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Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/18/04)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


The owner-trainer team of Pin Oak Stable LLC and conditioner Donnie K. Von Hemel had won one Saturday with another one to go next Saturday at Arlington Park, but both members of their successful pair of stakes horses were reported doing exceedingly well Sunday morning.

Cryptograph came from well off the pace to be best by a length in Saturday's $100,000 Round Table Stakes, cooled out well and was still the picture of health the morning after his winning effort.

"He's doing 'super-duper' this morning," said Bruce Bull, assistant to Von Hemel as he spoke outside Barn 9 while in the midst of morning duties. "We couldn't ask for anything better."

Cryptograph, who had won the $75,000 Grand Prairie Turf Challenge April 24 and was third beaten a length in Prairie Meadows' $250,000 Iowa Derby July 2, returned to his winning ways in the 41st Round Table as the odds-on choice of the fans.

However, another assignment coming up for the barn this weekend is an appearance by Bedanken, scheduled to go to the post in Saturday's Grade III Modesty Handicap, final local prep for the Grade I Beverly D. Aug. 14.

In her last trip to the post in Arlington's $41,875 Possibly Perfect Stakes July 5, Bedanken was best by two and three-quarters in a very impressive outing, and apparently things have improved from that point.

"She is right on the money in her training," Bull said. "The gallop boy says she's training her best ever. She's just happy as she can be."

After winning three straight stakes at the Fair Grounds this winter, the Geri mare apparently disliked the turf course at Lone Star Park in two outings, but appears to have regained her best form in Chicago.


R Bar S Thoroughbreds LLP's Fantasticat, an improving son of Storm Cat who was easily second best in Saturday's $100,000 Round Table Stakes, was doing well Sunday morning at Arlington Park, with a return trip to his Churchill Downs home base slated for later in the day.

"He looked like he came out great," said Kentucky-based trainer Bobby Barnett while speaking from his car during a drive from Chicago to Ellis Park. "This colt is starting to put it all together right now, and we're looking forward to his future."

While beaten a length by Round Table winner Cryptograph, Fantastic finished five lengths in front of the third-place finisher Chippewa Trail, owned by Briland Farm and trained by Tony Reinstedler.

"Chippewa Trail came out of your race in good order," said Reinstedler. "We'll look for some conditioned allowance race at Saratoga for him as his next start."

After breaking his maiden with an eight and a half-length tally at Churchill Downs on May 27, the bay gelding was fifth in the Grade III Northern Dancer at the Twin Spires oval on June 12 despite a slow start and a sloppy track in that outing prior to Saturday's black-type performance.


Dare To Dream Stable LLC's Nicole's Dream, a speedy 4-year-old filly who prefers firm footing, was none the worse for wear Sunday morning after defeating males for the first time in her career in Sunday's $38,000 Smile Handicap, co-featured highlight of Saturday's Arlington Park program.

"That was a lot of fun, beating the boys like that," said Michael Faber, spokesman for the Dare To Dream Stable on Sunday. "She came out of the race just great. Although we haven't made any plans for her next start, we'll start looking around for other opportunities for her."

Prior to Sunday's Smile 'Cap, Nicole's Dream had finished second twice over turf courses rated "yielding" -- first at Churchill Downs May 16 in a conditioned allowance race and then at Arlington in the $38,000 J J'sdream Handicap July 11.

Earlier last spring, the daughter of Northern Trust trained by Larry Rivelli captured Churchill's $100,000 Mamzelle Stakes by a nose in a game front-running performance over firm going.

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