|Arlington Park Barn Notes
Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 385-7500 ext. 7319
In today's notes:
Two months ago, Bianca Seiling, smartly dressed in a black pantsuit, posed in the infield at Arlington Park, smiling happily as she held the shank of Silvano, who had won Arlington Million XIX, third leg of the World Series Racing Championship, moments earlier.
As the groom and the exercise rider for Silvano, who races in the silks of Stiftung Gestut Fahrhof, probably no one knows the mental as well as physical state of the bay 5-year-old on a day-to-day basis better than Seiling. She travels with the horse, feeds him, bathes him, and is aboard for most of his exercises, and from the moment the two of them arrived in Chicago, she commented on how happy he was here.
Now, despite a difficult journey involving a 27-hour flight and a change of hemispheres as well as continents, Seiling says Silvano is happy again in Australia, eight days away from his next race in the Group I Carlton Draught Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.
"He's loving it out here," said Seiling from Australia earlier this week, shortly after taking out Silvano for a strong mile gallop. "I just dropped my hands a bit and off he went."
One day earlier, Seiling had watched Lonhro win the Caufield Guineas and Northerly win the Group I Yalumba Stakes. They will be well-regarded members of Silvano's competition next Saturday and they were running on their home grounds in final preps for the Cox Plate.
"Lonhro looks like he can go longer, and Northerly looked strong leading throughout," Seiling said after watching the two Australian-based rivals. When asked how Silvano would fair against them, she said: "I don't know. We haven't run against each other yet."
However, Seiling was equally diplomatic concerning questions about the competition in the days before the Arlington Million. "I can only tell you about my horse," Seiling said at that time, "and he's very happy here."
To be run next Saturday afternoon Australian time, the Cox Plate will be the eighth leg in the World Series Racing Championship. The Grade I Breeders' Cup Turf and Grade I Breeders' Cup Classic, as the ninth and tenth legs of World Series 2001, will also be run on Saturday.
However, those two races, which are the last two events in the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, will be run well over half a day later as the world spins around to the Eastern Daylight time observed at Belmont Park in New York.
Carolyn Friedberg's Minor Wisdom, hero of the $200,000 Kentucky Cup Mile Handicap at Kentucky Downs on September 23, should be a tepid choice in the wagering when he faces 10 rivals in Sunday's $50,000 Bowl Game Stakes at a mile and a sixteenth over Arlington Park's world famous turf course.
In that most recent trip to the post at the oval on the cusp of the Tennessee border, Minor Wisdom prompted the early pace, challenged for command at the furlong grounds and gamely withstood a rival the rest of the way. He tallied by a head in the one-mile event over the lawn.
In his previous outing, the Illinois-bred competed in the $100,000 Sea O'Erin Breeders' Cup Handicap at Arlington September 3, was always well placed, but missed by a neck. Earlier in his career, when still a sophomore, Minor Wisdom won the Grade III Hawthorne Gold Cup on the South side of Chicago.
If all go in Sunday's feature, the middle distance grassy affair will have a gross value of $55,500 with a $33,300 share of that sum going to the owners of the winner.
Sure to provide strong competition for Minor Wisdom in Sunday's Bowl Game is Frank C. Calabrese's Langston, an altered son of 1992 Preakness winner Pine Bluff who won at last asking over a yielding local course in an allowance race on September 29. After dueling for the early lead Langston gained the advantage at the eighth pole and drew off late for a two and three-quarter-length win. Before that the Kentucky-bred was third in the Sea O'Erin, finishing a neck behind Minor Wisdom.
Another strong threat in the Bowl Game is Arthur I. Appleton's Galic Boy, winner of the $60,000 John Henry at Arlington over a yielding turf course August 17. By the recently-pensioned Irish River, Galic Boy was fifth in the Sea O'Erin at last asking, but only beaten about two lengths for all of it.
Others named to the Bowl Game are John Binyon & Merrill R. Scherer's Grandpa Two, Pam Slaughter & Jack Murphy's Jake the Flake, Joseph Lacombe's Medieval Hero, Horse Cents Stables' Mister Volare, Richard Englander's Orleans Road, William W. Wright's Prime Meridian, Team Block's Reno Rumble, and Lloyd DeBruycker's Who Devil Who.
Of these, Reno Rumble merits consideration. The 7-year-old gelding won the $45,000 Tex's Zing Handicap here September 16, and captured the $75,000 Cardinal Handicap on Prairie State Festival Day, June 23, during the initial days of the current season.
Following a suspense-filled introduction by Bill Thayer, senior vice president of racing at Arlington Park, trainer Jackie Wright was called to the podium at Trackside Wednesday evening to accept an award as Arlington's "Rising Star" of the 2001 racing season here.
"It was a surprise," said Wright later in the week. "I almost wish I had known, because I would have made sure to remember to thank my owners. John Santina, Marc Goldish and Elaine Starzyk have been very good to me by giving me their horses to train, and without that opportunity, I don't know where I'd be right now."
Wright, who has saddled 24 winners during her brief career that began in August of 2000, was an assistant to trainer Wayne Catalano for much of last season. When he took an offer to train exclusively for Frank Calabrese, Wright picked up the Savoy Stable group that had been part of his band. "I was just in the right place at the right time.
"We started off very well," said Wright of the 2001 Arlington season, "but we've tailed off a little bit lately. I think its because I haven't been able to gallop my own horses because I've had to do some other things.
"But now we're going to move forward and try to keep it going," said Wright, who plans to race at Gulfstream Park this winter. Wright's daughter Stephanie wrote an introduction for her mother prior to Wednesday evening's celebration, hinting that someone should ask her mother about the significance of the broom insignia on her saddle towels.
"Oh, that," said Wright. "Well, I've always been known as something of a taskmaster, and I was often described as the resident witch around the barn when I first started, but now I like to say that when the stable gets really good the broom insignia will signify a clean sweep."
Following Jackie Wright's Rising Star Award, Arlington's senior vice president Bill Thayer was presented with a "Lifetime Achievement" award of his own.
Thayer, always known for his strong relationships with horsemen, wanted to thank a host of people. "You have thank everybody," Thayer said. "I want to thank the horsemen, the grooms, the hot walkers, the exercise boys and everyone else. You can't leave anybody out."
Thayer has been with Arlington since 1972, when he left his position as vice president and general manager at Finger Lakes to return to the local oval. Thayer began a four-year association with Arlington the first time in 1964.
Date Time Event
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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