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Arlington Park Barn Notes (6/10/04)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Children of local backstretch workers and their parents will be entertained in a recreation area on the Arlington backstretch Friday afternoon during a kick off ceremony and orientation session for the upcoming 2004 Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (ITHA) Summer Camp.

A simultaneous launch of 100 helium balloons -- one held by each child of Illinois backstretch workers signed up for the summer camp -- will highlight Friday's kick off ceremonies.

Each balloon will carry a pre-addressed, pre-stamped post card with that child's name and address, allowing the eventual balloon finder to answer the launcher with details of when and where the balloon was found.

The ITHA Library and Learning Center oversees the summer camp, for children ranging in age from those going into Kindergarten to those going into the eighth grade. A collaboration of paid and volunteer staff members from School District 214, University of Illinois Extension, the ITHA, area 4H clubs and other groups are all used to conduct the ITHA Summer Camp.

The 2004 ITHA Summer Camp will run for eight weeks, Monday through Friday, from June 14 to Aug. 6. On Tuesdays there will be field trips, often to the library but also to the zoo and other entertaining venues. Campers will be provided with breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack each day of the camp.

"During Friday's kick off ceremonies at Arlington we will provide the parents with the necessary details of the summer camp," said Melanie Schikore, program director for the ITHA's program. "We will also be serving food and have a T-Shirt distribution for all campers."


Radio Station WZZN (94.7 The Zone) will conduct a live remote from the Park Area at Arlington during Friday's twilight racing program with a first post-time of 3 p.m. The local rock group "Shards" will be the featured band this Friday.


Robert Bernacki, Tom Burek & Merrill R. Scherer's Chance Dance. an invader from Churchill Downs, will challenge local heroine Julie's Prize, owned by Richard Otto Stables Inc., and nine other members of the distaff set in Saturday's $75,000 Estrapade Handicap at Arlington Park.

The featured Estrapade, named in honor of the only female runner to beat males in the Grade I Arlington Million, is restricted to fillies and mares, 3-years-old and up, and is scheduled for a mile and a sixteenth over Arlington's grass course.

In her last start May 22 at the Twin Spires oval, Chance Dance came from off the pace in a conditioned allowance race to tally by two and three-quarters when going a mile and a sixteenth over the Louisville lawn. Before that, in the Grade III Argent Mortgage Distaff Turf Mile on Kentucky Derby Day, May 1, the Kentucky-bred filly finished third, beaten two lengths for all of it.

Julie's Prize has been away from the races since April 24 when she finished fourth, beaten three and a half lengths, in the Grade III Sixty Sails Handicap at Hawthorne. Previously, the Illinois-bred daughter of El Prado had captured the $100,000 Peach Of It Handicap by four lengths while less than fully extended.

Chance Dance and Julie's Prize share the starting top impost of 117 pounds in the Estrapade, with Carlos Marquez Jr. named to handle the reins on Chance Dance and regular rider Larry Sterling Jr. slated for the tack astride Julie's Prize.

Weighted a pound below the co-highweights, and capable of providing strong competition for the top two is Pope McLean's Princess Pelona. Another 4-year-old filly by El Prado, Princess Pelona was a four and a half-length front-running victress in the $38,000 Reluctant Guest Handicap at Arlington May 22. That race, originally scheduled for the turf, was to be Princess Pelona's first on grass, but the one-mile test was subsequently taken off that surface and run over muddy going.

Princess Pelona, who had been idle since finishing third, beaten two and a half, in the $100,000 Chou Croute Handicap at the Fair Grounds Feb. 21, will be ridden by Eddie Razo Jr. on Saturday.

Completing the Estrapade field is Butterfly Stable's Hail Hillary, 114, Jose Martinez Jr.; Good Genes Farm Inc.'s It's Spooky, 113, Eduardo Perez; Barr H. Inman's Delicatessa, 114, Jesse Campbell; Laurie Wolf's Freei, 111, Shane Laviolette; Silverton Hill LLC's Modena Bay, 114, James Lopez; N. J. Samford Trust's Blue Sky Baby, 115, Frank Lovato Jr.; Nancy A. Vanier & Lyda Williamson's Beret, 114, Chris Emigh; and William Lydon, Nancy & Vince Letto & Carson Springs Farm's Sunset Kisses, 112, Carlos Silva up.

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