|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
Earl Bellamy's Southern Tour and Fred Kissling's Spanish Glitter, who finished second and third respectively in the Grade III Azalea Breeders' Cup at Calder Race Course two months ago, may vie for favoritism when they meet again in Saturday's $50,000-added Miss Oceana Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.
The Miss Oceana, to be contested at six furlongs, has attracted a field of nine sophomore distaffers. If the field remains intact, the sprint which serves as the supporting feature on Saturday's Arlington Park program will have a gross value of $54,500 with a $32,700 share of that sum going to the owners of the victress.
In the Azalea, contested July 14 at the North Miami oval, Southern Tour was allowed to settle early, commenced a rally entering the lane, took command in mid-stretch but could not withstand the late surge of the winner and was beaten a half-length at the wire. It was the first and only defeat during her four-race career.
A daughter of Tour d'Or, Southern Tour broke her maiden at first asking as a 2-year-old at Louisiana Downs last October. The Florida-bred tallied by seven lengths and was put away for the rest of the season. She returned to the races May 28 at Lone Star Park, won by a length and a half with her initial allowance condition and then visited the winner's circle again June 20 at the Grand Prairie, Texas oval when graduating from the next level. Southern Halo has been idle since her runner-up finish in the Azalea.
Spanish Glitter has made 12 career starts. In the Azalea, the daughter of Glitterman made the pace, relinquished command before the eighth pole and weakened the rest of the way to finish third, beaten three and a quarter lengths for all of it and two and three-quarters by Southern Tour.
Opposing the top pair in the Miss Oceana are Jack McNulty's Bold Bluff, Doug Anderson's Buck's Best, Michael Rainier's For Elise, Louie J. Roussell III's Heart of a Chief, Stonecrest Farm's Raintree Lake, Leba & Mike Milkes' Sam's Tune, and My Jo Lee Stable's Soul Onarazorsedge.
The last named graduated from "non-winners-of-three-other-than" allowance company August 2 here in her last start and merits consideration. The Kentucky-bred daughter of Carson City made all the pace in that outing and drew clear late for a length and a half score.
James Tafel LLC's Scoop breezed a half-mile in :48 1/5 Thursday at Arlington Park in preparation for her upcoming engagement in Saturday's featured attraction, the 38th running of the Grade III Pucker Up Stakes.
The Pucker Up, restricted to 3-year-old fillies, will be contested at a mile and an eighth over Arlington's world famous turf course.
Scoop, who has four wins from 11 lifetime starts, will be running on the grass for the first time in her career. However, she is by Gone West, a noted grass sire, and is out of a mare by Belmont Stakes winner Temperance Hill.
"I'm very pleased with the way she has taken to the grass," said trainer Gene Cilio following Thursday's main track move. "We breezed five-eighths in 1:02 the other day on the grass course, which was good because the turf was soft. I'm very pleased with the way she's coming up to the Pucker Up and Marlon (jockey St. Julien, aboard for Thursday's move) was also very pleased."
In her last trip to the post August 26, Scoop won the $60,000 Flawlessly on the main track at Arlington. The homebred was placed just behind the early leaders, challenged for command at the furlong grounds and drew clear late to register a one-length score. She had won the $150,000 National Jockey Club Oaks at Sportsman's Park last spring but then disappointed when a badly-beaten fifth in the Grade II Black-Eyed Susan May 18 at Pimlico on the day before the Preakness.
"I've always been very encouraged by her," Cilio said. "I think she is just now getting back on track after all that shipping around to Kentucky and Maryland last spring."
Team Block's Reno Rumble, heroine of the $75,000 Cardinal Handicap here during the Prairie State Festival June 23, is expected to shoulder racing secretary David Bailey's top impost of 120 pounds in Sunday's featured attraction, the $45,000 Tex's Zing Handicap.
"I've been waiting for that race," said trainer Chris Block when asked if his highweighted nominee was a likely participant Sunday.
Reno Rumble, a 7-year-old altered son of Vigors, was far back in the early running of the Cardinal, commenced a bold rally when set down for the drive and drew off late for a two and a half-length tally. Bred by the Block family, he returned to finish fourth in allowance company July 19 in a race contested over a turf course rated "good" and was then fourth again in the $60,000 John Henry at last asking August 17 when the course was rated "yielding."
Mrs. & Michael P. Brickman's Smilin' Slew, weighted at 116 pounds for the Tex's Zing, is also considered a likely contestant. Smilin' Slew was sixth in the John Henry in his last trip to the post.
Also likely for the Tex's Zing is John Binyon & Merrill R. Scherer's Grandpa Two, weighted at 115 pounds by Bailey. The Gold Legend gelding was a front-running one-length winner in his last trip to the post in allowance company here September 3 and had won before that over a yielding course August 10.
Out of respect for the victims involved in of our national tragedy, Arlington Park will fly the American flag at half-mast. In addition, following the first race each day through the weekend, there will be a moment of silence followed by the playing of "God Bless America."
Jockey Marlon St. Julien posted a riding triple Sunday at Arlington Park, winning the opener on Wexler Stables, Inc.'s Rodell; the third on Godolphin Racing, Inc.'s Dubai Squire; and the fifth on Wexler Stables, Inc.'s Besttobeabachelor.
Jockey Robby Albarado had a riding triple reduced to a double following a disqualification, and jockey Eddie Razo was upped to a riding double following that same stewards' decision.
Jockeys Ray Sibille and Eddie Razo went over the $1 million mark in purse earnings at the current meeting on Sunday.
Regatta Stable's Twilite Tryst breezed a half-mile in :53 2/5 Wednesday with the "dogs" up in preparation for her upcoming engagement in Saturday's Pucker Up.
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