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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (6/30/04)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
The second of three Monday racing programs during Arlington Park's 2004 meeting takes place this coming weekend as Chicago's Northwest suburban oval celebrates its traditional July 4th extended holiday weekend.
The America's Birthday weekend begins when Friday's special twilight racing program, with a late post time of 3 p.m., kicks off the holiday, giving Arlington guests a chance to enjoy the Miller Lite Party in the Park atmosphere with A Kangaroo Court, an alternative rock band.
On Saturday, when Arlington's first race reverts to its regular 1 p.m. time slot, the first 5,000 paid admissions will receive a coupon with their program entitling them to a free Arlington Park T-shirt. A free Twin Spires Club membership is also available to the first 5,000 paid admissions.
The highlight of Saturday's racing program is the 70th running of the Grade II Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve, for 3-year-olds at a mile and a sixteenth on the grass. The Classic is also the first race of Arlington's Mid-America Triple. Saturday's co-feature will be the $40,000-added Better Bee Stakes, a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up.
Also slated for racing fans on Saturday, in the Starting Gate Theatre from 11:30 a.m. until after the third race, Arlington Park's "Get In The Game" handicapping forum will feature exotic wagering strategies.
Another attraction for serious racing fans on Saturday is the second of the NTRA's Super Saturdays, which carries an NTRA National Pick 4 with a guaranteed pool of $400,000. The featured races in the Pick 4 are Belmont's Grade I Suburban Handicap, Monmouth's Grade I United Nations Handicap, Hollywood's Grade I American Oaks, and Churchill's Grade II Firecracker Breeders' Cup Handicap.
In the Park area Saturday, Arlington guests can enjoy live rock music by The Fabulous Mongrels at the Bud Light Summer Bash and BBQ. Representatives from Weber Grill will also be on hand conducting grilling demonstrations and distributing copies of the cookbook "Cook Off America."
This Sunday -- with its special first post of 2:30 p.m. -- allows Arlington guests to enjoy their afternoon and evening at Arlington, and is highlighted by Arlington Park's traditional fireworks show presented by LaSalle Bank. The 30-minute fireworks spectacular begins at dusk. During the day everyone can enjoy all their favorite Pepsi Family Day activities, presented by the Daily Herald, including pony rides, a petting zoo, face painters and the Junior Jockey Club, where the first 300 Junior Jockey Club members will receive a free jockey helmet.
Sunday entertainment will be live music by the Four Man Band, a band that knows all the classics. Those Funny Little People will begin at the Grandstand Gate dressed in patriotic costumes. The Gypsies, a Dixieland/bluegrass duet, will play at the Clubhouse entrance.
From when the races end until the fireworks begin, the live music of Tumbleweed will run non-stop in the Park Area. The winner's circle will play host to the Consumption Triple Crown, consisting of the Pizza-eating Derby, the Preakness Pie-eating Contest, and the Belmont Bubble-Gum Stakes as well as other entertainment.
Sunday's racing program is highlighted by the 73rd running of the Grade III Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf, used by many horsemen as a prelude for an appearance in the Arlington Million. The Grade I Million will be run Aug. 14.
Irish-bred Ballingarry, owned by Liberty Road Stable, Port Trust and San Gabriel Investment and winner of last year's Stars and Stripes, arrived from California Tuesday and is set to defend his championship in that 12-furlong grass test this Sunday.
Once again for more serious students of racing, "Get In The Game" will be featured in the Starting Gate Theatre Sunday from 1 p.m.-2:15 p.m., featuring a talk with racing legends including Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires and veteran reinsmen Ray Sibille and Randy Meier.
Also on Sunday, another drawing of raffle tickets to benefit the Racing Industry Charitable Foundation (RICF) will be held with tickets on sale until shortly before the draw.
On Monday's special racing day at Arlington Park, post time will be at 1 p.m. and include Family Day activities in the Park Area.
The racing program features the $40,000-added Possibly Perfect Stakes, for fillies and mares at a mile and an eighth on the grass. The "Get In The Game" session in the Starting Gate Theatre will be an open forum.
Stars and Stripes defending champion Ballingarry, Arlington Classic candidate Toasted and the highly regarded maiden Johnny Red Kerr, all trained by Laura de Seroux and all at least partially owned by Chicago native Sidney L. Port, arrived in Chicago Tuesday from California on an equine flight without incident, and all trained over the Arlington Park main track Wednesday for their respective engagements this weekend.
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