flight is Helen T. Andrews' Desert Sage, a daughter of Salt Lake who was bred by Calumet Farm but made her initial trip to the winner's circle at Thistledown June 22. The bay youngster then invaded Arlington July 25, and led every step of the way once again, this time over muddy going, to tally by two and a quarter in allowance company.
Another undefeated Top Flight nominee is Stronach Stables, Inc.'s Jade Eyed, a Canadian campaigner bred in Williston, Florida as an Adena Springs homebred. The Friendly Lover filly most recently captured the $125,000 Nandi Stakes at Woodbine.
Northwest Farms' Strong Credentials, also two-for-two in her career, is a Top Flight nominee who has scored twice at Emerald Downs in Washington, winning the $35,000 Angie C. Stakes at that Northwestern oval July 8.
An undefeated Top Flight nominee with a single career start is Dr. & Mrs. Smiser West & Mr. & Mrs. Mackenzie Miller's Don't Ruffle Me, who drew off for a 12½-length score here on August 4 when in for a $50,000 tag.
Two other nominees perfect from a single start are Select Stable's Take Charge Lady, who won by four and a quarter going four and a half at Keeneland in April; and Ron & Ricki Rashinski's Vicki Vallencourt, who won by 11¾ lengths here August 22 for a $50,000 tag.
Named for an equine star of the 1950s who won 19 times from 85 career starts, the Sea O'Erin returns to the Arlington Park stakes schedule on Labor Day after a five-year hiatus.
The $100,000-added Sea O'Erin Breeders' Cup Mile will be run over the world-famous Arlington Park turf course as the final added money event of Arlington's Summer Festival of Racing, and has attracted 28 nominations for its 14th running.
Pam Slaughter & Jack Murphy's Jake the Flake, a winner of his last four in a row, is prominent among this year's Sea O'Erin nominations. In his last trip to the post on August 11 at Mountaineer, Jake the Flake won the $55,000 West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker's Cup by one length following a pair of Arlington Park scores.
Jacks or Better Farm's Monsieur Cat, who was being pointed for the Grade I Secretariat here but settled for a neck tally in the $60,000 Awad Stakes August 10, is another Sea O'Erin nominee and one who has been improving rapidly in recent starts.
Richard L. Duchossois' Apt to Be, second by a neck in the Grade III Hanshin; and Stewart M. Madison & Pete Gaffney's Ask the Lord, a winner of his last three straight, are other standouts among the Sea O'Erin nominees.
Mike Langford's Fan the Flame, winner of the Grade III Round Table at Arlington in 2000; Arthur I. Appleton's Galic Boy, winner of the $60,000 John Henry here August 17; Louie J. Roussel III's Intern, another horse coming off three straight trips to the winner's circle; and Richard Englander's Orleans Road, second by a nose in the John Henry; are also nominees to the September 3 featured stakes.
Again this year, the Labor Day Monday will also be a celebration of "America's Day at the Races," and among the attractions this year will be a "National Pick 4" of stakes races, which will include Arlington's Sea O'Erin Breeders' Cup Mile.
The Pick 4 is a wager where fans are asked to select the winners in each of four races for a substantial payoff based on a $1 wager.
The Sea O'Erin Breeders' Cup Mile, with a 4:05 p.m. Central Time post time, will be inaugural leg of the America's Day at the Races Pick 4. Slated 10 minutes later from River Downs in Cincinnati, Ohio will be the Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes.
The third leg of the nationwide Pick 4 will be the Diana Handicap from Saratoga in upstate New York at 4:25 p.m. Central Time, and the concluding fourth race of the wager will be the Miami Breeders' Cup Mile from Calder Race Course in North Miami, Florida, at 4:25 p.m. Central Time.
American Quarter Horses head to Arlington Park once again on Sunday for the Windy City Dash.
Chicks Call Me, a 4-year-old gelding with earnings of more than $600,000, heads a field of seven in the $25,000 Windy City Dash.
Chicks Call Me, winner of the Grade I Remington Park Futurity, and second in the Grade I All American Futurity two years ago, will be ridden by jockey G. R. Carter Jr.
Strong competition for Chicks Call Me could come from Casa De Royalty, who won the Queen City Dash at River Downs on August 12 and is the currently leader in the Mid-America Championship Series.
Jockey Randy Meier recorded a riding triple Friday at Arlington Park, winning the opener on Peter Abruzzo & Jerry Hollendorfer's Rasin'ty, the sixth on Louie J. Roussell III's Bold Diva, and the seventh aboard Panic Stable LLC's Houston Slue.
Jockey Robby Albarado had a riding double on the same program, capturing the fourth on Thomas R. Durant's Brazos Shuttle, and the ninth astride Frank C. Calabrese's Big Dividend.
Jockey Zoe Cadman rides at Prairie Meadows Saturday night astride My Jo Lee Stable II's Curious Conundrum in the $75,000 Prairie Meadows Oaks.
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