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Arlington Park Stakes Advance: Beverly D. (G1)

Contact: David Zenner


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 11, 2004) -- Turf distaffers bred in six different countries converge at Arlington Park on Saturday for the $750,000 Beverly D. The Grade I race for fillies and mares, contested at a mile and three-sixteenths over Arlington's world famous turf course, attracted a stellar international line-up of 11 headlined by Gainsborough Farm's Musical Chimes.

The 15th running of the Beverly D. is the sister race to the Grade I Arlington Million which will also be contested Saturday as part of Arlington's one day International Festival of Racing, the traditional centerpiece of the Chicago Thoroughbred season, that also features the Grade I $400,000 Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-olds of global turf stature.

Musical Chimes is a Grade or Group I winner on two continents. The daughter of In Excess captured the Group I Poule d'Essai des Pouliches at Longchamp last year as a 3-year-old and last time out was an impressive victress in the Grade I John C. Mabee Handicap at Del Mar three weeks ago. Winners of the Mabee, formerly called the Ramona, have traditionally run well in the Beverly D. Musical Chimes' Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale will give a leg up to jockey Kent Desormeaux, inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame earlier this week. The 2-1 morning line favorite drew post position four for the Beverly D.

Second choice in the early odds at 5-2 is Falourd, Guy & Trussell's Commercante. The French-bred daughter of Marchand de Sable has made only one start in the United States, easily disposing of third-level allowance fillies with an 11-length tally at Belmont Park in May. Before coming to North America, she was a Group III stakes winner in her native country, capturing the Prix de Psyche at Deauville. She is trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Bobby Frankel, who won last year's Beverly D. with Juddmonte Farm's Heat Haze. Jerry Bailey, the Hall of Fame jockey who rode Commercante her American debut, has a return call Saturday and the pair will depart from post position 10.

Diamond A Racing Corporation's Noches De Rosa, a Chilean-bred daughter of Stagecraft, invades from the Southern California barn of Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella off a third-place finish in the Grade II Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park in June. One month earlier, the 6-year-old mare was a game heroine in the Grade I Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood. Noches De Rosa, listed at 5-1 in the morning line, will start from post position three and be ridden be Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith.

Pin Oak Stable LLC's Bedanken carries the local hopes in the Beverly D. The daughter of Geri has been based at Arlington all summer, winning the $41,875 Possibly Perfect Stakes on July 3 and capturing the Grade III Modesty Handicap at the Beverly D. distance of a mile and three-sixteenths on July 24. Trained by Donnie K. Von Hemel, the 5-year-old mare will team up with her regular rider, Don Pettinger, and leave from post position eight.

The remainder of the European-based contingent consists of Ingeborg von Schubert & Gary A. Tanaka's Aubonne (Edgar Prado, 30-1); Michael Tabor & Mrs. John Magnier's Necklace (Jamie Spencer, 12-1); and Godolphin Racing Inc.'s Crimson Palace (Lanfranco Dettori, 15-1).

The South African-bred Crimson Palace has been racing in Dubai and England this year after campaigning exclusively in her native land during 2002 and 2003. The accomplished 5-year-old daughter of Elliodor won the Group III Middleton Stales at York in May less than two months after finishing fourth against males but beaten less than a length in the Grade I Dubai Duty Free at Nad Al Sheba.

Necklace, an English-bred daughter of Darshaan, is the only 3-year-old in the race. She comes to Arlington off a fourth-place finish in the Group I English Oaks at Epsom in June. The Aidan O'Brien-trained filly was a Group I winner at two, taking the Moyglare Stud Stakes at The Curragh in August 2003.

Aubonne, a German-bred daughter of Monsun, was victorious in the Group III La Coupe at Longchamp in France in her last trip to the post on June 17.

Others representing North America are Fox Ridge Farm's Riskaverse (Pat Day, 12-1); Andrena Van Doren's Shaconage (Brice Blanc, 15-1); Willmott Stables Inc.'s Aud (Eusebio Razo Jr., 20-1); and Old Friends, Inc.'s Quero Quero (Victor Espinoza, 20-1).

Riskaverse, third in last year's Beverly D., is winless in three starts this season. The daughter of Dynaformer was most recently second in the Grade I Diana Handicap at Saratoga July 31.

Aud and Shaconage ran two-three in the Modesty over this course on July 24. The former, a 4-year-old daughter of Wild Again, is winless this year but captured the Grade III Pucker Up Stakes here as a 3-year-old. Earlier this year, Shaconage took a pair of Grade III events at Churchill Downs: the Argent Mortgage on May 1 and the Locust Grove on June 26.

Quero Quero hasn't won since March when she captured a second-level allowance race at Santa Anita. She has faced top competition in three subsequent races including a second-place finish in the Grade I Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood on July 11.

Arlington Park -- the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. -- is running 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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