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Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/12/04)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Summer Mis is the reigning queen of racing in the Prairie State after being crowned Illinois Horse of the Year for 2003, and she'll return to Arlington Park Saturday in the aptly named $40,000 Fit For A Queen Stakes.

Owned by Richard Otto Stables Inc. and trained by Tony Mitchell, Summer Mis breezed three furlongs in :37.40 at Arlington Park Wednesday morning in a tune-up for Saturday's main event on the second day of the 2004 season at Chicago's premier Thoroughbred oval.

"She worked good," said Mitchell later Wednesday morning. "It was just an easy blowout. She's ready.

"Winning the Horse of the Year title was quite an honor," Mitchell said of his star mare. "It was an exceptional year for the whole organization, and it made me very proud. This will be her last year of racing, and we are looking forward to the coming campaign. Assuming she runs well Saturday, we'll point her toward the Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap (GIII, June 19).

"After that, we'll play it by ear, but a second long range goal would be to have her come back at Keeneland in the fall and win the (Grade III) Thoroughbred Club of America for the second year in a row. We'd like to end her racing career on a high note.

"Next year, she will be a broodmare," Mitchell concluded. "Mr. Otto has already made a couple of trips to Kentucky to consider future matings for her."

Who might they be?

"Empire Maker and Vindication are definitely on the short list," Mitchell answered.


Jaguar Friend, one of the more prominent entries in Friday's featured Shecky Greene Handicap on the first day of the 2004 season at Arlington Park, breezed three-eighths in :36.40 Wednesday morning at Arlington in preparation for that assignment.

"He went well," said trainer Bobby Springer shortly after the move. "We got just about what we wanted."

Jaguar Friend, owned by the Jaguar on The Run Stable of Palatine auto dealer Tony "D." D'Agostaro, was beaten a head when the runner-up in the $100,000 Land of Lincoln Stakes at Hawthorne in his last start April 10, but raced wide that day and was caught in the last strides. Before that the Illinois-bred by Crafty Friend out of a Sovereign Dancer mare was clearly best when breaking out of the "non-winners of two other than" ranks March 7 at that Southside oval. Both Hawthorne outings were at six furlongs, as is the Shecky Greene.

"I think we'll probably keep him sprinting for the time being," said Springer.

As a 2-year-old last fall, Jaguar Friend won Hawthorne's $100,000 Sun Power Stakes going three-quarters, and made the pace in the two-turn $100,000 Illinois Futurity when going a mile and a sixteenth for the first time before tiring to finish eighth.

Owner D'Agostaro, of A.C. Imports in Palatine, is remembered at Arlington for donating two chances to drive new Jaguars for a month during a fundraiser designed for Arlington's "Riding for a Cure" program last September.


Arlington Park's Junior Jockey Club, free to join and open to all children 12 and under, will have the first of 19 scheduled program for younger racing fans this Sunday, when "Meet the Jockey Colony" will be held, featuring a picture and autograph session with Arlington's jockeys. The first 300 Junior Jockey Club Members will receive jockey goggles.

The Junior Jockey Club is an exciting way for children to learn about Arlington Park and Thoroughbred horses as well as other breeds. The Club is interactive and members participate in educational activities, special events and giveaways.

The Junior Jockey Club is open to children 12 and under and is free to join at the Junior Jockey Club tent on Sundays or at

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