|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
Thunderhead Farms' Rodeo Fan and Mt. Brilliant LLC's Frankly My Dear may vie for favoritism when they face each other and seven other rivals named to the $45,000 Mariah's Storm Handicap, a nine-furlong test for fillies and mares that serves as Sunday's headline attraction at Arlington Park.
Rodeo Fan and Frankly My Dear finished a neck apart when first and second respectively in their last trip to the post August 12 when going a mile and a sixteenth in allowance company. In that shorter outing, Rodeo Fan, who coincidentally flies the same silks as Mariah's Storm, was unhurried early but rallied in the final furlong to be up in the late stages. Before that she had been third in an allowance race here over the grass course August 1 and had finished fourth, four lengths behind Frankly My Dear in the $125,000 Iowa Distaff on July 6.
Frankly My Dear made the pace in their recent meeting, could not withstand the winner in the final strides but was easily second best. In her previous outing, however the daughter of Scarlet Ibis had finished third in the Iowa Distaff at Prairie Meadows, easily besting Rodeo Fan. Before that she had been fifth in the Grade I Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park.
The two 4-year-old fillies share racing secretary David Bailey's starting highweight assignment of 117 pounds. Rene Douglas has been named to handle the reins on Rodeo Fan, while Robby Albarado is slated for the saddle on Frankly My Dear.
Named to oppose the top pair are: Wexler Stables, Inc.'s Adam's Time, 114, Randy Meier; Richard L. Duchossois' Applesolutely, 114, Eddie Razo Jr.; Gary A. Tanaka's Humble Clerk, 114, Ray Sibille; Northwest Farms' Taste the Passion, 114, Frankie Lovato Jr.; James Tafel LLC's Lakenheath, 112, Corey Lanerie; Nancy A. Vanier, Kathy & Bill Pritts' Lorraine, 110, Alfredo Juarez Jr.; and Richard Perkins' Twilight Aurora, 109, Eddie Perez.
Of these, Humble Clerk merits consideration. Perhaps overmatched in the Grade III Delaware Handicap in her last start at a mile and a quarter July 22, Humble Clerk had won by seven lengths in allowance company at Churchill Downs a month earlier.
Robert A. Murphy Jr.'s Platinum Tiara, a fast closing second in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies in 1999, heads a list of 28 fillies nominated to Arlington Park's Grade III Pucker Up, the headline attraction on September 15 at the local oval.
The Pucker Up, restricted to 3-year-old fillies and to be contested at a mile and an eighth over the Arlington grass course, will be observing its 38th renewal after having been won by Bentley Smith Revocable Trust's Solvig last season.
Other sophomore distaffers of distinction to have captured the Pucker Up include Arthur J. Hancock III & Leone J. Peters' Ribbon in 1980; Crimson King Farm's T. V. Vixen in 1976; and Harbor View Farm's Swinging Mood in 1966.
James Tafel LLC's Scoop, who came from off the pace to capture the $60,000 Flawlessly Stakes here August 26, worked five furlongs on the turf course here Wednesday in 1:02 3/5 with the "dogs" up in preparation for her expected engagement in the Pucker Up.
My Jo Lee Stable's Curious Conundrum, who captured the $75,000 Prairie Meadows Oaks in her last start on the main track but was a good third on the grass before that, is also on the list of Pucker Up nominations.
An interesting Pucker Up nominee is William J. Betz's Coney Kitty, an Irish-bred daughter of Lycius who would be making her debut in this country after being beaten four lengths in stakes company at The Curragh on Labor Day.
Mike Langford's Glory Glory, beaten a length by Scoop after making the pace in the Flawlessly, is also nominated to the Pucker Up.
Still another Pucker Up nominee is Stronach Stables Inc.'s Libretto, a Canadian invader who was second, beaten a half-length in the $125,000 Ontario Colleen Stakes at Woodbine on August 26.
A possible Pucker Up invader from the left coast is Green Hill Farm's Voodoo Dancer, fourth in the Grade I Del Mar Oaks on August 18, beaten two and a quarter lengths. Also, Gainsborough Farm's Live Your Dreams, who was sixth, but beaten less than four lengths in her last start in the Del Mar Oaks on Arlington Million Day. Live Your Dreams had won Del Mar's $64,000 Sandy Blue Stakes before that.
Guy & Diane Snowden's Sluice, two-length heroine of the $60,000 Misty Isle Stakes over the Arlington lawn, is also on the Pucker Up nominations list, as is Regatta Stable's Twilite Tryst, runner-up to Sluice in the Misty Isle.
Jockey R. D. "Rob" Williams, a 26-year veteran of the saddle, rides at Arlington Saturday aboard Darwin Olson's It'sallinthechase in the Spectacular Bid.
Williams, whose circuit now encompasses Oaklawn, Prairie Meadows and Remington, is the son of Dean Williams, the retired longtime Daily Racing Form correspondent and chart caller.
The Ireland The Food Island Irish Champion Stakes, the fifth leg of the Emirates World Series from Leopardstown, Ireland, will air "live" this Saturday at 10 a.m. Central Time on ESPNews. The race features a rematch between Irish super horse Galileo and Fantastic Light, winner of Emirates World Series 2000 and runner-up in last year's Grade I Breeders' Cup Turf. Galileo and Fantastic Light finished first and second respectively in the Group I King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes from Ascot, second leg of the Series. Taped coverage of the Irish Champion Stakes can be seen Sunday from 6 to 6:30 p.m. as part of ESPN2's NTRA 2Day at the Races program.
In Arlington's second race, #9 Kompressor, who has run second in his last six starts, will try to break his maiden for the 13th time. The Steve Asmussen trainee has hit the board without winning (0-6-2) in eight starts this year.
Kammalot Stables' Tejano Honey, 14½-length winner in a 2-year-old maiden race on Labor Day, was the first starter out of the Illinois Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Foundation sale in June at Arlington as part of the Prairie State Festival.
Jockey Jerry LaSala had a riding double Thursday at Arlington Park, winning the opener on Crown's Way Farm's Listen to the Echo and the fourth on Gary R. Spielman's Final Notice.
Jockey Rene Douglas had a riding double Thursday, winning the seventh on Hondo Ranch, Inc.'s Among Friends and the ninth on Moises R. Yanez & Hernandez Racing Club's Faultless Appeal.
Jockey Chris Emigh will be out of town Saturday and Sunday to attend the wedding of his twin brother Aaron, who is a steward at Delta Downs and Evangeline Downs in Louisiana.
Conditioner Gene Cilio had a training double Thursday, saddling both halves of the early daily double with Listen to the Echo in the opener and Mt. Joy Stables, Inc.'s Crimson Comet in the second.
Simulcasting from Belmont Park begins Friday with the opening of their Fall Meet.
Arlington Million winner Silvano is running in the Grade I Man o'War Saturday at Belmont.
Arlington Park's Game Room and the lower level of "Mr. D.'s," both located at the East end of the grandstand on the apron level, will feature college football on Saturdays and NFL football on Sundays starting this weekend. A 55" large screen TV plus five other televisions have been added to the Game Room.
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