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Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/24/04)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


One of Saturday's Arlington Handicap contestants, as well as one of the runners named to Saturday's Modesty Handicap, is each also now listed as nominations to this year's Arlington Million and Beverly D.

Robert B. & Beverly J. Lewis's Senor Swinger, winner of Churchill's Opening Verse Handicap in June, and Andrena Van Doren's Shaconage, twice a heroine in Grade III competition at the Twin Spires oval this year, are each among the late nominations to the Grade I Arlington Million and the Grade I Beverly D. respectively.

Saturday's Arlington program is billed as Million Preview Day, three weeks in advance of Arlington's International Festival of Racing Aug. 14. The Grade III Arlington Handicap is Chicago's final major local prep for the Grade I Arlington Million, and the Grade III Modesty Handicap fulfills that same role in advance of the Grade I Beverly D., often labeled as the Million's "sister race."

Senor Swinger, trained by Bob Baffert, comes into Saturday's Arlington 'Cap off a run in Churchill's Grade II Firecracker Breeders' Cup Handicap July 3, where he finished second but was disqualified from that position and placed third. Previously he had captured the $100,000 Opening Verse Handicap June 12 in Louisville.

Senor Swinger is listed as the 3-1 second choice in the morning line for the Arlington Handicap, with French-born jockey Brice Blanc slated for the saddle. The gray son of El Prado out of the Kris S. mare Smooth Swinger was bred in Kentucky by Chicagoan Bob Ackerman, who raced the colt in partnership with Barry Golden before selling him in the spring of 2003.

Shaconage, conditioned by Mitch Shirota, enters Saturday's Modesty coming off a win in the Churchill's Grade III Locust Grove Handicap June 26. Before that she finished fifth in the Grade III Mint Julep Handicap May 29 in Louisville, but had won the Grade III Argent Mortgage there on Kentucky Derby Day.

Shaconage is the 3-1 second choice in the Modesty morning line and also has Blanc named to ride. Another of El Prado's progeny, she is out of the Chilean-bred mare Carita Tostada and was bred by her owner.

Gustav Schickedanz's Mobil, 12-length winner of Woodbine's Grade III Dominion Day Handicap July 1, is the other late nomination to the Arlington Million, which closed for late nominations with a $2,000 payment on July 21. Supplementary nominations to the Million, at a cost of $30,000, can be made by Aug. 6.

Other late nominations to the Beverly D. are Michael Nentwig & Dallas Van Kempen's Moscow Burning, Max H. Pearson's Lady of the Future, Fox Ridge Farm Inc.'s Riskaverse, and J. Paul Reddam's Tangle. Late nominations to the Beverly D., with a $1,500 fee, also closed July 21, but supplementary nominations at a cost of $20,000, can be made until Aug. 6.


Godolphin Racing Inc.'s Doyen, Team Victory I's Hard Buck and Godolphin's Sulamani, the Arlington Million's defending champion, finished first, second and third respectively in Saturday's Group I King George Stakes at Ascot.

All three horses are nominated to the 22nd running of the Grade I Arlington Million, centerpiece of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing season to be run at Arlington Park on Aug. 14 as part of Arlington's International Festival of Racing.

The $750,000 Beverly D. and the $400,000 Secretariat complete the troika of graded stakes events that make up the International Festival, and together they are the only three Grade I races run in Illinois on an annual basis.

Labeled in its entirety as the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, Ascot's turf race is run at a mile and a half and serves as the third leg of the 2004 World Series Racing Championship. Arlington Million XXII, run at 10 furlongs over the Northwest Chicago oval's lawn, is the fourth leg of this year's World Series.

Doyen won the Group II Hardwicke Stakes during the Royal Ascot meeting June 19. The lightly raced colt by Sadler's Wells campaigned in France last year under the tutelage of Andre Fabre.

Hard Buck won the Grade I Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap at 11 furlongs in February at Gulfstream Park and finished a close second in the Grade I Dubai Sheema Classic over 12 furlongs at Nad al Sheba in March.

In addition to his score in last year's Arlington Million, Sulamani captured the Grade I Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont Park during his 4-year-old season.

As a sophomore, the entire son of Hernando won the Group I Prix du Jockey-Club and finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length, in the Group I Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe-Lucien Barriere.

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