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Arlington Park Stakes Advance: Arlington Heights Breeders' Cup Oaks (GIII)

Contact: David Zenner


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 19, 2004) -- Wayne R. Sanders' Platinum Ballet looks for her second victory of the season when she heads postward in Saturday's Grade III Arlington Breeders' Cup Oaks at Arlington Park. The Arlington Breeders' Cup Oaks carries a purse of $150,000 including $50,000 from the Breeders' Cup fund for eligible horses. Of the 10 3-year-old fillies entered in the Oaks, all but Chancey Light run for the enhanced purse.

A daughter of Skip Away, Platinum Ballet comes into Saturday's Oaks off a second-place finish as the 7-10 chalk in a second-level allowance race over this oval. In that test, run at the nine-furlong distance of the Oaks, the Donnie K. Von Hemel-trained miss rated just off the pace and rallied in the lane to miss by just a neck to Tamarack Bay. Though she is winless in four stakes attempts this year, she has been competitive with a runner-up finish in the $50,000 Panthers Stakes at Prairie Meadows on her ledger. Chris Emigh, who rode her in her most recent start, has a return call Saturday.

Prominent among those Platinum Ballet will face in the Oaks are Bernard G. Schaeffer's Fly Away Angel, Stonerside Stable's Catboat and Mount Brilliant Stable LLC's Miss Moses: the first three finishers in the $54,000 Sweetest Chant Stakes.

Also by Skip Away, Fly Away Angel looks for her third straight victory on Saturday. In addition to capturing the one-mile Sweetest Chant on July 30 at odds of 10-1, she also won a first-level allowance race at Ellis Park 20 days earlier. Jason Lumpkins has been named to partner with the William Connelly-trained filly.

Catboat was just a half-length behind Fly Away Angel at the finish of the Sweetest Chant, which snapped a four-race win skein for the daughter of Tale of the Cat. Trained by Bernard Flint, Catboat had broken her maiden and run through her allowance conditions at Mountaineer Park, scoring on both dirt and turf at the West Virginia racetrack. Eddie Martin Jr. has the mount.

The Mike Stidham-trained Miss Moses won a first-level allowance race here July 2, four weeks prior to finishing a good third in the Sweetest Chant. The daughter of Gulch is four for five in the money this season and will be ridden by her regular jockey, C. H. Marquez Jr.

Mel Cranston's Touch of Victory looks to rebound after a disappointing seventh-place finish in the Sweetest Chant. Prior to that, the Steve Hobby-trained daughter of Victory Gallop won back-to-back allowance races here at the nine-furlong Oaks distance. Arlington Park's leading jockey, Rene Douglas, gets the call.

Completing the field for the Arlington Breeders' Cup Oaks (with jockey) are: Richard Otto Stables Inc.'s Lovely Afternoon (James Graham); Phillips Racing Partnership's My Time Now (Randall Meier); Mark H. Stanley's Teenage Temper (Brice Blanc); Jim Tafel LLC's Flashy (Eusebio Razo Jr.); and Peggy Dellheim & J. D. Farms' Chancey Light (Frank Lovato Jr.).

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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