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Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/14/04)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Trainer Mike Stidham had a productive Wednesday morning of training over the Arlington Park turf course when he breezed a pair of possible starters for the Grade III Arlington Handicap to be run July 24.

Also to be contested that day as part of Arlington's Million Preview Day will be the Grade III Modesty Handicap and the Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's, as the second leg of Arlington's Mid-America Triple.

The 69th running of $250,000 Arlington Handicap will be run at a mile and a quarter over Arlington's world famous grass course as the final major local prep for the Grade I Arlington Million on Aug. 14.

Working for Stidham Wednesday was Barry Golden's On the Course, who breezed a half in :50.40, and Oak Crest Farm's Herculated, who went five-eighths in 1:02.40. Both moves were accomplished with the "dogs" up.

"Both horses went well," said Stidham shortly after the move. "We're pointing On the Course for the Arlington 'Cap, and we'll also consider Herculated for that race, but the race may come up a little too soon for Herculated. That horse is more likely for the Sea o' Erin (GIII Breeders' Cup Mile Aug. 7)."

On the Course, a 4-year-old gelding by Spinning World out of a Kris S. mare, was most recently sixth in the Grade II Firecracker Breeders' Cup Handicap at Churchill Downs July 3. One month earlier he won over a yielding Arlington course when graduating from the "non-winners of three other than" condition.

Herculated, a 4-year-old altered son of 1996 Preakness winner Louis Quatorze, has been away from the races since finishing 10th in the Grade II Dixie on May 15, Preakness Day this year. Previously he had finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length, to Team Block's Mystery Giver in the Grade II Mervyn Muniz Jr. Handicap in New Orleans March 21.


Pin Oak Stable LLC's Bedanken, heroine of the $41,875 Possibly Perfect Stakes July 5 at Arlington, breezed a half-mile in :54.80 Wednesday morning over the Arlington turf course with the "dogs" up under the supervision of Don Von Hemel, senior member of the trainer family.

Bedanken is being pointed for an upcoming engagement in the Grade III Modesty Handicap, a mile and three-sixteenths turf test for fillies and mares July 24, which serves as the final major local prep for the Grade I Beverly D. during Arlington's International Festival of Racing Aug. 14.

"She's the real deal," said trainer Donnie Von Hemel, speaking of Bedanken shortly after the Possibly Perfect. "She just didn't like that turf course down at Lone Star (where she finished eighth in the Grade III WinStar Distaff Handicap May 31)."

The younger Von Hemel saddled John & Kris Richter's Bien Nicole to finish second in both last year's Modesty and last year's Beverly D.

"One of these years, we'll win one of the big ones on Arlington Million Day," said Von Hemel. "I've had a lot of success here, especially with Mariah's Storm and Evansville Slew."


Ann Marie Farm's Kilgowan, one of seven late nominations to the Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's, to be run as the middle leg of Arlington's Mid-America Triple on July 24, breezed four furlongs in :50.20 over Arlington's turf course Wednesday morning with the "dogs" up.

"We were pleased with the work," said trainer Mike Stidham. "We're definitely looking at the American Derby for him as his next start."

The American Derby is to be run at a mile and three-sixteenths over the Arlington lawn, while the Grade I Secretariat, final leg of the Mid-America Triple, is run at nine furlongs.

Kilgowan, a gray colt by Smoke Glacken out of a Dynaformer mare, finished fourth in Hollywood Park's Grade III Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap in his last start June 26. It was the 3-year-old's first outing over the lawn.


William S. Farish, James A. Elkins Jr. & W. Temple Webber Jr.'s Alumni Hall, winner of Arlington's $75,000 Black Tie Affair Handicap July 10, remains a possible starter in Arlington's Grade II Washington Park Handicap July 31 based on that last performance.

"He came out of the race fine," said trainer Neil Howard earlier this week, "and we're considering the Washington Park as one of three possible next starts for him."

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