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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Arlington Park Stakes Advance: Arlington-Washington BC Futurity (GIII)
Contact: David Zenner
ROCKY RIVER FAVORED IN ARLINGTON-WASHINGTON BC FUTURITY
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (September 17, 2004) -- Thunderhead Farms' Rocky River, undefeated in two trips to post, looks to keep his perfect record intact when he tops a field of six 2-year-olds entered in Sunday's $200,000 Arlington-Washington Breeders' Cup Futurity. The Grade III, one-mile race is Chicago's signature event for the juvenile set.
The Futurity, which includes $50,000 in purse money from the Breeders' Cup Fund for the first time in 2004, shares the spotlight on the closing day card with the $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie (Grade III) for 2-year-old fillies, also at one mile. A third event, the $42,000-added Taylor's Special Stakes for older horses at 5½ furlongs on the turf, completes the Sunday stakes troika.
A son of Concorde's Tune, Rocky River comes into the Futurity off a 4¾-length tally in the $52,800 Spectacular Bid Stakes over seven furlongs on Aug. 29. In that race, the Florida-bred colt sat just off the pace, rallied four-wide into the stretch, took command with a furlong to run and drew clear for the easy score. The Don Von Hemel charge tuned up for the Futurity with a bullet drill of 58.80 seconds for five furlongs on Sunday. Regular rider Chris Emigh gets a return call on Rocky River, who breaks from post four in the Futurity.
Also likely to receive backing at the windows in James T. Hines Jr.'s Elusive Chris, winner of the $98,000 James C. Ellis Juvenile at Ellis Park in his last start. The Elusive Quality colt, trained by Bob Holthus, was bumped at the start in that Kentucky race, overcame that trouble to prevail by a neck under John McKee, who rides again Sunday.
Set to face Rocky River and Elusive Chris (with jockeys listed) are: Nancy Vanier & Cartwright Thoroughbreds LLC's Straight Line (C. H. Marquez Jr.); Shamrock Hill Farm's Santana Strings (Emanuel Cosme); Eliah & Lisa Kahn's Exceptional Ride (Robby Albarado); and Hugh H. Robertson & Homewrecker Racing LLC's Three Hour Nap (Eusebio Razo Jr.).
Like Rocky River, Three Hour Nap comes into the Futurity undefeated with two victories over the course. The Hugh Robertson-trained son of Afternoon Deelites broke his maiden going 5½ furlongs on July 23 and captured a first-level allowance at one mile on Aug. 29, the same day as Rocky River's Spectacular Bid tally.
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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