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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/1/04)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Irish-bred Ballingarry, scheduled to defend his championship in Sunday's Grade III Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf; Will Rogers runner-up Toasted, probable choice in Saturday's Grade II Arlington Classic; and the highly regarded maiden Johnny Red Kerr, also entered Sunday, all trained Thursday morning at Arlington Park were slated for paddock schooling later in the day.
The trio, all owned at least partially by Chicago native Sidney L. Port, has been in the care of assistant trainer Jeff Ford, who accompanied them on their journey from California to Chicago on Tuesday. The troika's internationally prominent conditioner Laura de Seroux is due at Arlington in time for the Thursday schooling session.
"They are all doing great," said Ford Thursday morning. "We worked Johnny Red Kerr three-eighths in :38 1/5 this morning because his race didn't come up on Friday or Saturday and is now scheduled for Sunday. Ballingarry galloped a mile and a half this morning, and Toasted galloped a mile and three-eighths. Everything went very well, and they will school in the paddock this afternoon (Thursday) during the fifth race. Laura should be here in time for that."
Ballingarry, who was up in the late stages of last summer's Stars and Stripes to be best by a half-length, and was most recently third, beaten just over a length, in the Grade III Louisville Handicap at Churchill Downs on Memorial Day.
Toasted, a Kentucky-bred son of Hennessy, was clearly second best in Hollywood's Grade III Will Rogers Stakes in his last start May 22 despite being squeezed back at the start.
Johnny Red Kerr, named for the former Chicago Bulls coach and current announcer, has made three starts, his last coming on Memorial Day when he finished fourth in a nine-furlong grass test.
"He probably should have won that day," said Ford, "but he got away from the gate slowly, was rushed up into contention and then tired in the late stages."
Leading rider Rene Douglas, attempting to become the first jockey in Arlington Park history to win four straight riding titles at Chicago's premier Thoroughbred oval, has gradually been putting some distance between himself and second leading rider Cruz Contreras recently, and led that promising newly-turned journeyman rider by six wins going into Thursday's program.
Douglas, winner of the last three renewals of the Grade III Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf aboard Falcon Flight in 2001, Cetewayo in 2002 and Ballingarry last summer, once again has the mount on the defending champion, owned by Liberty Road Stable, Port Trust and San Gabriel Investments.
The Panamanian reinsman also has the mount on Sidney L. Port Trust's Toasted, probable choice in Saturday's Grade II Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve, which serves as the first leg of Arlington Park's Mid-America Triple. Douglas is attempting his third straight score in the Arlington Classic after winning last year's renewal aboard Lismore Knight and the 2002 running on Mr. Mellon.
Arlington's defending jockey champion is also scheduled to ride Port Trust, Marsha Naify and San Gabriel Investments' Johnny Red Kerr in a maiden race Sunday. Douglas is familiar with the 4-year-old son of Mr. Greeley, who he rode to a second-place finish at Hollywood Park April 30.
Richard L. Duchossois' Without a Doubt, second by a head in each of his last three outings, may be the one to beat in Saturday's co-feature at Arlington, the $40,000-added Better Bee Stakes at six furlongs.
If the field of six remains intact, the sprint will have a gross value of $41,500 with a $24,900 share of that sum going to the owners of the winner.
The Better Bee is expected to be a highly contentious affair. Among Without a Doubt's challengers are Owen Hulse's Silver Zipper, third to top sprinter Coach Jimi Lee at last asking, and Cresran LLC's Chindi, a fast closing 10-year-old gelding who always benefits from a speed duel and is likely to see one Saturday.
Also worthy of strong consideration is Annie Manbach's Truman's Raider, a facile front-running three-length winner in sloppy going June 10 here.
Completing the Better Bee are Carson Springs Farm & Ken Meeker's Fifteen Rounds and Thunderhead Farm's Sand Ridge, both with a pair of winning efforts over the Arlington surface.
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