|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
Trainer Mickey Goldfine has Arthur I. Appleton's Galic Boy set for a start in Monday's $100,000-added Sea O'Erin Breeders' Cup Mile, and may also send Robert Ackerman & Jeff Ackerman's Jeff's Cat to the post in Saturday's $75,000 Top Flight Stakes.
Of the two stakes events that highlight the upcoming holiday weekend program at Arlington Park, Galic Boy's appearance as the second highweight in the Sea O'Erin is almost assured. However, the 2-year-old filly Jeff's Cat may be entered in both the Top Flight and an earlier race on Friday, with a final decision on where she goes made late in the week.
Galic Boy's most recent trip to the post came in the $60,000 John Henry here August 17, and the 6-year-old son of Irish River came from just behind the early leaders to get up in the last jump for a nose victory over a course rated "yielding."
In Labor Day Monday's Sea O'Erin, resurrected on this year's Arlington stakes schedule after a five-year absence, Galic Boy has been asked to shoulder 118 pounds by racing secretary David Bailey.
"He came out of that last race in good order - knock on wood - and we're hoping he'll run that race back on Monday," said Goldfine.
In his start before the John Henry July 19, Galic Boy finished third, beaten two and a half lengths, by Pam Slaughter & Jack Murphy's Jake the Flake, who has been assigned the top weight of 120 pounds in the Sea O'Erin.
While Jeff's Cat is no certainty for Saturday's featured Top Flight, she will remain a possibility. "I'll probably enter her in a maiden race on Friday and also enter her in the stakes on Saturday," said Goldfine. "That way, if the maiden race doesn't go, or even if it does and there's a short field in Saturday's stakes, I can make a decision later in the week."
In her only trip to the post July 29, Jeff's Cat was far back early in a five and a half-furlong dash, and rallied willingly in the late stages to gain the second position, one length behind the winner. The daughter of Mountain Cat, breezed a half-mile on Monday in :49 flat.
The Top Flight, contested at six furlongs, is the final local prep for the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie to be run September 22 as the showcase event of the season for juvenile distaffers.
Tom Swearingen, known as a top trainer of 2-year-olds, nominated two fillies to Saturday's $75,000 Top Flight Stakes, but only one of them is probable for the feature race of the afternoon.
That would be Hans Poetsch & Greco Racing Stable's Glenbriar Girl, who breezed three furlongs in :34 2/5 Monday in preparation for this weekend's final stakes prep for the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie. That one-mile event on September 22 will be the centerpiece race of the session for 2-year-old fillies.
"I was real happy with it," said conditioner Swearingen of Monday's breeze. "She's been developing real well and is coming up to the race as good as we could expect. I really wish we had time to get another race in her, or at least an extended breeze, but the time doesn't always allow you to do everything you'd like, especially with young horses."
Glenbriar Girl has been away from the races since opening day at Arlington, June 13, when she settled just behind the early leaders in a four and a half furlong dash and closed willingly in the late stages to tally by a neck.
"After that, I wanted to give her time to develop," Swearingen said. "We backed off on her a little bit, and she's been coming along real, real well. What we really think, is that she's the type of filly that will get a distance, so if she gives a good account of herself on Saturday, we'll take a look at the Lassie. In the meantime, we'll keep our fingers crossed, but we think she'll get a route of ground."
Tom Swearingen Racing Inc. & Peter Abruzzo's Lil' Mary's Kitty was also nominated to the Top Flight, but is unlikely at this time. "She's an Illinois-bred," said Swearingen, "so we'll probably point her toward that program and put her in another race down the road."
Northwest Farms' Strong Credentials has come from the Northwest to contest Saturday's $75,000 Top Flight Stakes at six furlongs.
Although she was foaled in Kentucky, the daughter of Carson City has been campaigning at Emerald Downs in Washington, where she is undefeated in two trips to the post.
"She got to us here at Arlington about six weeks ago," said Tracy Pierce, an assistant to Dick Lundy, who trains Strong Credentials. "She worked Saturday in 1:01 2/5, and she was well in hand, so she's coming up to the race very well.
"Frankie Lovato worked her for us and he was very pleased with the way she went," Pierce said. "After he got off her he came up and said: 'She's a machine.'
"But she's just a dream around the barn," Pierce said. "She's easy to handle and likes attention, especially since she discovered that she likes carrots not too long ago."
In her most recent trip to the post on July 8 at Emerald Downs, Strong Credentials took down winning honors in the $35,000 Angie C. Stakes after dueling for the lead throughout and continuing willingly late to post a half-length score. Previously, she had broken her maiden by almost six lengths in her career debut, also at the Seattle area oval.
Ron & Ricky Rashinski's Vicki Vallencourt made her first and only start at Arlington Park August 22, and drew off steadily in the lane to win by almost 12 lengths. Did the facile nature of her performance surprise trainer Hugh Robertson?
"Yes, it did," said Robertson. "She'd never shown much speed in her training, but she just popped out of there that day.
"However, I'd say she's 'doubtful' for the Top Flight," said Robertson, "but if it looks like it's going to be a short field, I might put her in there."
On August 30, 1981, 20 years ago, Arlington Park introduced the first million-dollar Thoroughbred race with the inaugural running of the Arlington Million. John Henry won the race in a thrilling photo finish over longshot The Bart.
On August 30, 1977, 24 years ago, Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye won five races on the Arlington Park program.
On Sunday, jockey Robby Albarado rode a double on the program, taking the opener with Crescent City Stable's Naskramoon and the ninth on Stonecrest Farm's Raintree Lake.
Arlington Million winner Silvano, the Stiftung Gestut Fahrhof colorbearer who is being pointed toward the Group I Cox Plate at Moonee Valley, may now be joined by Million runner-up Hap, owned by Allen E. Paulson Living Trust. Hap is also is being ticketed for that Melbourne, Australia event, which serves as the seventh leg of the Emirates World Series Racing Championship on October 27.
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