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Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/9/04)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Irish-bred Vespone, the colt who will represent Godolphin Racing Inc. in its attempt to win two straight Arlington Millions, and the South African-bred mare Crimson Palace, that same outfit's color bearer slated for the $750,000 Beverly D., both had easy gallops Monday morning at Arlington Park in preparation for their upcoming assignments in Saturday's International Festival of Racing at the Chicago oval.

Arlington will host Saturday's 22nd running of the Million and 15th running of the Beverly D. along with the 27th renewal of the $400,000 Secretariat as the only three Grade I Thoroughbred events presented in Illinois on an annual basis.

"They just had regular gallops once around the track," said Rachel Doré, who along with Charlie Appleby will serve as the assistants in charge of Godolphin's duo for the next few days.

"They are both fine," Doré said. "We don't know exactly what is planned for them this week. We haven't yet gotten our instructions from the home office."

In his most recent trip to the post, Vespone finished second by three-quarters of a length in the listed Steventon Stakes at Newbury July 17. The son of Llandaff out of an Alysheba mare was headed about 200 yards from the wire after the rider lost his whip. As a sophomore last year, Vespone captured the Group I Prix de Paris at Longchamp before being purchased by his present connections.

Crimson Palace finished sixth at last asking June 16 in the Group II Windsor Forest Stakes during the Royal Ascot meeting, but before that she captured the Group III Middleton Stakes by three-quarters of a length at York. Earlier this year, the 5-year-old bay mare was fourth, beaten three-quarters of a length for all of it when racing against males in the Grade I Dubai Duty Free at Nad al Sheba March 27.

Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford, Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor, and stable jockey Frankie Dettori are due in Thursday night in Chicago.


Chicago television icon Ron Magers, news anchor at ABC-7 and a longtime Thoroughbred owner, has been an especially enthusiastic visitor to Arlington Park in the days leading up to this Saturday's 22nd running of the Arlington Million.

Last Friday, Magers was a press box visitor shortly before his 2-year-old colt Stormy Afternoon won the seventh race of the afternoon. Ridden by Arlington's defending jockey champion Rene Douglas and trained by Hugh Robertson, the chestnut juvenile drew off steadily in the lane for a six-length score, and appears to have a promising future.

While in residence with the local members The Fourth Estate, Magers offered his thoughts on the Arlington Million, and what the race has come to mean to Chicago and natives of The Windy City.

"I look at the Arlington Million as the touchstone of Chicago racing," said Magers. "The 'Against All Odds' statue -- with John Henry and The Bart -- commemorates more than the finish of the first Arlington Million. It symbolizes the whole spirit of Arlington, from the tent meetings to the rebuilding of the track after the fire. The race has allowed Chicago racing to become recognized respectfully throughout the world."


Adrian Beaumont, Alastair Donald and Christina MacKenzie, International Racing Bureau representatives whose indefatigable efforts have been invaluable in boosting the Arlington Million to worldwide prominence, arrived at Arlington Monday morning from their Newmarket headquarters to assist with the European contingent invading for Saturday's Million, Beverly D. and Secretariat Stakes.

Also expected Monday afternoon were European-based International Festival of Racing contestants aboard two separate equine charters.

A KLM flight was expected to have three Aidan O'Brien trainees as well as two under the tutelage of Neville Callaghan. Specifically they were Arlington Million contestants Magistretti, owned by Michael Tabor; and Powerscourt, owned by Mrs. John Magnier; Beverly D. probable Necklace, owned by Michael Tabor and Mrs. John Magnier; and Secretariat contenders Moscow Ballet, also owned by Tabor and Magnier; as well as Hazyview, owned by Thomas Mohan.

A second Air France flight carrying Beverly D. prospect Aubonne, owned by Ingeborg von Schubert & Gary A. Tanaka, was due later Monday.


The 2004 Arlington Million Charity Golf Tournament will be held Tuesday at the Old Orchard Country Club in Mount Prospect, Illinois, with proceeds to benefit the Racing Industry Charitable Foundation.

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