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Arlington Park Stakes Advance: American Derby (GII)

Contact: David Zenner


European Invader Tries To Unseat Arlington Classic Winner in Second Leg of Triple

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 22, 2004) -- Arlington Classic winner Toasted takes on European invader Simple Exchange and six other rivals in Saturday's $250,000 American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's, at Arlington Park.

The Grade II race -- at a mile and three-sixteenths on the turf -- is the second leg of the Mid-America Triple that began with the Grade II Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve at a mile and a sixteenth on July 3, and concludes with the Grade I $400,000 Secretariat Stakes. The American Derby is also one of three graded stakes races on turf that comprise Arlington's Million Preview Day that also includes the Grade III $250,000 Arlington Handicap for older runners and the Grade III $150,000 Modesty Handicap for fillies and mares.

Toasted, owned by Chicago area businessman Sidney L. Port, shipped in from his Southern California homebase to easily capture the Arlington Classic by 3 lengths over soft turf. Earlier this year, over firm going, the son of Hennessy took the $110,000 La Puente Stakes at Santa Anita in April and then ran second in the Grade III Will Rogers Stakes at Hollywood Park.

Trainer Laura de Seroux had planned on skipping the American Derby with Toasted and await the Secretariat, but after returning to California the horse was doing so well that she decided to ship him back to Chicago for Saturday's race. Arlington's leading jockey Rene Douglas, who was aboard for the Arlington Classic score, has a return call in the American Derby.

Moyglare Stud Farm Ltd.'s Simple Exchange, an Irish-bred son of Danehill, invades from Europe after a fourth-place finish in the listed Hampton Court Stakes during the Royal Ascot meeting. Simple Exchange is trained by Ireland's all-time leading conditioner Dermot Weld, who won two of the last four American Derbys (Pine Dance in 2000 and Evolving Tactics last year) and finished second in another. Patrick Smullen makes the trip from the Emerald Isle to guide Simple Exchange.

David E. Garner's Cool Conductor, third in the Arlington Classic, adds Lasix for the American Derby after bleeding in the first leg of the Mid-America Triple. The front running son of Stravinsky previously finished third in the Grade III Jefferson Cup at Churchill Downs after winning a first-level allowance race at the Louisville racetrack. Cornelio Velasquez gets the mount aboard the Bill Mott trainee.

Ralls & Foster LLC's Up Anchor makes his third consecutive start over the Arlington turf. The son of Polish Navy, fourth in the Arlington Classic, earlier won the $38,000 Awad Handicap here. Rafael Bejarano, America's leading rider in races won, teams up with the Paul McGee-trained 3-year-old for the first time Saturday.

Ann Marie Farm's Kilgowan, recently transferred to local trainer Mike Stidham, comes in off a fourth-place finish in the Grade III Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park, which served as his turf debut. In six previous starts on the dirt, the son of Smoke Glacken won three times topped by a score in the Grade III El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields. C. H. Marquez Jr. has the mount.

Completing the field for the American Derby (with jockey listed) are: Spendthrift Farm LLC's Samwise (Kerwin John), a recent allowance winner over the Hollywood turf; Victor Achar's Caiman (Eusebio Razo Jr.), winless in three starts since capturing a third-level allowance race at Hawthorne; and Al & Saundra S. Kirkwood's Gwaihir, a victor over the Arlington lawn last time out.

Arlington Park -- the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. -- will run a 96-day meet in 2004 from Friday, May 14 through Sunday, Sept. 19. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates eight off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Chicago, Trackside McHenry, Trackside Rockford, Trackside South Beloit, Trackside Waukegan and Longshots featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at

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