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Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/15/04)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Team Block's Mystery Giver, who never launched his patented late run in Saturday's Grade I Arlington Million and finished 10th in the 13-horse field, was diagnosed with a non-life threatening injury to his right hind while coming back to be unsaddled.

His racing future remained questionable Sunday morning, with a further analysis due after the swelling goes down later this week.

"There are no chips, and no fractures," said David Block, principle owner of Team Block and trainer Chris Block's father. "We'll wait for the swelling to go down after a couple of days and then we'll do an ultra-sound to see if there's a rupture of the suspensory or something like that, but in the meantime he's resting comfortably. He's a good patient.

"We thought something might be wrong when he didn't show us that usual 'Mystery Giver kick' turning for home," Block said, "and then he looked 'off' coming back."

Mystery Giver, a 6-year-old gelding, was Illinois Horse of the Year in 2002 and most recently second by a head in the Grade III Arlington Handicap July 24. The son of Dynaformer, a homebred, won the Grade II Mervyn Muniz Jr. Handicap last March in New Orleans and was third in Churchill's Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on Kentucky Derby Day this spring.


Brushwood Stable's Kicken Kris, hero of the 2004 Arlington Million, emerged from Saturday's adjudged victory relatively unscathed considering his troubled stretch run.

"He seemed fine early this morning," said trainer Michael Matz, shortly after his own Sunday flight arrived at Albany Airport in the vicinity of Saratoga Race Course. "He had a cut on the back of his front ankle, but it doesn't appear too serious. The horse is due back at Saratoga later this afternoon.

"We enjoyed our time at Arlington again this year," said Matz, who won last year's Grade I Secretariat on Arlington Million Day. "It seemed like everyone was pulling for us.

"You never like to back into something like that," said Matz of his Million win awarded following the disqualification of Mrs. John Magnier's Powerscourt. "However, in a situation like that, we'll have to take what we can get."


Brushwood Stable's Kicken Kris, victor in Saturday's Grade I Arlington Million one year after his score in last year's Grade I Secretariat Stakes on Arlington Million Day, became the third horse in Chicago's International Festival of Racing history to accomplish that double.

Ryehill Farm's Awad won the 1993 Secretariat and came back two years later to win the 1995 Arlington Million, and Michael Tabor's Marlin won the 1996 Secretariat and followed up by winning the 1997 Million.

However, there have been other close calls. Paradise Creek finished second in the 1992 Secretariat and came back to win the Arlington Million in 1994 for owner Masayuki Nishiyama, and James Lewis Jr.'s Mecke was second in the Secretariat in 1995 and won the 1996 Million.


Godolphin Racing Inc.'s Crimson Palace, the South African-bred mare who was the heroine of Saturday's Grade I Beverly D., was doing well Sunday morning, according to members of the Godolphin contingent.

"She came out really well," said Rachel Dore, who serves as the exercise rider for Crimson Palace. "We are all ecstatic about her win and for all that she achieved in this race.

"All the horses came out well." Dore added, (including Godolphin's Vespone, who finished 12th in the Arlington Million after making the pace for a mile). We don't know what the next stop is going to be for us (Crimson Palace), but we do know that Vespone leaves Tuesday."

Kenneth L. & Sarah K. Ramsey's Kitten's Joy, dominating victor in Saturday's Grade I Secretariat Stakes, returned to his home base at Churchill Downs Sunday morning in good order, according to trainer Dale Romans.

"He's already back here," said Romans from the Twin Spires oval shortly after training hours in Louisville. "He came out of the race real good. We'll point toward the Breeders' Cup as our next major goal but look around for something between now and then for him."

Arlington-based Beverly D. runner Bedanken, owned by Pin Oak Stable LLC, was also doing well Sunday morning, according Bruce Bull, an assistant to trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel.

"She's doing good, and she ran good," Bull said. "The way I look at it, if the winner's a Grade I mare, Bedanken's a Grade I as well. We'll have another shot at all of them."

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