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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/7/04)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Jockey Rene Douglas was born in Panama but celebrated the recent America's Birthday Weekend by setting off his own fireworks, winning Saturday's Grade II Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve, for the third straight time, Sunday's Grade III Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf for the fourth straight time, and Monday's special holiday racing program with three wins on the nine-race card.
One of those Monday wins came in a race named in his honor, so Douglas was already present in the winner's circle when he received his award as Arlington's Jockey of the Month for June, a ceremony sponsored by Bob Chinn's Crab House in nearby Wheeling, Illinois.
Douglas, Arlington's jockey champion for the last three seasons, entered Wednesday's race day 12 wins in front of Eusebio Razo Jr., his nearest pursuer in 2004 and the rider who finished as the runner-up in 2003. Should Douglas win the 2004 title, he would become the first jockey in Arlington Park racing history to win four straight championships at Chicago's Northwest suburbs oval.
Two racing legends -- Bill Hartack and Steve Brooks -- both in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame at Saratoga, are the only other jockeys to have won three straight riding titles at Arlington. Brooks accomplished the feat during the 1947-49 seasons, and from 1955-57, Hartack also scored the consecutive local triple.
"Every year, I try to come up with something new, something I've never done before," said Douglas after accepting his award. "All I'm doing is trying as hard as I can every time I ride a horse.
"I have to give most of the credit to my agent Dennis Cooper," said Douglas. "He's really sharp. You can't do anything without a good agent and everything is going along perfect for us right now."
Brothers Michael and Allen Faber, the principal owners in the increasingly successful Dare to Dream Stable, accepted Arlington Park's June Owners of the Month Award in winner's circle ceremonies held Monday.
"It's always good to win something at our home track," said Michael Faber shortly after the presentation. "I'd like to thank all our trainers for the good jobs they have done, and all the jockeys who ride our horses."
"And I'd like to thank our partners, our fellow owners in the group, who have given us such good support," added Allen Faber when expanding on his brother's sentiments. "It's always nice to be recognized."
Dare to Dream Stable registered four wins from 10 starters during June at Arlington Park, with seven of those 10 starters finishing in the money. They also captured the $42,500 Double Delta Stakes June 20 with Sahmkindawondereful.
Conditioner Mike Stidham's Trainer of the Month Award for June at Arlington Park was presented on America's Birthday weekend, and visiting members of Stidham's family were on hand to share in the winner's circle ceremonies.
"These are my daughters in from California for a few weeks," said Stidham when introducing the young ladies that accompanied him to the winner's circle for the award presentation. "They make this extra special.
"It was a great month for us," said Stidham of the honor. "All the horses ran good, and everybody in the barn worked hard to make it happen."
Stidham saddled seven winners from 21 starters during June and also registered a training double during the month.
William S. Farish, James A. Elkins Jr. & W. Temple Webber Jr.'s Alumni Hall, a 5-year-old who has three wins from only four lifetime starts, is among those slated to contest Saturday's $75,000 Black Tie Affair Handicap at Arlington Park.
The regally bred son of A.P. Indy out of an Alydar mare missed what would have been his first three seasons of racing with a variety of ailments and minor problems, and did not make his career debut until April 3 at Keeneland when he broke his maiden by a length and a half at first asking despite a troubled trip.
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