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Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/25/04)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Robert B. & Beverly J. Lewis's Senor Swinger, Team Block's Mystery Giver and Port Trust, Marsha Naify & San Gabriel Investments' Ballingarry, the first three finishers in Saturday's Grade III Arlington Handicap, all came out of the race in good order and were all doing well early Sunday morning at Arlington Park.

The winner, a Bob Baffert trainee bred in Kentucky by Chicagoan Bob Ackerman, left early Sunday morning for his home base in Louisville, but could easily be expected to return in time for the Grade I Arlington Million, centerpiece event of Chicago's Thoroughbred racing season that will be run Aug. 14.

As the final major local prep for the Arlington Million, Saturday's "Million Preview" Arlington Handicap contributed to an all sources handle of $7,384,625, the highest handle in Arlington Park records except for previous Arlington Million days, the July 13, 1996 afternoon that Cigar won the Arlington Citation Challenge, and the day that Arlington Park hosted the Breeders' Cup on Oct. 26, 2002.

Will Senor Swinger be coming back to Arlington for this year's Arlington Million?

"We'll give him about a week, let him chill out at Churchill and see how he's doing," said Bob Baffert's traveling assistant Mick Jenner, reached by cell phone while hauling Senor Swinger back to Kentucky. "But we were pleased with his race Saturday, especially since he got stopped a little bit on the turn and then had to survive an inquiry. He came out of the race good, and assuming he continues to do well, he could come back up there in a couple of weeks to get ready for the next one."

Can Arlington Handicap runner-up Mystery Giver be expected to run in the Million?

"We're going to consider it," said trainer Chris Block. "We'll stay in touch with the racing office to see who else is coming in, and see how our horse comes out after a week or 10 days. So far, everything looks good. He ate very well last night, which is good, because he's never been much of a 'doer', so that's a very good sign. Right now, we're not saying 'yes,' and we're not saying 'no,' but we're certainly going to take a look at it."

As for third-place finisher Ballingarry, the Million would appear unlikely.

"I don't know. We'll see," said trainer Laura de Seroux, speaking over the phone from Southern California Sunday morning. "Yesterday's race might have underscored my feeling that he really needs a mile and a half. At a mile and a quarter, it might be that really good horses can 'outfoot' him. I'm very happy with the way he ran, however, and he came back perfect. He dove in his feed tub. He's doing very well, and he'll come back out here to California Tuesday."


Moyglare Stud Farm Ltd.'s Simple Exchange, hero of Saturday's Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's, appears right on course to return in the Grade I Secretariat Aug. 14 at Arlington Park.

"His shins are cool, he's eating good, and he's drinking good," said Jeff Byrne, trainer Dermot Weld's assistant on Sunday morning. "In fact, he looks better every day since he got here. The horse will stay here to get ready for the Secretariat, but the boss is already back home, and I'm returning to Ireland tonight. I should be back shortly before the Secretariat."

David E. Garner's Cool Conductor, runner-up in the American Derby, also appears likely for a return in the Secretariat.

"They tell me he's fine," said Ken McCarthy, trainer Bill Mott's assistant, speaking over the phone from Louisville, Kentucky. "He (Cool Conductor) stayed overnight and I didn't, but he's due back here in Kentucky today. I would guess we'll try, (in the Secretariat), if he continues to do well."

Sidney L. Port's Toasted, third in the American Derby, may or may not return.

"I don't know," said trainer Laura de Seroux. "He ran well and he's fine. We'll see."


Pin Oak Stable LLC's Bedanken, Willmott Stables Inc.'s Aud, and Andrena Van Doren's Shaconage, the first three finishers in Saturday's Grade III Modesty Handicap, all came out of the final major local prep for the Grade I Beverly D. at Arlington Park in fine fettle and remain possible to return in the Arlington Million's sister race on Aug. 14.

"She came back good," said Bruce Bull, trainer Donnie Von Hemel's assistant at Arlington. "She's at the top of her game and should be ready for the big race now."

"We'll take a hard look at it (the Beverly D.)," said trainer Tony Reinstedler of Modesty runner-up Aud. "She ran a good race and she came back fine."

Shaconage, third in the Modesty, is also a likely Beverly D. starter.

"If nothing happens, she'll be back," said trainer Mitch Shirota. "So far, so good."

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