Chicago Barn to Wire


Arlington Park News Release

Contact: Graham Ross (847) 385-7500 ext. 7319


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 11, 2001) -- Sixteen impeccably bred 2-year-olds owned by the world-renowned Godolphin racing empire of the ruling family of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates arrived at Arlington Park from Southern California June 2. Soon to be followed by several other unraced Godolphin juveniles, the youngsters will begin their promising careers throughout the upcoming season at Chicago's premier thoroughbred oval.

One of the new arrivals, a filly by Capote named Trick Taker, was on the track to stretch her legs one day after her arrival, and is entered in a four and a half furlong race on June 13, opening day at Arlington. Another, a colt named Maritime Mission, also by Capote, a sire known for his precocious get, went to the track as part of the same set with Trick Taker. Maritime Mission is a likely possibility for a dash at that same distance on June 21.

"The flight went extremely well and all the horses seemed to have settled in without problems," said David Duggan, assistant to Eoin Harty, the trainer of Godolphin's 2-year-olds in the United States. Harty is a former assistant to trainer Bob Baffert.

Duggan, an Irishman from Tipperary who also worked for trainers Neil Drysdale and John Kimmel earlier in his career, came to Arlington for the first time briefly last season with Goldophin's Zahwah, who finished third, beaten three lengths in the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie on closing day.

"Hopefully, we can make this (summer season at Arlington) a regular stop," said Duggan. "It works very well for our program. As part of the Churchill Downs family, you know they're going to write a lot of good races so there are a lot of positives to coming here.

"The best of our horses will go to (trainer) Saeed bin Suroor after we see how they develop during the summer," said Duggan.

Godolphin is the Dubai arm of Sheikh Maktoum al Maktoum's and Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum's racing empire. During Godolphin's first year, it was the idea of Sheikh Mohammed to take some of the best horses away from the natural pasture of England to the desert of Dubai in order to make a racing nation there and to gain acceptance by bringing them back to England. Shortly after that initial season of 1994, Godolphin chose Dubai-born Saeed bin Suroor to oversee the training on the international scene, and during their latest expansion sent their 2-year-olds to California in early spring under the care of Harty.

Last year, Godolphin's assault on the U.S. Triple Crown resulted in China Visit and Curule finishing sixth and seventh in the 2000 Kentucky Derby, and in the 2001 renewal, Express Tour finished eighth after stablemate Street Cry was injured in the days leading up to the Run for the Roses.

Godolphin's highlighted moments in recent years internationally, however, include Dubai Millennium's impressive win in the 2000 Group I Dubai World Cup, the race he was named for, and Daylami's tally in the 1999 Grade I Breeders' Cup Turf. Most recently, on May 27, Fantastic Light won the Group I Tattersalls Gold Cup in Ireland at The Curragh.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum of Dubai's royal family is the chairman of Emirates, the multiple awards winning airline that serves as the official sponsor of the Emirates World Series Racing Championship.

The Arlington Million, to be contested this year on August 18 as part of the International Festival of Racing, is also the third leg of the Emirates World Series Racing Championship, a 12-race series that is contested in 10 countries on four continents. Fantastic Light won Emirates World Series 2000 after capturing the Group I Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin Racecourse last December. Daylami won Emirates World Series 1999 following his Breeders' Cup Turf tally in November of that year.

Arlington Park, the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill., will run its 102-day live racing meet from June 13 through October 28, 2001. Arlington Park, which merged with Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN) in September 2000, also operates five off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities - "Trackside" at Arlington Park (Arlington Heights) Quad City Downs (East Moline) and in Chicago, Rockford, and Waukegan. For further information on Arlington Park, visit our website at

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