|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
Meadowminer, the undefeated sophomore colt who puts his victory skein on the line in Sunday's featured $53,000 Sauce Boat Stakes, will return from a 10-month layoff but not without the complete confidence of his conditioner.
"He's a pretty nice horse," said Wayne Catalano, who remains competitive in the defense of his Arlington Park training championship last season. "I expect him to run well Sunday."
Owned by Frank C. Calabrese, who is a shoo-in to retain his local leading owner title garnered last season, Meadowminer is a son of Meadowlake, winner of this weekend's Arlington-Washington Futurity in 1985. However, the colt has not started since winning the $60,000 Old Hickory Stakes in New Orleans last year during Thanksgiving weekend.
In the Old Hickory, Meadowminer dueled for the lead throughout and prevailed by a nose in a hard drive. Before that, the Ontario-bred had won his two previous starts in similar front-running performances. Why the layoff?
"He hurt himself and had to have surgery," said Catalano, "but he's over that now and I've been looking for a race for him. In Sunday's race the competition pretty much looks like 'non-winners-of-three-other-than' and that's what I've been waiting for. It looks like a good spot."
John Castro's Bet On Joe, a winner of his last two in a row, may be the one to beat. That colt came from just off the pace to win his most recent start by a length and three-quarters here.
When Sunday's Grade I Canadian International is simulcast to Arlington Park as the sixth leg of the World Series Racing Championship, the world class races making up that Series will be returning to North America for the first time since Leg Three - the Grade I Arlington Million.
The Canadian International, Woodbine's mile and a half grass centerpiece observing its 64th renewal, has proved worthy of its title in recent seasons.
Among the European-based campaigners who have won the Canadian International over the last decade are Mutafaweq last year; Royal Anthem in 1998; Singspiel in 1996; Raintrap in 1994; and Snurge in 1992.
Also French Glory captured the Woodbine event in 1990 and Infamy took down winning honors in 1988 following Atlantic crossings.
Included among the European campaigners on Sunday in Canada are the German-bred Paolini, trained by Andreas Wohler and to be ridden by Andreas Suborics, the tandem who captured the Arlington Million August 18 with Stiftung Gestut Fahrhof's Silvano. Paolini, owned by Carde Ostermann-Richter, won Italy's Group I Gran Premio di Milano in June after capturing the Group I Premio Presidente Della Republicca in May.
HH Sheikh Hamden bin Rashid Al Maktoum's Mutamam, fourth in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Turf last year, won the Group II Princess of Wales Stakes at Newmarket July 10. The British-bred most recently captured the Group III September Stakes September 8 at Kempton.
HH Shiekh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum's Slew The Red, although Kentucky-bred, won the Group II Prix Gontaut-Biron August 11 and was third in the Group II Prix Foy at Longchamp September 16.
Robert Ng's Daliapour won the Group I Hong Kong Vase last December and was most recently sixth in the Group I Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin, but is an Irish-bred who campaigned on the Continent last year.
Abdullah Ali's Zindabad is a French-bred who was fourth behind Mutamam in his last start July 10 at Newmarket, but was second beaten only a head in the Group II Hardwicke Stakes June 22 at the Royal Ascot meeting.
Sam-Son Farm's Strut The Stage, second by a nose in the Grade I Secretariat at Arlington Park during the International Festival of Racing here, heads the North American contingent. Gary Tanaka's Falcon Flight, winner of Arlington's Grade III Stars and Stripes this year, and On Target Racing's Williams News, who won that same race on America's Birthday last year, are also prominent in the 12-horse field.
Arlington Park wishes to remind its guests that beginning Wednesday, October 3, post time for the first race each afternoon will be 12:30 p.m.
The new post time remains in effect for the rest of the season, which ends October 28, and has been adopted to take advantage of the waning daylight hours at this time of year.
Friday racing programs, which have had a special post time until the present, will also now be at 12:30 p.m. for the remainder of the season.
Dan Martin & Jerry Ayres' Joanies Bella, who came from just off the pace to capture the 67th running of the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie September 22, stamped herself as one of the leading members of her division with her neck tally in the local juvenile filly fixture. What's next for her?
"We should be making a decision in a couple of days," said Dan Martin, senior partner in the ownership team of the Ohio-bred filly. "Naturally, we're looking at the Alcibiades (GII, Oct 5) at Keeneland, but we haven't ruled out the Best of Ohio at Beulah Park October 8.
"We were really pleased with her race in the Lassie," Martin said. "It was her first time going long, and she stayed four-wide the whole trip. It was also her first graded stakes win, and I thought Arlington did a wonderful job with their entire presentation of the race."
Joanies Bella had won the $100,000 Pepsi Bassinet Stakes at River Downs in Cincinnati, Ohio in her previous trip to the post.
Martin is a Buckeye-bred - born and raised in tiny Niles, Ohio. However, his partner and brother-in-law Jerry Ayres, married to Martin's sister Sherry, is from Louisville, Kentucky. Martin recalled how he had to encourage Ayres to stay with him on Joanies Bella after five or six previous horses failed to fulfill expectations.
"You always think the next one is the one," said Martin, "but we never seemed to come up with one that could hit on all cylinders before.
"Now, however, I have a full sister to Joanies Bella on my own." Martin said. "Naturally, he'd love to come in with me on this next one."
Edouard De Rothschild's England's Legend, winner of the Grade I Beverly D. during Arlington Park's International Festival of Racing August 18, makes her first start since that local score in Saturday's Grade I Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park.
Victoria Racing Stable, Inc.'s Saint Damien, fourth in the Grade I Secretariat, runs in Saturday's Grade II Ohio Derby at Thistledown in Cleveland, with last year's leading Arlington rider Mark Guidry aboard. The race will be simulcast to Arlington Park.
This year's leading local rider Rene Douglas will journey to Canada Sunday for the mount aboard Grade III Stars and Stripes winner Falcon Flight in the Canadian International.
Jockeys Shane Laviolette, Chris Emigh and Ramsey Zimmerman all posted riding doubles on Friday's racing program at Arlington Park.
Date Time Event
Sun. Sept. 30 First post 1 p.m. Canadian International Simulcast from Woodbine
Sat. Oct. 6 First post 12:30 p.m. Daily Racing Form/NTRA Handicapping Contest (2nd Round)
Sun. Oct. 7 8 a.m. Arc de Triomphe Simulcast - Breakfast at Arlington
Mon. Oct. 8 First post 12:30 p.m. Columbus Day -- "Bring Back the '50s"
Sat. Oct. 13 First post 12:30 p.m. Daily Racing Form/NTRA Handicapping Contest (3rd Round)
Sun. Oct. 14 First Post 12:30 p.m. World Cup of Nations Cup - Amateur Riders (United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland)
Sat. Oct. 20 First post 12:30 p.m. Daily Racing Form/NTRA Handicapping Contest (4th Round)
Sun. Oct. 21 First post 12:30 p.m. NFL Pigskin Pig Roast at Arlington Park
Wed. Oct. 24 6 - 8 p.m. Breeders' Cup Handicapping Seminar Trackside Arlington Park
Sat. Oct. 27 First post 10 a.m. Breeders' Cup Day
Sun. Oct. 28 First post 12:30 p.m. Free Admission - Fan Appreciation Day at Arlington Park
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