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Arlington Park Barn Notes (6/26/04)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Clarence Scharbauer Jr.'s Canadian River, a winner of his last three starts, should rule the choice when he heads a field of six sophomores named to Sunday's $40,000-added Native Dancer Stakes at Arlington Park.

If all go in Sunday's headliner, a one-turn one-mile test for 3-year-olds, the race will have a gross value of $41,500, with a $24,900 share of that sum going to the owners of the winner.

In his last start on Memorial Day, Canadian River made the pace throughout in Lone Star's $50,000 Harold V. Goodman Memorial, drawing off late for a four-length score in that six and a half furlong stakes restricted to Texas-breds. Previously, the altered son of Gold Regent out of a Stalwart mare had graduated from non-winners of three company at that Grand Prairie oval April 16. Owner-breeder Scharbauer is a member of the family that campaigned 1988 Horse of the Year Alysheba.

Canadian River, trained by Bret Calhoun, will shoulder the top impost of 120 pounds in the Native Dancer, most of which will be made up by jockey Eddie Razo Jr.

Capable of providing strong competition for Canadian River in Sunday's feature is Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's Korbyn Gold, clearly best when racing for an $80,000 tag in his last start at Churchill Downs May 23. The Steve Asmussen trainee has the riding services of Arlington's leading jockey Rene Douglas and gets in light at 116 pounds.

Also worthy of consideration in the Native Dancer is Plaine Enterprises Inc. & Wayne Bessler's Marley's Revenge. After finishing third in Arlington's $38,000 Shecky Greene Handicap over a muddy six furlongs on opening day, May 14, the Dale Bennett-conditioned gelding made the pace briefly in Arlington's $38,000 Awad Handicap June 5 before weakening to finish third at one mile over a yielding turf course. Eduardo Perez is aboard at 118 pounds.

Completing the Native Dancer field is Wilbur K. France's Avid Skier, a second Dale Bennett trainee to be ridden by Bobby Lester; Al & Saundra S. Kirkwood's Pure American, conditioned by Grant Forster with Greta Kuntzweiler in the saddle; and Homewrecker Racing Stables's Roll Your Own, trained by Hugh Robertson with Chris Emigh aboard.


Sunday's Native Dancer Stakes is named for the Hall of Fame gray colt foaled in 1950 who won 21 of 22 lifetime starts.

Among Native Dancer's wins were tallies in the 1953 Preakness, and Belmont Stakes (he missed by a head in the Kentucky Derby), but the Alfred G. Vanderbilt color bearer also won the Arlington Classic that season. (He also won the American Derby, but that was run at Washington Park in 1953.)

Native Dancer was by the sire Polynesian, and fittingly, Sunday's Pepsi Family Day theme features a "Luau" theme in the Park Area, with The Royal Polynesian Revue performing dances from the Hawaiian Islands while dressed in authentic and traditional costumes from the exotic locales. The younger members of the family can learn how to hula with on-stage instruction from professional dancers.

This year's 70th running of the Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve, will be run July 3, with the American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's contested three weeks later on July 24, Million Preview Day. Together the Arlington Classic and the American Derby make up the first two legs of the Mid-America Triple, with the third and final leg, the Grade I Secretariat, coming during the International Festival of Racing Arlington Million Day Aug. 14.


Sunday's Junior Jockey Club theme is entitled "Re-Run Day," named for a foundation that supports retired racehorses, and scheduled to hobnob up close and personal with Junior Jockey Club members is a retired 9-year-old gelding named "Hobbs."

Members will get to pet Hobbs and feed him hay during the Junior Jockey Club gathering, and T-shirts will be offered for sale at $10, with proceeds donated to supporting the Re-Run Foundation.


A season record high daily double payoff -- $2,698.60 for a $2 wager -- was recorded Friday at Arlington when Jim Cristel's Tamarack Hills paid $25.40 to win the first half of the mid-day double in the fifth race of the day, and Penny Lane Stable's No Numbers, paying $57.60 straight, won the sixth race to complete the second half.

Also registering a season-high Friday was a 15-way shake for the claim of Frank C. Calabrese's Quarter Time, who finished second in the sixth race. Trainer Ron Shenofsky claimed Quarter Time for $10,000 on behalf of owner Patricia Shenofsky.

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