|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
Morton Fink's Horrible Evening, hero of the $75,000 Prairie Meadows Derby at last asking, should rule the choice when he heads a field of eight in Sunday's feature, the $50,000-added Steinlen Stakes during the long Columbus Day holiday weekend here.
The Steinlen, at a mile and an eighth on the grass, will have a gross value of $53,500 if all go to the post, with a $32,100 share of that sum going to the owners of the winner.
Horrible Evening, by Evening Kris out of the Pappa Riccio mare Horrible Gift, broke in stride to make all the pace in that last Iowa outing on August 18 and increased the margin in the final furlong to tally by two and a half lengths at the wire. Before that, the New Jersey-bred had been fourth in the Grade III Round Table here July 28. Both those races were on the main track. In his last turf test, however, he was badly beaten at Gulfstream Park March 12.
Sure to provide strong competition for Horrible Evening is Alan Drey's Bahroba, who came from far back to be clearly best in allowance company here at a mile and a sixteenth over a yielding grass course August 30.
Top grass rider Ray Sibille is named to handle the reins on Horrible Evening, while Bahroba has Chris Emigh slated for the tack.
Named to oppose that pair are Richard Englander's Magoffin, Larry Sterling Jr.; Team Block's Mystery Giver, Eddie Razo Jr.; Peter E. Blum's Saturday in May, Corey Lanerie; Stonecrest Farm's Slough Creek, Frank Lovato Jr.; and J. Kelly, Mansell Stables & Rio Adventura Stables' Tarzan Cry, Shane Laviolette.
Of these, Mystery Giver, a winner of his last three in a row, all in restricted Illinois-bred company, merits consideration although facing open company here.
Trainer Richard Lundy's increasingly hectic schedule will continue at Arlington Park this weekend, when the conditioner will be represented by Northwest Farm starters in Saturday's $150,000 Arlington Matron Handicap and Monday's $50,000 Silver Maiden.
Taste the Passion, owned by Northwest Farms, will start in Saturday's Grade III Matron, final graded stakes of the 2001 season at Chicago's premier Thoroughbred oval. Flows Like Wine, another Northwest colorbearer, will go to the post in the Columbus Day Silver Maiden Stakes during the second of only two Monday racing programs run at Arlington this year.
Lundy, who had originally planned to saddle both Northwest representatives, was in New York when reached by phone Friday and will now remain there due to the difficulty in making travel arrangements.
"My assistant Tracy Pierce will saddle those two for me," said Lundy. "She knows those horses very well and I have always had complete confidence in her. She does a very good job for me."
Taste the Passion has finished no worse than third in her last four starts. The 4-year-old filly by Wild Again had two seconds and a third in three stakes races at Emerald Downs during the summer and came to Arlington to finish third in the $45,000 Mariah's Storm Handicap at last asking September 9. In that most recent trip to the post, Taste the Passion was beaten a length and a quarter for all of it while negotiating a sloppy surface.
"The most important thing is that she now has a race over the track," said Lundy, when asked if she preferred fast or muddy going. "I thought she ran very well the other day. She made a good move at the eighth pole but the two in front of her never stopped running. I think she'll represent herself very well on Saturday.
"Flows Like Wine has trained awfully well for the Silver Maiden on Monday," said Lundy. "I think the seven-eighths distance will suit her very well. Her loss in her last race on the grass was probably my fault. It was only her second start and I think her greenness got her beat. I may try her on the grass again in the future because there is some grass breeding on her dam's side, but for the time being, I think I'll keep her on the main track if she runs well Monday."
Earlier in the week, owner-breeder Ernie Paragallo of Paraneck Stable announced that he had retained the services of Lundy to oversee the training at his operation.
"I'm looking forward to the opportunity," said Lundy, "and I appreciate the fact that he is going to allow me to keep training some of the horses I have been developing for other people."
Jockey Rene Douglas, who is assured leading rider honors at Arlington Park this season, will be riding in automobiles more than horses over the next few days.
Douglas rides at Arlington Friday afternoon, and then journeys to Hoosier Park in Anderson, Indiana for the mount aboard Carl F. Pollard's Caressing in the Grade III Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks Friday evening.
The Panamanian reinsman will be back at Arlington Saturday afternoon, and then returns to that same Churchill Downs Inc. Hoosier track Saturday night for the $300,000 Indiana Derby.
On Sunday, Douglas travels to Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky for the mount aboard Unbridled Elaine in the Grade I Spinster.
Jockey Randy Meier had a riding triple Thursday at Arlington Park, after winning both local stakes last weekend.
"Thanks to the Catman and the California horse, it was a great weekend," said Meier of his Saturday and Sunday scores.
The Nebraska-born reinsman won last Saturday's Grade II Arlington-Washington Futurity aboard the California-based Publication, owned by Triple Crown Bloodstock, and took Sunday's $53,000 Sauce Boat with Frank C. Calabrese's Meadowminer, trained by Wayne "Catman" Catalano.
Fifteen horses were haltered during Thursday's racing program at Arlington Park, marking the most active day at the local claim box in recent years. During the 2000 season, the most active claiming day at Arlington had 10 horses changing hands.
Arlington Park Chairman Richard L. Duchossois celebrates his 80th birthday on Sunday.
Jockey Shane Laviolette, who rides at Arlington Friday afternoon, journeys to Hoosier Park Friday night for the mount on Gold Huntress in the Grade III Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks.
Arlington begins full-card simulcasting from Keeneland Racecourse on Friday.
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