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|Arlington Park Stakes Advance: Arlington Breeders' Cup Sprint
Contact: David Zenner
CHAMPALI HEADS ARLINGTON BREEDERS' CUP SPRINT LINEUP
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 26, 2004) -- Lloyd Madison Farms IV LLC's Champali figures to be a short-priced favorite for Saturday's Arlington Breeders' Cup Sprint at Arlington Park. The six-furlong Arlington Breeders' Cup Sprint carries a purse of $150,000 including $50,000 from the Breeders' Cup fund for eligible horses. Of the five runners entered in the Sprint, all but Avid Skier run for the enhanced purse.
A son of Glitterman, Champali comes into the Sprint off three straight victories, the last two in Grade III competition. In his most recent trip to the post, he was a wire-to-wire hero under Jerry Bailey in the $500,000 Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder Race Course during that track's Summit of Speed. Prior to that, he rallied from off the pace to capture the $150,000 Aristides Handicap at Churchill Downs with Rafael Bejarano up. One start before that, Pat Day guided him to win an allowance race at the Twin Spires oval. Arlington's leading rider, Rene Douglas, will be the fourth different rider in as many races to ride the Greg Foley-trained Champali, who will be the starting highweight at 120 pounds.
His main competition will come from Lee Battaglia & James P. DiVito's Coach Jimi Lee, winner of the $125,000 Iowa Sprint at Prairie Meadows in his last start. In that six-furlong affair, the son of Roar rallied from off the pace to gain the victory in the final sixteenth of a mile, stopping the timer in 1:07.84. Last December, the DiVito-trained gelding set an Illinois record when he ran six furlongs at Hawthorne in 1:07.27. Jockey Craig Perret will make up most of the 119 pounds Coach Jimi Lee will carry Saturday.
Keith McKinney & Jack Sweesy's Gold Storm carries a two-race win skein into the Sprint. The son of Seeking the Gold invades from Texas where he captured the $40,000 J. R. Strauss Memorial at Retama Park on July 23, two weeks after winning a conditioned allowance race at Lone Star Park. Texas-based reinsman Larry Taylor has a return call aboard the C. W. (Bubba) Cascio-trained Gold Storm in the Sprint.
Alpha One Stable's Super Fuse looks to rebound after running 10th in the Smile in his most recent effort, which was his first race after a 2½-month layoff. Prior to the Smile, the Steve Asmussen-trained son of Lite the Fuse was fourth in a conditioned allowance race at Aqueduct on April 23 and ran fifth in the Grade I Carter Handicap at that New York track earlier that month. Eddie Martin Jr. will ride.
Completing the field for the Arlington Breeders' Cup Sprint is Wilbur K. France's Avid Skier. The 3-year-old Appealing Skier colt beat members of his own age division when capturing the $41,500 Native Dancer Stakes in June. In two subsequent starts, the Gerald Bennett pupil was fifth in the $100,000 Round Table Stakes here on July 24 and next ran fourth in the Grade III West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park. Bobby Lester will be in the saddle.
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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