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Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/21/04)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Prominent Thoroughbred owner Beverly Lewis, named earlier this week as the recipient of this summer's "Penny Chenery Distinguished Woman in Racing" Award by Arlington Park, expressed empathy with fellow owners Roy and Pat Chapman as they approach the final leg of the 2004 Triple Crown with their undefeated sophomore star Smarty Jones.

"We can easily imagine what they (the Chapmans) are going through right now," said Mrs. Lewis, speaking on behalf of herself and her husband shortly after being tabbed as 2004's Distinguished Woman in Racing. "Hopefully, Smarty Jones will be able to complete the Triple Crown for them."

Mrs. Lewis, along with her husband Robert, campaigned two of the last five 3-year-olds who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness and went into the Belmont Stakes with a chance to sweep Thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown. They began the 1990s run of Triple Crown contenders with Silver Charm in 1997. Two years later, Charismatic, who also raced in their silks, also won the Derby and the Preakness, but like Silver Charm, failed to win the Belmont.

"Silver Charm had the better record ahead of him going into the Triple Crown," said Mrs. Lewis, when asked to compare their two Triple Crown chances. "With Charismatic, not as much was expected of him going into the Derby and the Preakness, but it was still very exciting to have the chance for the sweep.

"Right now, Bob and I are not sure of our plans on Belmont Stakes Day (June 5)," concluded Mrs. Lewis, "but I can tell you that we will be cheering hard for Smarty Jones and the Chapmans no matter where we watch the race."

In addition to Silver Charm and Charismatic, other 3-year-olds who could not complete the Triple Crown sweep in the Belmont Stakes over the last seven-year span are Real Quiet in 1998, War Emblem in 2002, and Funny Cide last year.

The last horse to win the Triple Crown was Affirmed in 1978 - 26 years ago.


Jockey Jason Lumpkins, for many years a leading rider at Thistledown but more recently known as a challenger to Northern California's perennial champion Russell Baze, got his 2004 Arlington Park season off to a perfect start when he guided Cathy and Bob Zollars' Silky Bay to a driving win in Thursday's third race.

Silky Bay, a 2-year-old filly trained by Steve Asmussen, was making the first start of her career, and was Lumpkins' first mount of the local season. The daughter of Stravinsky, out of a mare by 1992 Belmont Stakes winner A. P. Indy, won by a length and three-quarters and returned a $20.20 straight payoff.

Lumpkins, 34, born Martinsburg, West Virginia, explained his decision to come to Arlington Park this summer in a post-race winner's circle interview with Arlington television personality Christine Gabriel.

"Basically, I wanted to try something new," said Lumpkins, whose engagements will be handled by Dennis Cooper at Arlington. "I'm living in Kentucky, but I couldn't seem to get rolling there this spring, and I always wanted to try Arlington."

Lumpkins, with 14 riding titles to his credit at Thistledown in Northern Ohio, finished second in Northern California's Bay Meadows jockey standings at both the 2001 and 2002 spring meetings as well as the 2002 fall meeting before moving to Kentucky in 2003. He notched his 2,000th career victory on Jan. 31, 2003, at Turfway Park.

However, Lumpkins is remembered in Northern California for giving local champion Russell Baze a severe challenge for the riding title at Bay Meadows' 2001 spring session before being edged 95-89 in victories.

Lumpkins and his wife Dawn, have a daughter, Amanda, and a son Steven.


Arlington trainer Kenny Spraggins, who bred Wiggins, last year's Illinois Champion 3-Year-Old Male, before selling him toward the end of his juvenile campaign, has been working another 2-year-old at Arlington Park in recent days in preparation for his career debut.

E K Power, by the Harvey Vanier-campaigned stallion Powerful Goer, was officially clocked in :49.60 for four furlongs during a Thursday morning breeze at Arlington, although Spraggins had him going faster. Last Saturday, the 2-year-old breezed in :49.40 over the local oval despite the failure of a workmate to keep pace.

"At this stage of their careers, Wiggins and E K Power are the same," said Spraggins when asked to compare the pair. "E K Power's stride is longer, so I may wait for a five-furlong race before I give him his first start."

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