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Arlington Park Barn Notes (6/18/04)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Richard Otto Stables Inc.'s Lovely Afternoon may be a tepid choice in the wagering when she faces nine rivals in Sunday's $40,000-added Double Delta Stakes, the Father's Day feature attraction at Arlington Park.

The race restricted to 3-year-old fillies is scheduled at one mile over the Arlington turf course and will have a gross value of $42,500 if the field of 10 remains intact. A $25,500 share of that sum would go to the owners of the winning filly.

Lovely Afternoon, trained by Tony Mitchell, is coming off a two and a quarter-length tally in a nine-furlong allowance race run in the slop here on Memorial Day, May 31. That race was originally scheduled for the turf course.

Last September at Arlington, Lovely Afternoon finished fourth in the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie on the main track while still a maiden and then visited the winner's circle for the first time in her career when racing over the grass course at Hawthorne.

Dacmit Inc.'s Cats Copy may be the one to beat. Although she has never run on turf, the Michigan-bred has won three straight at Great Lakes Downs including a handy score in the $40,000 Regret Stakes at last asking May 28 despite a troubled trip.

Lovely Afternoon will be ridden by Larry Sterling Jr., while Eduardo Perez is named in the irons aboard Cats Copy. The two fillies share the top impost of 117 pounds.

Completing the Double Delta field is Royal Fox Racing Stables LLC's Dancing Liebling, Jesse Campbell; Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.'s Humorous Miss, James Graham; Dare To Dream Stable LLC's Sahmkindawonderful, Frank Lovato Jr.; Richard H. Glander's Anapest, Eddie Razo Jr.; S. D. Brille Ltd. Partnership's Chic Dancer, Chris Emigh; William Lydon, Arbaway Farm & Carson Springs Farm's For Gillian, James Lopez; William C. Congleton's Bolshoi Ballet, Cruz Contreras; and PHT Thoroughbreds Close Dancing, Jose Martinez Jr. All those carry 115 pounds.


Dacmit Inc.'s Cats Copy, trained by Dale Bennett, may be one of the more highly regarded fillies in Sunday's $42,500 Double Delta Stakes at Arlington Park, but among the young conditioner's challengers in the Father's Day added money event will be a horse trained by his own father.

Michigan-based Gerald Bennett is shipping PHT Thoroughbreds LLC's Close Dancing to Illinois to vie for that same $25,500 winner's share of the Double Delta purse.

Following an apprenticeship under his father, Dale Bennett, 31, went out on his own six years ago, and the two have met competitively before.

"Not as often as you might think," said the younger Bennett, "but it has happened. In fact, when Cats Copy won her last start in the Regret Stakes May 28, Dad saddled four horses in there that finished second, third, fourth and fifth."

Did that allow for some friendly inter-family banter?

"Not really," said the younger Bennett. "He's always happy for me."


When the Christine Janks-trained filly For Gillian goes to the post in Sunday's $42,500 Double Delta Stakes, cheetahs all over the world will be the beneficiaries.

For Gillian, a 3-year-old bay daughter of Gold Fever, is named for a cheetah named Gillian who gave birth to 16 cheetah cubs during her lifetime. In the process she contributed to helping save the feline breed from endangerment.

"A portion of For Gillian's earnings during the course of her racing career will be donated to the De Wildt Cheetah & Wildlife Trust in South Africa," said Janks, who is part of For Gillian's ownership team. The Arlington-based conditioner, a long time supporter of all breeds of animals and cheetahs in particular, has visited South Africa.

"Cheetahs are the fastest animals in the world and Gillian helped the entire breed," said Janks. "I thought it was appropriate to name a race horse after a cheetah. They are very hard to breed in captivity but Gillian has two daughters living at the wildlife center. I named the horse 'For Gillian' because I don't like to name any animal with exactly the same name as another. It takes away from their individuality."


Saturday's "Get In The Game" handicapping forum at Arlington's Starting Gate Theatre will feature "How To Use Jockey Angles," while Sunday's "Get In The Game" forum will have jockeys Rene Douglas and Liz Morris and their respective agents Dennis Cooper and Randy Romero as guests.

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