|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
Richard F. Rudolph's Castlewood, who unleashed a bold stretch run to win in allowance company here September 26, should rule the choice based on that performance when he heads a field of six in Sunday's headliner at Arlington, the $45,000 Tom Rolfe Handicap.
The middle distance affair for 3-year-olds and upward is named for the first horse to win the Mid-America Triple at Arlington Park. The Powhatan colorbearer became the first of only three horses to accomplish that feat in 1965 after winning the Preakness earlier that spring.
In that most recent trip to the post at one mile, Castlewood was allowed to settle early, commenced a rally when set down for the drive, took command at the furlong marker and drew clear late to tally by a length and three-quarters.
In his previous outing, the altered son of Runaway Groom had finished a disappointing sixth July 27, but had been a good third before that on July 7 when racing over a muddy track. Trained by Spanky Broussard, the Kentucky-bred posted back-to-back wins at Sportsman's Park last April. The 4-year-old will shoulder the starting top impost of 116 pounds in Sunday's test.
Sure to provide strong competition for Castlewood is Gene Voss & Leslie Grimm's Frazee's Folly, who finished second to Castlewood in that September 26 race when the pair was weighted equally. Frazee's Folly pressed the pace that day, could not withstand Castlewood when challenged but is in with 115 pounds on Sunday.
By Beau Genius, a sire known for progeny able to handle muddy going, Frazee's Folly finished fourth in the $100,000 Prairie Meadows Handicap on Labor Day, beaten just over three lengths for all of it.
Facing those two in the Tom Rolfe are Yoshio Fujita's E Z Glory, 114; Mark Corrado & Mark Hanna's On Your Mark, 114; James W. Orr Jr.'s A'fire, 112; and Alumni Horse Venture, LLC's Del Mar Danny.
Of these, E Z Glory and On Your Mark, both coming off of successive wins while ascending allowance conditions, could prove troublesome to the top two.
Allen E. Paulson Living Trust's Startac, unstarted since winning the Grade I Secretariat at Arlington Park during the 2001 International Festival of Racing, is slated to go to the post as the probable choice of the fans in Saturday's $150,000 Oak Tree Derby at Santa Anita.
In the Oak Tree Derby, Startac, who came from far back in the Secretariat to win by the narrowest of margins, may be compromised by the lack of true speed in the race. Eight other sophomores have been named to oppose Startac in Saturday's West Coast event, which will be run at a mile and an eighth over the grass. Jockey Alex Solis, aboard for the winning ride in the Secretariat at Chicago's premier Thoroughbred oval, will be in the irons once again.
Columbine Stable's Sligo Bay, who was compromised by a soft turf course when fourth in Arlington's Grade II American Derby July 22 and scratched from the Secretariat for that reason, is among those named to oppose Startac Saturday. However, the Irish-bred Sligo Bay, who won the Grade III Cinema Handicap at Hollywood Park before coming to Chicago, will also be affected by the lack of pace in the Oak Tree.
Dan Martin & Jerry Ayres' Joanies Bella, who came from just behind the early leaders to capture the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie here by a neck on September 22, will now be pointed toward the $100,000 Pocahontas Stakes on November 3 at Churchill Downs.
In her most recent trip to the post on Columbus Day at Beulah Park, Joanies Bella captured the $75,000 Best of Ohio Juvenile Fillies Championship Stakes by 12 lengths.
"We decided to pass on the Breeders' Cup," said co-owner Dan Martin over the phone Friday morning, "and we're pointing toward the Pocahontas at Churchill. If she runs well in that race November 3, there is a Grade II (the Golden Rod Stakes) at Churchill on November 24 that we'll take a look at.
That Best of Ohio race was a pretty easy race for her," Martin said. "She's a pretty nice filly. Perret (jockey Craig) hand rode her the whole way. Everyone expected her to win and thankfully she did. The day turned out to be a lot of fun. Perret had never been to Beulah Park before, and they had their mutuel tickets stamped with his picture."
About 100 students from 11 different high schools from Districts 211 and 214 visited Arlington Park racetrack on Thursday, October 11 for a Career Trek to learn about career opportunities in racing. The participating high schools were: Buffalo Grove, Conant, Elk Grove, Fremd, Hersey, Hoffman Estates, Palatine, Prospect, Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg and Wheeling.
The students were given a tour of the track and presentations on facility operations, security, food service, customer service, marketing and sales, public relations, accounting, television production and equine care.
Arlington Park employees who made presentations included Tony Petrillo, director of facilities; Doug Clements, director of operations for Levy Restaurants at Arlington Park; Lynn Cannon, director of guest relations; Keith Darby, director of marketing; Dan Leary, director of communications; Paul Britter, accounting manager; and Kevin Clarke, director of TV operations.
Topics included an overall description of the racetrack, departmental responsibilities, career path descriptions by the presenters, educational requirements and employment opportunities at Arlington Park and in the racing industry.
Friends and fellow employees of Arlington Park Security's Mike Price express their deepest sympathies following the death of his wife Kathy Price on Thursday. Mrs. Price died following a long battle with cancer.
Numerous fellow Arlington Park employees offered to help the Price family throughout the summer during her illness.
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