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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/4/04)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Arlington Park's infield tote board, out of service since an internal fire following the racing program June 12, was mostly up and running in time for the America's Birthday racing program on Stars and Stripes Day July 4.
"On the East end of the tote board, it looks like we will be mostly operational," said Tony Petrillo, Arlington's director of facility operations early Sunday afternoon as repairs were still in progress. "We expect to have everything working except the fractional times and the show pool information.
"On the West end tote board everything should be working except for the fractional timer," Petrillo said. "Odds, results and payoffs should all be available.
"We are making steady progress on the Daktronics board (in the area where the fire started)," Petrillo concluded, "and we expect that board up and running by the first race."
Chicago native Sidney L. Port won the first leg of Chicago's Mid-America Triple Saturday when Toasted captured the Grade II Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve, and trainer Laura de Seroux reported the grass-favoring sophomore was doing "great" Sunday morning.
"He was so relaxed compared to some of the other horses when we took him back to the receiving barn," de Seroux said of Toasted when giving her Sunday update. "Some of the others were blowing pretty hard, like they didn't really relish the going, but he was cooled out after two turns around the barn."
Of course, the big question for de Seroux involved what might be the next start for Toasted. Could that next trip to the post come in the Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's, on July 24?
"We're certainly going to think about it," said de Seroux. "He seems to love this turf course, and with Mr. Port being from Chicago, it's obviously a very tempting option for us. We'll take him back to California on Tuesday (along with Stars and Stripes defending champion Ballingarry) and keep in at our training center (San Luis Rey) and see how he does. He seems to thrive there. He's a quirky horse, but quirky in a good way, and the thing we want to do for the next couple of weeks is to keep him calm."
Arlington Park's Mid-America Triple, consisting of the Arlington Classic, American Derby and Grade I Secretariat, has been won three times in its history. Robert G. Schaedle III's Honor Glide was the last to complete the feat in 1997.
Previously, in its old format contested over the main track with the now-defunct Chicagoan serving as the final leg, the Mid-America Triple was swept initially by Powhatan Stable's Tom Rolfe in 1965. Ogden Phipps' Buckpasser followed the next season, sweeping the 1966 Mid-America Triple on his way to Horse of the Year honors that year.
Richard L. Duchossois' Without a Doubt was "a little tired" Sunday morning, according to trainer Chris Block, following the gelding's courageous nose tally in Saturday's $40,050 Better Bee Stakes at Arlington Park, but had come out of Saturday's winning effort in fine fettle.
"He came out great," said Block of Without a Doubt, who had finished second by a head in all three of his previous starts this season. "He'd had three straight heartbreaking losses, and for awhile there it looked like yesterday was going to be another heartbreaker, but he always gives a big effort, so it was nice to actually come out on the front end this time.
"He seems to run well when he's fresh," said Block, "so we'll probably give him about 30 days before his next start. Eventually, I'd like to try him in a sprint on the grass, and there's one coming up shortly, but that particular race may come up a little too quick for him."
Defending jockey champion Rene Douglas, increasing prominent Illinois-based conditioner Mike Stidham and the promising new ownership group Dare to Dream Stable have been named jockey, trainer and owner of the month for June at Arlington Park based on their accomplishments throughout the month.
Douglas, with 22 trips to the winner's circle from 87 mounts, won three stakes, had several multiple-win days and took over leading rider honors during June.
Stidham saddled seven winners from 21 starters during June at Arlington Park and also registered a training double during the month.
Dare to Dream Stable registered four wins from 10 starters during June, with seven of those 10 starters finishing in the money. They also captured the $42,500 Double Delta Stakes June 20 with Sahmkindawonderful.
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