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|Arlington Park Stakes Advance: Secretariat Stakes (G1)
Contact: David Zenner
KITTEN'S JOY HEADS SEVEN IN $400,000 SECRETARIAT STAKES
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 11, 2004) -- Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey's Kitten's Joy, the leader pro tem of the American sophomore turf division, tops a select and international field of seven three-year-olds entered in Saturday's 28th renewal of the Grade I, $400,000 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park.
The Grade I Secretariat, a mile and a quarter race on the turf, is part of the one-day International Festival of Racing that also features the 22nd running of the Grade I Arlington Million and the Grade I, $750,000 Beverly D. for fillies and mares. The Secretariat serves as the third leg of Arlington's Mid-America Triple that began with the Grade II Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve, on July 3 and continued with the Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's, on July 24.
Kitten's Joy, a Kentucky-based son of El Prado trained by Dale Romans, has six wins and a second from seven lifetime turf starts. He enters the Secretariat off a 2¾-length win over Artie Schiller in the July 10 Virginia Derby, an effort that was flattered when Artie Schiller rebounded to capture the Grade II, $150,000 Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga by a convincing 4¼ lengths on August 9. Kitten's Joy, installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite, has lifetime earnings of $615,911, nearly triple that of any of his six foes in the Secretariat. He will break from the rail under Jerry Bailey, who has never won the Secretariat.
Breaking from post three is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line, the Bobby Frankel-trained Greek Sun. Undefeated in three career starts, Greek Sun's only 2004 start was a two-length tally in the Grade III Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 26. Edgar Prado has accepted the riding assignment from Frankel, who won the Secretariat in 2002 with Chiselling.
Hazyview is one of three European-based horses that will contest the Secretariat. The Neville Callaghan charge comes into the Secretariat off a third-place finish in the Group II Prix Eugene Adam at Maisons-Laffitte in France. His 12 previous career starts came in Great Britain. The winner of five of 13 lifetime, Hazyview will break from post two under champion European rider Lanfranco Dettori. He is listed at 9-2 on the Arlington Park morning line.
The Aidan O'Brien-trained Moscow Ballet, an Irish-bred son of Sadler's Wells, finished seventh at 50-1 odds in the Group I Irish Derby last time out, but he took a listed stakes at the Royal Ascot meeting at the Secretariat distance of a mile and a quarter prior to that. Moscow Ballet is to be ridden by Jamie Spencer and is the 5-1 fourth choice on the morning line. O'Brien won the Secretariat in 2000 with Ciro.
Simple Exchange and Cool Conductor are each listed at 6-1 on the morning line and their identical odds are for good reason. The two finished first and second, respectively, in the American Derby, separated by only a neck at the finish. For Simple Exchange who will begin from post seven, the American Derby was his first stateside start after six races in Great Britain and Ireland. He will again be piloted by Patrick Smullen, Simple Exchange's regular rider.
Cool Conductor, running on Lasix for the first time in the American Derby, had a somewhat difficult trip in the race under Cornelio Velasquez. The son of Stravinsky was up close to the early pace as is his wont, dropped back to seventh around the final turn, then closed with a rush, passing everyone but Simple Exchange. For the Secretariat, the Bill Mott-trainee will be ridden from post five by Hall of Famer Pat Day, a three-time winner of the Secretariat Stakes.
Rounding out the field is the locally-based longshot Up Anchor who was fifth in the American Derby, beaten 6½ lengths by Simple Exchange.
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 www.arlingtonpark.com.
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