|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
Peter Bradley III & Dennis Drazin's Flinch, undefeated in three trips to the post during the current season at Arlington Park, faces her toughest task to date when she meets Modesty winner Ioya Two, owned by Team Block, and eight others named to Saturday's $50,000-added Top Corsage Stakes.
Restricted to fillies and mares 3-year-olds and upward, the race will be contested at a mile and a sixteenth on the grass. If the field remains intact, the race will have a gross value of $55,000, with a $33,000 share of that sum going to the owners of the victress.
In her most recent trip to the post August 31 in an allowance race over a course rated "yielding," Flinch was allowed to settle early in a middle distance turf test, challenged for command in late stretch and prevailed by a half-length at the wire.
Before that, on July 14 over firm going, the British-bred bay had come from well back to post a three-quarter-length tally when going a mile. However, in her local bow last June 21 when going nine furlongs, Flinch had been attentive to the pace throughout and tallied by two when the turf was rated "good."
Ioya Two, who scored a mild upset when winning the Grade III Modesty July 28 at a mile and three-sixteenths, made the pace throughout that day under clever handling by jockey Mark Guidry and held sway late to prevail by a nose. The Modesty was the final local prep for the Grade I Beverly D. this year, but the Block family would have had to supplement the daughter of Lord At War to that main event of the season for fillies and mares.
In the $75,000 Lincoln Heritage Handicap, her previous trip to the post before the Modesty on Prairie State Festival Day June 23, Ioya Two had come from just off the early pace to be best by three-quarters of a length.
Among those named to oppose the top two are the Frank C. Calabrese coupling of Golden Antigua and Great Fever. Golden Antigua was beaten a half-length in Ellis Park's $50,000 Dade Turf Classic at last asking September 1, while the French-bred Great Fever returns from a trip to Delaware Park where she finished sixth in the $100,000 New Castle Handicap.
Another grouping is the Richard Lundy-trained three-horse entry of Marty Grunder & Arbaway Farm LLC's Julies Love Letter, Arbaway Farm's Lady Angharad, and Wendy's Ten Partnership's Instinct. Completing the field is Russell L. Reineman Stable, Inc.'s Lady of Peace, Frances Genter Williams' Mimi's Tizzy, and Alec South & Kathleen Talley's Styles Leader.
R.T.M. Racing, Ltd.'s Faccia Bella is expected to head the field in Sunday's feature attraction, the $45,000 Unique Type Handicap at a mile and a sixteenth on the main track.
Faccia Bella was assigned the top impost of 118 pounds by racing secretary David Bailey in the Unique Type Handicap, restricted to distaffers Illinois registered, conceived and/or foaled. The daughter of Dixie Brass came from far back to register an upset score by a neck in her last trip to the post September 8, paying a straight price of $49.60.
Faccia Bella, champion Illinois-bred 2-year-old filly in 1998, had won the $75,000 Peach of It Handicap at Sportsman's Park last March 31.
Among those likely to oppose Faccia Bella on Sunday is Singer Farm, Inc.'s Royal Bandita, who has been freshened after finishing sixth in an allowance test August 12 here. Before that, when running over a sloppy track, the Royal Roberto mare had also finished sixth.
Another likely in the Unique Type on Sunday is Mrs. & Michael P. Brickman's My Dallas, who made the pace in her last start over the grass course September 2 before tiring to eighth. Previously, the daughter of Houston had used the same front-running tactics over the main track over muddy going but tired to finish sixth.
Also expected in Sunday's featured event is the Harvey Vanier-trained pair of George D. Michalson's Magic Motel and Nancy A. Vanier, Kathy & Bill Pritts Lorraine, who would be uncoupled in the wagering.
Lorraine was eighth over a sloppy oval in the $45,000 Mariah's Storm Handicap September 9, but had won by almost four lengths in allowance company before that when the track was fast.
Magic Motel has been away from the races since August 12, when seventh in an allowance race at a mile and a sixteenth.
"I got some ocean front property in Arizona," goes the chorus of the hit song by country superstar George Strait "From my front porch you can see the sea," it continues, before closing with the line: "if you buy that I'll throw the Golden Gate in free."
Last September at the Keeneland yearling sales, George Strait and business associate Irv Woolsey did buy a Thoroughbred horse now called Miss Indiana, and the only bridge thrown in with it was sharing the ownership with Keith Asmussen, the legendary southwestern horseman and former Quarter Horse jockey.
Asmussen is also the father of Steve Asmussen, trainer of Miss Indiana, who is expected to saddle the Indiana-bred daughter of Clever Trick in Saturday's Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie, main event of the season for 2-year-old fillies.
"She's a nice filly," said Steve Asmussen. "Dad took a look at her in that sale and bought her for $10,000. She just happened to be Indiana-bred.
"Dad has trained for George Strait for a couple of years now," said Asmussen. "He's from South Texas, and that's our part of the country."
Consequently, back home, in this ownership team's case, is not in Indiana.
Linda Glander's Charming Eyes launched a bold late bid under jockey Alfredo Juarez Jr. to capture Wednesday's second race by two lengths and provide trainer Ida Spagnola with the first winner of her new career.
Spagnola, who had been an assistant to trainers Charlie Vinci and George King in the past, launched her own conditioning career weeks ago.
"She still gallops for me," said Vinci after his student's first win. "She's a very good girl and should do very well."
"Three for the day for Rene," said announcer John G. Dooley, as Peter E. Blum's Saturday In May crossed under the wire in Wednesday's eighth race. Earlier in the day, leading rider Rene Douglas had begun his riding triple in the fifth with Jerry Hollendorfer's Take It Easy Doc and won his second of the day aboard James Cassells & Bob Zollars' Precious Prado in the sixth.
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