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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/6/04)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
After saddling two winners Sunday, Arlington trainer Frank Kirby edged away to a two-win advantage in Arlington Park's ongoing leading trainer battle. Going into the Labor Day Monday program, there are 11 racing days remaining in Arlington's season that concludes Sunday, Sept. 19.
Kirby, 67, a longtime trainer on the Illinois circuit, hasn't won an Arlington Park trainer championship since 1974, but upgraded his stable significantly this year. Sunday's wins came in the third race with Ron Fritz's End Wisely with Rene Douglas up, and concluded in the 10th and final race with Hondo Racing Ltd.'s Call Me Dorie, who was ridden by Eddie Martin Jr. Kirby's wife Sharon is the owner of Hondo Racing.
Kirby has set the pace in the trainers' standings throughout much of the season, but was briefly passed by Steve Asmussen in the waning days of August. However, Asmussen, the nation's leading trainer, began a 15-day suspension at the beginning of September which will only allow him the last week of Arlington's season to launch a counterattack.
Going into Labor Day Monday, Kirby had saddled 28 winners from 203 starters, while Asmussen was next with 26 winners from 113 starters. Tied for third place with 23 winners were Tom Amoss from 65 starters and Chris Block from 126 starters.
Amoss and Block have both indicated that they will not make any changes in their stable game plans to pursue leading trainer honors.
"I've been in these situations before," said Amoss. "You can't lose sight of what's most important, and for us that's to maintain a high win percentage."
"I only want to run my horses where I think they can win," said Block. "We're not going to change that to win a title. We'll just let the chips fall where they may."
Godolphin Racing Inc.'s Crimson Palace, who rallied gamely outside the leaders to tally by a half-length in this summer's Grade I Beverly D. at Arlington Park on Aug. 14, will leave Wednesday morning for New York along with the remaining Godolphin contingent.
"The plan is to run Crimson Palace next in the Flower Bowl," said Rachel Dore, Godolphin's head Arlington assistant Monday morning as she prepared the horses and the barn for Wednesday' shipping. "However, they (home office) haven't told us any plans for the rest of the horses other than the fact that they are all going to New York."
The Grade I Flower Bowl Invitational will be contested over the Belmont Park grass course at 10 furlongs on Oct. 2. Likely to challenge Crimson Palace once again in the Flower Bowl is Fox Ridge Farm Inc.'s Riskaverse, who finished second in the Beverly D.
Saeed Manna's Warrsan, second by a head to Godolphin's Refuse to Bend in the Group I Coral-Eclipse at Sandown July 3, captured Sunday's fifth leg of the 2004 World Series Racing Championship: the 132nd running of the Group I Grosser Volkswagen Preis von Baden, contested over 12 furlongs at Iffezheim Racecourse in Baden-Baden, Germany.
This summer's Grade I Arlington Million -- run Aug. 14 at 10 furlongs over the Arlington lawn -- was the fourth leg in this year's World Series.
Finishing third in Sunday's German race was the Andreas Schutz-trained Shirocco. Schutz saddled Gary Tanaka's Epalo to be the third-place finisher in Arlington Million XXII.
The sixth leg of the World Series -- the Group I Baileys Irish Champion Stakes -- will be run at Leopardstown on The Emerald Isle Sept. 11. This year's Arlington Million winner Kicken Kris, owned by Brushwood Stable, will run in Belmont's Grade I Man o' War on that same day.
Gustav Schickedanz's Mobil, ninth in the Arlington Million, rebounded from that effort to win the Grade III Halton Stakes at Woodbine Race Course in Canada on Sunday.
The Illinois Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Foundation (I.T.B.O.F.) will host a seminar for people interested in learning "everything you need to know about buying and owning a racehorse" this Friday, beginning at 11 a.m. at Arlington Park.
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