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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Arlington Park Barn Notes (6/13/04)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Robert Bernacki, Tom Burek & Merrill R. Scherer's Chance Dance, heroine of Saturday's $75,000 Estrapade Handicap at Arlington Park, was still in a winning mood Sunday morning at the Chicago oval with a return trip to Louisville slated for later in the afternoon.
"She came out of the race in excellent shape," said Richie Scherer, deputizing for his father Merrill, the Louisville-based trainer of Chance Dance. "She cleaned up her tub last night, and when she walked this morning, she was still feeling very proud of herself."
Chance Dance was to van back to her home base at Churchill Downs later on Sunday. Although there are no definite plans for her immediate racing future, an appearance in Arlington's Grade III Modesty Handicap July 24 has not been ruled out.
Good Genes Farm Inc.'s It's Spooky, third in Saturday's $75,000 Estrapade Handicap at Arlington, recovered from her performance without incident and was doing well Sunday morning at trainer Jim McMullen's barn.
Hardly given a ghost of a chance in the morning line when slated at 50-1, It's Spooky's fortunes improved considerably when the Estrapade was taken off the grass, prompting five scratches from the original field.
"We really had no place else to go," said McMullen, who was not seriously considering the Estrapade for It's Spooky earlier in the week. "We were curious to find out how she would run on the grass, but we were also hoping the race would come off the grass and be run on a sloppy track, and that there would be a lot of scratches. We also wanted to see how she would run around two turns.
"I thought she ran a huge race," McMullen said. "She came out of the race in great shape and she showed us she can go two turns. Also, we got her stakes-placed for the first time in her career. We were very pleased."
Richard Otto Stables Inc.'s Julie's Prize, who missed by a head when a courageous second in Saturday's $75,000 Estrapade Handicap at Arlington, "came out of the race fine," according to trainer Tony Mitchell on Sunday morning.
"We'll evaluate her over the next couple of days, but now we are thinking that we might dodge the Illinois races (Prairie State Festival Day, June 26) and point her toward the Modesty (GIII, July 24) for her next start."
Thoroughbred racing fans attracted by large payoffs have had a number of opportunities at Arlington Park this weekend.
In Friday's seventh race, Cheery Thoroughbreds LLP's Rufus the Glider returned $85.60 straight, third highest win price at the meeting, but posted a place price of $36.80, largest of the current Arlington season.
Also, when combined with Team Irwin Partnership's Rahy Pavo, who finished second, the pair combined for an exacta payoff of $1,085.80, another seasonal high.
The trifecta payoff of $7,235, including third-place finisher Man o'Rhythm, owned by Grace Turnbow, was also the highest at Arlington in 2004.
On Saturday, the first of four NTRA National Pick 4s available during the Arlington season paid $34,249 based on a $2 wager. The next NTRA Pick 4 will be offered July 3.
Jockey Frank Lovato Jr., known for his proclivity in riding longshots to the winner's circle, had a camera crew from ESPN.com following him throughout Saturday's Arlington card.
As an Arlington fixture in recent seasons, Lovato is the focus in the Thoroughbred section of a feature on several different athletes from several different sports. The tentative webcast is slated for July.
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