Chicago Barn to Wire


Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 255-4300
Saturday, September 2, 2000
82nd Day


Jack Mandato's Bella Chiarra, coming off a winning effort in the $100,000 H.B.P.A. Handicap at Ellis Park a month ago, should rule a solid choice in the 64th running of the Grade 3 Arlington Matron on Labor Day Monday at Chicago's showcase thoroughbred oval.

The $150,000 Matron, premier event of the summer for fillies and mares three years old and upward, is contested at a mile and an eighth and has been won by such top distaffers as Mariah's Storm, Queen Alexandra and Sweetest Chant in the last 20 years.

Two-time winners include such stars as Sixty Sails, Swinging Mood, Real Delight and Shine O'Night.

Bella Chiarra, who will be the Matron starting highweight at 119 pounds, dueled for the lead throughout in that western Kentucky stakes run at one mile and lasted by a nose at the wire. Mark Guidry, leading rider at Arlington this summer, will be in the irons Monday. Guidry won the most recent renewal of the Matron aboard Donald R. Dizney's Omi in 1997. Earlier this year at Gulfstream Park, Bella Chiarra won the Grade 2 Rampart Handicap in February, and then posted a 13-length tally in the Columbiana Handicap.

Next in the weights among Matron starters and probable second choice in the wagering is Wings of Erin Farm's Masada, who is coming off a winning effort here at Arlington in the $65,000 Mariah's Storm Stakes. In that August 13 outing, at the nine-furlong distance, Masada prompted the early pace, challenged in the last eighth of a mile and drew clear late for a two-length score. Masada is assigned 116 pounds, most of which will be made up by jockey Ray Sibille, astride the filly for the Mariah's Storm.

Peter B. Scott's Diamond White, a British-bred who crossed the Atlantic to compete in the Grade 1 Beverly D. August 19, was a competitive fourth in that premier grass event. The durable five-year-old mare will be making her 59th career start, but only her sixth on the main track. She will shoulder 115 pounds with Chris Emigh in lieu of her Beverly D. pilot Frankie Dettori.

Marco Thoroughbred Corporation's Lines of Beauty, second to Masada in the Mariah's Storm after making the pace, is also assigned 115 pounds including Alfredo Juarez Jr. The daughter of Line In The Sand used the same front-running tactics in Prairie Meadows' Iowa Distaff in the July 2 to weaken late while holding the place. Earlier in the spring, however, she won the Lady Hallie Handicap at Sportsman's Park.

Completing the Matron lineup are: Gary A. Tanaka's On A Soapbox, 114, Eddie Razo Jr.; Mark Stanley & Double R Stable's Golden Temper, 112, Earlie Fires; James C. Ruthsong's Megans Bluff, 111, Charles Woods Jr.; and G. Watts Humphrey Jr.'s Tutorial, 109, Lonnie Meche.


Geraldine Jarol, an 80-year-old grandmother who came to Arlington July 29 as part of a group outing, won $10,000 here that day in the NTRA Down The Stretch Sweepstakes.

On Sunday, Arlington guests who fill out an entry blank for a random drawing will be eligible to win as much as $1 million.

Other increments available in prizes Sunday include cash prizes of $50,000, $25,000, $10,000 and $500.


Gary Neuses, an Arlington neighbor who owns Tele/Communications Tools on Rohlwing Road, is allowing the pony figure "Arlington" to be displayed in the paddock.

Neuses purchased "Arlington" at the "Ponies On Parade" auction held in Arlington Heights in August.

"Arlington" is joined in the paddock by "Heraldine", another pony figure designed by the Daily Herald for the "Parade" that was purchased by this racecourse.

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