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Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/23/04)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Moyglare Stud Farms Ltd.'s Simple Exchange, attempting to become the third Irish-based Dermot Weld trainee to win the American Derby in the last five years, had a leisurely 10-furlong gallop Friday morning at Arlington Park in advance of Saturday's featured event for 3-year-olds.

"He looks great, he's eating great, and he's as ready as he can be," said Jeff Byrne, assistant for the conditioner who became Ireland's all-time leading trainer shortly after the onset of the new millennium.

Weld saddled Moyglare's Evolving Tactics to win last year's Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's, and captured the 2000 American Derby with Highland Farms et al.'s Pine Dance. Jazz Beat, a third Irish invader trained owned and bred by Moyglare and trained by Weld, finished second in the 2002 American Derby and was also the runner-up in the Grade I Secretariat that season.

The American Derby, at a mile and three-sixteenths over the lawn, is the second leg of a three-race grass series for sophomores to make up Arlington's Mid-America Triple. The upcoming Secretariat, at a mile and a quarter Aug. 14 over Arlington's world famous turf course, serves as the final leg.

Byrne, a former jockey in Ireland, has come to Arlington Park with all of Weld's Irish invaders in recent seasons, but this summer he has been able to renew acquaintances with James Graham, an Irish-born jockey who has been hanging his tack at Arlington Park all season.

Graham won three races at Arlington Thursday, and Byrne was invited to pose in winner's circle photos throughout the afternoon.

"I'm glad to see him doing so well over here," said Byrne of Graham. "It was a big move for him (coming to America) and I'm glad to see it working out so well. We used to ride together at The Curragh. He's tidied up his style a little bit since then, but he was always very strong. I think he has a great future here."


Sidney L. Port Trust, Marsha Naify & San Gabriel Investments Ballingarry, hero of the Grade III Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf on the Fourth of July, and Sidney L. Port's Toasted, victor in the Grade II Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve one day earlier, have been back at Arlington Park since Tuesday preparing for a possible repeat double stakes sweep Saturday during Arlington's Million Preview Day.

Ballingarry is the morning line favorite for the Grade III Arlington Handicap, the final major local prep for the Grade I Arlington Million, and Toasted shoulders that same mantle in the Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's. The latter contest is also the middle leg of Arlington's Mid-America Triple with the upcoming Grade I Secretariat as the final leg.

The Arlington Million and the Secretariat, as well as the Grade I Beverly D., will all be contested three weeks from now during Arlington's International Festival of Racing Aug. 14.

However, Ballingarry and Toasted, both trained by the internationally renowned conditioner Laura de Seroux, can accomplish significant feats this weekend on the road to the International Festival.

Ballingarry could become the first horse in 45 years to win the Stars and Stripes and the Arlington Handicap in the same season. Round Table accomplished the feat in 1959 while the reigning Horse of the Year.

Toasted could become the first horse since Honor Glide seven years ago to win both the Arlington Classic and American Derby, and in that process keep alive his chance to be only the fourth horse in history to sweep the Mid-America Triple.

Ballingarry and Toasted both schooled in the paddock Thursday at Arlington during the third race of the day, and Jeff Ford, assistant to trainer de Seroux, offered this assessment of their respective temperaments.

"Ballingarry gets a little testy when an upcoming race is approaching," said Ford, "while Toasted is a more laid back type of individual. To use a football analogy, Ballingarry is more like a John Riggins: he gets mean. He wants to run over the top of you, while Toasted is more like Walter Payton: he's sweet."


Saturday's "Get In The Game" handicapping forum will feature a Harry Teinowitz Gambling Clinic, while Sunday's forum will have professional handicapper Dave Gutfreund as the guest.

Also on Saturday, the Bud Light Summer Bash and BBQ will feature The Pack performing feel good rock hits from the '60s through the '80s.

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