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Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/20/04)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Arlington Park's 3rd Annual "Riding For A Cure" -- a horsemen-oriented trail ride fundraiser on behalf of cancer research -- has been set for the afternoon and evening of Monday, Sept. 13, and is scheduled to originate and conclude at the Barrington Hills Riding Center.

However, one new addition to this year's renewal of "Riding for A Cure" will be the establishment of a "Why I Ride" wall, where participants of the ride and/or dinner dance that follows may post photographs of loved ones who have been affected by cancer.

"We don't want people to forget why we started the 'Riding For A Cure' project," said Christine Gabriel, a cancer survivor who has been Arlington Park's television personality since 1995 and is also the founder of the Arlington Park cancer fundraiser. "We want people to have an enjoyable afternoon and evening, but we don't want them to forget what they are supposed to be riding for. This is supposed to be more than just an opportunity to have a good time.

"To achieve that end, we are establishing the 'Why I Ride' wall this year," said Gabriel. "Participants can bring photos of those near and dear to them that are currently fighting cancer, are cancer survivors or have lost their battle with cancer. Those bringing photos are also asked to type up photo captions identifying those in the photos and explaining their connection to the wall."

Proceeds from the upcoming event, which starts as a 20-mile trail ride during the afternoon but also includes an evening of dinner and dancing following the trail ride, will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

People wishing to register for this year's "Riding for a Cure" (which has a rain date of Tuesday, Sept. 14) will have a specifically targeted opportunity to do so Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this coming week from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. on the apron of the Arlington Park grandstand. Tracy Gilman, Arlington's former director of horsemen's relations and one of the driving forces behind "Riding For A Cure" since its inception, will be on hand during those hours, and can be reached for further details at (847) 815-6888.

"Again this year we are asking our riders to secure a minimum of $100 in pledges for their respective rides," Gabriel said. "In the past, we have had some people who just came out to enjoy the ride and did not make much of an effort to secure pledges toward our efforts."

(A typical donation of $1 per mile from someone wishing to pledge toward a rider would be a $20 pledge donation.)

The inaugural "Riding For A Cure" two years ago led to a net contribution of more than $31,000 to the American Cancer Society, and included 120 riders and about 200 dinner guests.

Last year's "Riding For A Cure" fundraiser, which raised more than $50,000 toward that end, included more than 150 riders and once again drew about 200 dinner guests.


Mount Brilliant Stable LLC's Miss Moses, who finished two lengths behind the winner when third in the $54,000 Sweetest Chant Stakes, will attempt to make amends for that narrow loss July 30 when she goes to the post in Saturday's Grade III Arlington Breeders' Cup Oaks.

Bernard G. Schaeffer's Fly Away Angel was the victress in the Sweetest Chant, with Stonerside Stable LLC's Catboat finishing second, a half-length behind the winner but a length and a half to the good of Miss Moses in that last major local prep for the Oaks.

"She's doing great and she's been training good since that last race," said trainer Mike Stidham of Miss Moses, a daughter of 1988 Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Gulch. "That last time she dropped back a little too far but was closing well at the end. This time she should be a little closer to the pace."

The Sweetest Chant was run at the one-mile distance out of the Arlington chute but the Oaks is a two-turn race at a mile and an eighth.

Greg Goodman is now the principal figure of Mount Brilliant Stable LLC, which bred Miss Moses at the farm's base of operations in Lexington, Kentucky. He is the son of Harold Goodman, who got Stidham started on his career as a head trainer as Stidham's original owner.


Saturday's "Get In The Game" handicapping forum will feature a lesson on how the morning line is made and have Michael Costanzo of "Horsin' Around TV" as a guest, while Sunday's forum will answer questions about the body and health of a Thoroughbred race horse.

Also on Sunday, the Junior Jockey Club will have a theme of horse of a different color with lessons on how to identify the individual colors of a Thoroughbred. Pepsi Family Day presented by Daily Herald will feature activities related to horse history.

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