|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
Ackerley Brothers Farm's Compendium, a good third in the Grade III Oklahoma Derby August 12 at Remington Park at last asking, will shoulder racing secretary David Bailey's top impost of 122 pounds when he heads a field eight in Sunday's $55,000 Native Dancer Handicap.
In that recent nine-furlong test, the sophomore son of Notebook was always well placed, could not stay with the top two in the lane but was easily best of the rest. Trained by the ubiquitous Steve Asmussen, Compendium had previously finished fourth in the $250,000 Iowa Derby, well behind the victorious Touch Tone but competitive with the others in that Prairie Meadows outing July 6.
As a 2-year-old on Arlington Million Day last year, the chestnut Compendium broke his maiden at first asking at Chicago's premier Thoroughbred oval and was put away for the rest of his juvenile season. The Florida-bred returned to competition during the winter at the Fair Grounds, and then journeyed to Oaklawn Park to capture the $50,000 Northern Spur on April 13 during the Racing Festival of the South.
Compendium's fourth career win came at Churchill Downs on June 16 prior to his two recent on-the-board finishes in stakes company. Regular rider Donnie Meche will return to handle the reins in the Native Dancer.
Sure to provide strong competition for Compendium in the Native Dancer is Morton Fink's Horrible Evening, winner of the $75,000 Prairie Meadows Derby August 18 and next in Bailey's weights at 120 pounds.
In that last Iowa outing, Horrible Evening broke in stride to make the pace and drew off late for a two and a half-length tally as the odds-on choice of the fans. In his start before that the New Jersey-bred had finished fourth in the Grade III Round Table here at Arlington July 28. Veteran reinsman Larry Melancon will make up most of the weight assigned.
Opposing the highweighted pair Sunday are: Richard F. Rudolph's San Pedro, 115; Arthur Vogel's Storm Mist, 113; Carolyn Friedberg's Freeway Ticket, 112; Thomas Orr's Tub Tosser, 116; Jan, Mace & Samantha Siegel's There's Zealous, 112; and Francisco Parra Garcia's Don Regino, 112.
Other riding assignments have Ray Sibille on San Pedro; Robby Albarado aboard Storm Mist; Frank Lovato Jr. with Freeway Ticket; Shane Sellers up on Tub Tosser; Rene Douglas astride There's Zealous; and Eddie Razo Jr. on Don Regino.
Shortly before darkness fell on the night before the Arlington Million two weeks ago, Jupiter Farm Ltd. Inc.'s Natasha Pumpkin came from far back in the field to capture the last race of day by three-quarters of a length. She returned a $127 straight mutuel to her backers.
"At least we had our one day in the sun," said owner Dean Caras, who races under the Jupiter Farm moniker. "I didn't bet a dime on her, but watching her win that race was enough for me."
Later that night, Caras attended an Arlington Million party, and sat at the same table as Andreas Suborics, the jockey for Arlington Million contestant Silvano.
"He was a really nice fellow," said Caras of Suborics. "He didn't know anybody at the party and we didn't either. I told him how lucky I had been that day and I told him he was going to win the Arlington Million the next day, and he did.
"I bought this horse for $1,700 out of a Keeneland September sale," Caras said. "I always thought she would run well on the grass, and I kept telling that to the trainer, but the ironic thing was that she had been entered in a $10,000 maiden claiming race on the dirt the day before. That race didn't fill. If that race had gone, she wouldn't have even been in that grass race. Now that we know she can run on the grass, we entered her back in a race this Sunday but that race didn't fill."
Caras is an attorney and a member of the I.T.H.A., who has a 2-year-old half-sister to Natasha Pumpkin by Cobra King named Vishaka. She was set to make her debut shortly on the dirt, but after her sister's recent victory, will be put away until her sophomore season. "We decided that we shouldn't make the same mistake again, getting her ready for races on the dirt this fall at Hawthorne when now we can wait and save her for the grass at Arlington next year."
Training for Caras, who has owned horses for about 10 years, is Patrick Mitchell, the son of a show horse trainer. The younger Mitchell began his own career as an assistant to Dick Lundy, and was around such horses as Blushing John and Fraise in his own initial years as a horseman.
"America's Day at the Races" was designed on a national level to introduce the world of Thoroughbred racing to new fans and increase public awareness of the sport as a "National Holiday for Horse Lovers."
Celebrated on Labor Day Monday again this year, the highlight of the program will be the "America's Day at the Races Pick-4," beginning at Arlington with the $100,000-added Sea O'Erin Breeders' Cup Mile; moving on to River Downs and the $200,000 Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes; continuing to Saratoga for the $500,000 Diana Handicap; and concluding at Calder Race Course with the $150,000-added Miami Mile Breeders' Cup Handicap.
In this national Pick-4, patrons will be asked to pick the winners of all four of those races, with a potentially large payoff earned by those who are able to do that successfully.
Also on hand to attract adults at Arlington on Labor Day will be authors Julia and John McEvoy of the new book "Women In Racing: In Their Own Words." Joining the authors will be some of the women profiled in the book.
Attracting the youngsters to the "Family Day" theme of "America's Day at the Races" will be a number of activities including T-shirt and horseshoe decorating, a coloring book and crayon giveaway; and a "name the yearling" contest.
Other highlights for the kids will be the opportunity to have their pictures taken in jockey silks, a Huffy Hoppers race on the track, as well as pony rides, a petting zoo, and face painting.
Jockey Robby Albarado, who had a riding double at Arlington on Thursday, will journey to the New Jersey shore for two mounts at Monmouth Park on Saturday.
Starting Wednesday, September 5, training hours on Arlington Park's main track will be from 6 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. with one break at 8 a.m. Training hours on Arlington's training track will be from 6 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. with no break.
Thursday's final race resulted in the largest quinella and the largest trifecta posted at Arlington this season, with the quinella returning $620.80, and the trifecta paying $26,447.40. Both payouts were based on a $2 wager.
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