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Arlington Park Stakes Advance: Pucker Up Stakes (GIII)

Contact: David Zenner


East vs. West Showdown in Midwest Headliner

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (September 16, 2004) -- Ford, Pearson & Sweesy's Ticker Tape, a Grade I stakes winner on the West Coast, and Green Hills Farm's Spotlight, a Grade II heroine in the East, converge in the Midwest at Arlington Park as they headline an overflow field of 13 entered for Saturday's $200,000 Pucker Up Stakes. The Pucker Up, for sophomore fillies, will be run at a mile and an eighth on Arlington Park's world famous turf course.

A British-bred daughter of Royal Applause, Ticker Tape comes to Arlington off a second-place finish as the 2-1 favorite in the Grade I Del Mar Oaks in Southern California. In that nine-furlong race, the James Cassidy trainee rallied three wide in the stretch to take the lead at the eighth-pole but was caught in the final strides by Amorama. Prior to that, she upset her rivals with a similar move in the mile and a quarter Grade I American Oaks at Hollywood Park on July 3. Her regular rider, Kent Desormeaux, will make the trip to Arlington to guide Ticker Tape on Saturday.

Her main competition will come from Spotlight. The daughter of Dr Fong is undefeated in two starts since coming to America from her native England earlier this year. In her most recent start, the Christophe Clement-trained filly stalked the pace and rallied in the lane to win the Grade II Lake Placid Handicap at Saratoga by 3 lengths under Hall of Fame reinsman Jerry Bailey. With Bailey on the sidelines with a broken wrist, the mount on Ticker Tape will go to Arlington Park's leading jockey Rene Douglas.

Slated to face the top duo in the Pucker Up (with jockeys listed) are: Carolyn L. Gray's Bonanza Jellybean (Earlie Fires); Joi Nelson & Jeremiah Stables' Code of Ethics (Eusebio Razo Jr.); Rosendo G. Parra's Dancing Liebling (Larry Sterling Jr.); Select Stable One LLC's Erhu (Tommy Molina); and Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.'s Humorous Miss (James Graham).

Also, Stony Oak Farm LLC's Key To The Cat (Daniel Coa); Brad Anderson's Lentareese (Brice Blanc); William Lydon & Carson Springs Farm's Ms. Lydonia (Chris Emigh); Hieligbrodt Racing Stable's Sister Swank (Frank Lovato Jr.); Team Victory's Skip Poker (C. H. Marquez Jr.); and Stoneway Farm LLC's Unbridled Echo (Jesse Campbell).

Of these, Humorous Miss and Lentareese are both coming in off recent stakes victories. The former, a Frank Springer-trained daughter of Distorted Humor, won the $54,000 Hatoof Stakes over soft going in her last start on Aug. 28 after capturing a second-level allowance over firm turf the previous month. The latter, a Broad Brush filly trained by David Carroll, seeks her fourth straight victory. In her last start, she rallied seven-wide to win the $75,000 Audubon Oaks at Ellis Park on July 31.

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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