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Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/22/04)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Toasted and Ballingarry, Chicagoan Sidney L. Port's two graded stakes heroes from America's Birthday weekend at Arlington Park, will school in the paddock during Thursday's third race in preparation for their respective engagements in two of the three graded races during Saturday's Million Preview Day.

Toasted, who captured the Grade II Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve July 3 as the first leg of Arlington's 2004 Mid-America Triple, will attempt to keep his chance for a Triple sweep alive when he goes to the post in Saturday's American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's. The $250,000 American Derby should set Toasted up perfectly for a run in the Grade I Secretariat, the $400,000 final leg of the Triple to be run Aug. 14.

Ballingarry, who Port owns in partnership with Marsha Naify and San Gabriel Investments, won the Grade III Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf on the Fourth of July and returns in Saturday's Grade III Arlington Handicap, final major local prep for the Arlington Million, also Aug. 14.

Along with Saturday's Grade III Modesty Handicap, the three graded stakes races highlight Million Preview Day. The Modesty is the final local prep for the $750,000 Grade I Beverly D. Aug. 14, sister race of the Arlington Million.

The Arlington Million, Beverly D. and Secretariat are the centerpiece events of Arlington's one-day International Festival of Racing three weeks from Saturday.

Toasted and Ballingarry returned to Southern California's San Luis Rey Training Center following their victories during Arlington's extended holiday weekend earlier this month, and arrived back at Arlington Tuesday for their upcoming assignments.

"We are following pretty much the same routine as last time," said Jeff Ford, trainer Laura de Seroux's assistant who traveled with the horses. "They galloped this morning, will school in the paddock this afternoon, and gallop again Friday."


Moyglare Stud Farm Ltd.'s Simple Exchange, the Irish invader with designs on Saturday's Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's, went to Arlington's training track Thursday morning for light exercise three days after his arrival from The Emerald Isle.

"He's doing super," said Jeff Byrne, longtime assistant to Dermot Weld, Ireland's all-time leading trainer who is the conditioner of Simple Exchange. "His blood (tests) all came back fine (from Ames, Iowa), he cleared quarantine with no problems, and he's ready to go."

Weld, who arrived in Chicago Wednesday night, has won two of the last four American Derbys with Moyglare Stud's Irish imports: last year with Evolving Tactics and four years ago with Pine Dance. The Irishman also finished second with Moyglare's Jazz Beat in 2002's American Derby. That colt went on to also be the runner-up in the Secretariat that year.


Spendthrift Farm LLC's Samwise, the California invader slated to go to the post in Saturday's Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's, was familiarized with the Arlington grounds during training hours Thursday morning, two days after his arrival from his Southern California home base.

"We took him to the paddock this morning, and then we took him to the starting gate and let him stand in it awhile," said Rene Florian outside Arlington's Stakes Barn. Florian is the assistant to David Hofmans, the California-based trainer of Samwise, due in Chicago on Friday.

Samwise, a homebred by the noted grass sire Langfuhr, won his last start June 24 at Hollywood Park by a length and a quarter. That victory was the sophomore bay's second career start on turf.


Jockey Ray Sibille, Arlington Park's fourth all-time leading rider with 981 wins, called Wednesday a "sad day" during an emotional winner's circle ceremony following what was presumably the last ride of his 35-year career.

Sibille's unexpected retirement came following a meeting with his doctor earlier this week concerning upcoming hip replacement surgery Aug. 24.

"I asked the doctor: 'How long am I going to be out?'" Sibille related during the ceremony following Wednesday's fifth race at Arlington. "He said: "You don't understand - you're out.' I never thought he'd say I'd have to stop."

Sibille retires with 4,264 wins from 36,859 mounts, including three at Arlington during the current meeting.

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