|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
Godolphin's Fantastic Light, winner of Emirates World Series 2000, returned to exact revenge on Mrs. John Magnier's Galileo Sunday in Ireland, winning by a head six weeks after suffering a two-length loss to that upstart sophomore rival.
Following Sunday's exciting "Duel of Dublin," a one-two finish that may have exceeded even the presumed high expectations, the two world-class super stars are now currently tied for the lead in this year's Emirates World Series Racing Championship with 18 points apiece.
Galileo had defeated Fantastic Light in the Group I King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at England's Ascot Racecourse on July 28, second leg of this year's Emirates World Series. On Sunday at Ireland's Leopardstown Racecourse, however, the 5-year-old defending World Series champion Fantastic Light evened the score with his head tally in the Group I Irish Champion Stakes, fifth leg of this year's Series.
On August 18 at Arlington Park, Stiftung Gestut Fahrhof's Silvano won the third leg of this year's Emirates World Series Racing Championship, and is currently tied for third in the World Series standings behind Fantastic Light and Galileo. The German-bred Silvano is entered Saturday in Belmont Park's Grade I Man o'War, not part of the Emirates Series, but is being pointed for the Group I Cox Plate, eighth leg of the Series, to be run at Moonee Valley in Melbourne, Australia on October 27.
With 12 points for first and six points for second in each race of the Series, Fantastic Light and Galileo are currently tied with 18 points apiece.
At Arlington Park, where the Irish Champion Stakes, sponsored by Ireland The Food Island, was simulcast shortly after 10 a.m. Central Time, Fantastic Light paid $4.60 to win and the Fantastic Light-Galileo exacta returned $7.80.
Laurie Wilson, a pre-school teacher for the last 15 years in Northern California, decided on an abrupt change in lifestyle not long ago.
As the wife of assistant trainer Andy Wilson, she and her husband uprooted from their suburban San Francisco home to come to Chicago this summer with Jerry Hollendorfer, currently the leading trainer at Arlington Park.
Now, although school is back in full swing following the Labor Day holiday weekend, Mrs. Wilson is still organizing shedrow training activities in Northern Illinois instead of lesson plans Northern California, after having taken a one-year sabbatical from her primary calling last spring.
"I haven't been around kids for so long now it seems kind of weird," said Mrs. Wilson during Arlington training hours shortly after the holiday weekend, "but when I do go back to teaching in April, it will make me appreciate them all the more. Sometimes it helps to step back and take a long look at things, and I love what I'm doing here, but I think it will make me appreciate the kids even more.
"There are similarities to what I'm doing here and my teaching experience," said Mrs. Wilson. "With so many horses (49) in our barn, one of my jobs here is to coordinate when the horses go to the track for training, so that one groom doesn't have too many horses going to the track at the same time.
"One of my job descriptions in teaching is to simplify everything for the kids, and in essence, I'm doing the same thing for the grooms," Mrs. Wilson said. "In both of these careers, my job is essentially to make things more predictable and to teach conflict resolutions.
"One thing that is different between the two jobs," Mrs. Wilson added, "is that when I'm teaching kids, I've trained myself not to yell, because I'm teaching them not to yell. Here in the barn, I have to train myself to yell down the shedrow, rather than walking between stalls some distance apart to communicate with each groom."
When the Arlington Park season ends October 28, Laurie and Andy Wilson will return to their home and two grown children in Hayward, California. She expects to resume her pre-school teaching career next April.
"Since I've been away, I've come to realize that I have made a difference in some young lives," Mrs. Wilson said. "The reason I know that now is that I've come to appreciate that a lot of kids have come back to visit me when they got older and thanked me. That makes me feel good. If you can teach kindness to young children at that level, basically, you've done your job."
Around Arlington Park, Thunderhead Farms' Mariah's Storm is remembered as the only filly in history to have captured the main events for 2-year-old fillies, 3-year-old fillies and older fillies and mares in successive seasons.
However, on the international Thoroughbred scene, Mariah's Storm is primarily recognized as the dam of Giant's Causeway. That colt won six Group I events in succession in Europe and came to the United States to finish a gallant second behind Horse of the Year Tiznow in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Classic last fall.
Now it has been announced that Giant's Causeway, who stood at Ireland's Coolmore Stud during the 2001 breeding season, will journey to Kentucky's Ashford Stud in the coming year. Coolmore is the parent outfit for Ashford Stud.
Meanwhile, thoughts of Mariah's Storm, who won the 1993 Arlington-Washington Lassie, the 1994 Arlington Oaks and the 1995 Arlington Matron, will resurface Sunday at the local oval when the featured race is named in her honor.
Coincidentally, Thunderhead Farm's Rodeo Fan, one of the favorites in Sunday's $45,000 handicap at nine furlongs, will race in the same silks worn by Mariah's Storm during her three-year local career.
In an 18-0 undefeated season, Barrington High School Boys Varsity Lacrosse brought home the 2001 State Championship Trophy, and the win will be celebrated during "A Day at the Races" Sunday at Arlington Park.
The benefit will begin at Noon in the Governor's Room at Arlington, and the championship trophy will be displayed in that private setting.
Jockey Robby Albarado recorded a riding triple at Arlington Park Friday. It was Albarado's fourth triple of the local season since arriving from Churchill Downs shortly after the close of their spring meeting.
Jockey Rene Douglas, recorded a riding double on the same program. Douglas rides in New York at Belmont Park Saturday with the mount on Singapore Plate winner Caressing in the Grade I Gazelle Handicap.
Lone Star Champion Trainer Steve Asmussen saddled a training double on the Friday twilight racing program at the local oval.
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