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Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/14/04)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Richard Otto Stables Inc.'s Summer Mis, who captured Keeneland's Grade III Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes last fall on her way to Illinois Horse of the Year honors, looms a strong choice when she heads a field of eight fillies and mares named to Saturday's $40,000-added Fit For A Queen Stakes, the featured event on the second racing day of the 2004 Arlington Park season.

If the field remains intact, the Fit For A Queen, contested at six furlongs, will have a gross value of $42,000 with a $25,200 share of that sum going to the owners of the winner.

Summer Mis, campaigned at Arlington throughout last summer, captured the $84,550 Isaac Murphy Handicap by three and a half lengths on Prairie State Festival Day June 21 to underline her successful 2003 campaign. The daughter of 1990 Preakness winner Summer Squall, a 5-year-old mare, has made two starts this season, finishing third in an allowance race at Hawthorne March 20 as a prelude to her successful effort in the $100,000 Governor's Lady Handicap on Illinois Champions Day April 10 at the Southside oval.

Capable of providing strong competition for Summer Mis is Robert Dean Cecil's Tina Bull, a daughter of America's 1994 Horse of the Year Holy Bull. Tina Bull, a 4-year-old gray filly, comes into the Fit For A Queen off a two and a quarter-length tally when going six and a half furlongs at Keeneland April 14 and was twice stakes placed in New Orleans this winter.

Summer Mis is conditioned by Tony Mitchell and will be ridden by Larry Sterling Jr., and Tina Bull, trained by Steve Asmussen, has Jose Martinez Jr. named in the irons. The two share the top impost of 124 pounds.

Named to oppose the top two are Cherrywood Racing Stables II's Pass the Pepper, trained by Michele Boyce with E. T. Baird up; Herman Sarkowsky's Youcan'ttakeme, Grant Forster-trained with Greta Kuntzweiler in the saddle; West Wind Farm's Small Promises, conditioned by Bernie Flint with Chris Emigh aboard; Cobra Farm Inc.'s Fresh Tracks, trained by Mike Stidham with Corey Lanerie in the tack; Marc D. Goldish & Savoy Stable's Smoke Chaser, Dale Bennett-conditioned with Eduardo Perez named; and Wexler Racing Stables Inc.'s Royal Prize, trained by Charlie Vinci with Uriel Lopez astride. All those carry 118 pounds.


Apparently you can take Youcan'ttakeme just about anywhere, agreed trainer Grant Forster about his much-traveled filly: one of the unknown factors in Saturday's $42,000 Fit For A Queen Stakes at Arlington Park.

"She has always shipped well," said Forster, speaking of Youcan'ttakeme, owned and bred by Herman Sarkowsky in Washington. Forster, who will celebrate his 30th birthday Tuesday, is a Seattle-based trainer born in Vancouver. He has seven horses at Arlington this summer and a few more on the way during his initial seasonal campaign in Chicago. Youcan'ttakeme, a 4-year-old filly, finished fourth in the NTRA Great State Challenge Juvenile Fillies in Houston to complete her juvenile season in 2002, journeyed to Hot Springs, Arkansas, to start her sophomore campaign, traveled to Seattle for the summer, shipped to Indiana's Hoosier Park early last autumn and then concluded her 3-year-old season in Kentucky.

Although Youcan'ttakeme will be making her first start of the year in Saturday's Fit For A Queen, she fired three straight bullets in her works at Hawthorne during the past month and topped them off with an easy half-mile breeze in :47.40 at Arlington Monday.

"The others in the race have a fitness edge on us, but she always runs well fresh," said Forster, who brought Ten Broeck Farm Inc.'s Sala de Oro here to finish ninth in last fall's Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie. "Youcan'ttakeme always trains just great. She can't wait to do her job and is always eager to do more. And although she finished fourth in her last start at Churchill last fall, she broke slow that day. Normally, she handles the slop very well. I'm not concerned if the track is not fast on Saturday.

"Greta (jockey Kuntzweiler) has ridden this filly before and fits her very well," concluded Forster, "Greta is great with fillies. She knows how to get them to relax and then finish very strong."


Mrs. Carde Ostermann-Richter's Paolini, adjudged runner-up in the Grade I Arlington Million last summer, is slated to go to the post in Sunday's Group I Singapore Airlines International Cup at the Singapore Turf Club. The 10-furlong turf test is the second test in the 2004 World Series Racing Championship.

This summer's 22nd running of the Arlington Million, to be contested Aug. 14 as the centerpiece of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing season, will be the fourth leg in this year's World Series.

Paolini, sixth in the 2002 Arlington Million but beaten less than a length for all of it, finished in a dead-heat for the win in the Grade I Dubai Duty Free at Nad al Sheba in the United Arab Emirates March 27 this year.

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