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Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/10/04)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Team Block's Fort Prado, winner of Arlington's $88,050 Springfield Stakes over the main track June 26 on Prairie State Festival Day but possibly a better horse on grass, may be a slight choice in the wagering when he faces nine sophomore rivals in Saturday's $42,000-added Paradise Creek Stakes at about a mile and a sixteenth over the Arlington lawn.

Irish-bred Gwaihir, owned by Al & Saundra S. Kirkwood and fourth in the Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's July 24 during Million Preview Day, is also likely to receive strong support in Saturday's feature. If all go in the Paradise Creek, the race will have a gross value of $44,500 with a $26,700 share of that going to the owners of the winner.

Fort Prado, a homebred son of noted grass sire El Prado, broke his maiden on the turf at the Fair Grounds last March 7, and won his last start August 6 by four and a half lengths when on the Arlington green once again. He shares the top impost of 122 pounds and has Chris Emigh named in the irons.

Gwaihir also boasts a win over the local lawn July 8 and made the pace in the American Derby before weakening in the final furlong of that mile and three-sixteenths test. The Emerald Isle 3-year-old gets in with 116 pounds including jockey Jesse Campbell.

Opposing those two Saturday are Victor Acher's Caiman, Emanuel Cosme up; K.K. & Vilasini D. Jayaraman's Crown Prince, Larry Sterling Jr.; Walter L. New's Every Advantage, Eddie Razo Jr.; Stony Oak Farm's Exploited Storm, James Graham; Tom Gregerson & Hickin Farms LLC's It's Lucky, E. T. Baird; Arthur B. Hancock III & Runnymede Farm's Knox, Rafael Bejarano; Richard Perkins & Edward Stewart's Persuaggle, Eddie Perez; and Keith N. Myers' Sure Prize, Eddie Martin Jr.

Of these, Knox is not to be discounted. The son of 1999 Blue Grass winner Menifee won Ellis Park's $75,000 Regaey Island Stakes at Ellis Park July 17 when that grass was taken off the grass but finished third beaten a length in his most recent start Aug. 13 over that Western Kentucky oval's turf course.


After turning in a training triple Thursday at Arlington Park, conditioner Tom Amoss is three wins behind current leading trainer Frank Kirby and launching a serious challenge for the 2004 training title at the Northwest Chicago oval.

Amoss, with 26 winners at the meeting through Thursday, won Thursday's third race with Panic Stable LLC's Orphan Brigade, the sixth with Tom & Allison O'Grady's Elegant Fame and the eighth with William Dorminy's Case Charmer. Jockey Eddie Razo Jr. was aboard the first two and James Graham guided the last named to the winner's circle.

Kirby, with 29 winners this season, saddled Robert Bockel & Hondo Racing Ltd.'s to win the second race Thursday, with Eddie Martin Jr. astride.

Currently tied for second in the rankings is Steve Asmussen, the nation's leading trainer, but Asmussen is sidelined with a suspension until the middle of next week. Arlington closes its summer meeting on Sunday, Sept. 19.


Effective Friday as a convenience for Arlington Park's simulcast patrons, Arlington Park and Illinois Trackside OTB locations have eliminated the split program for tracks that bridge the 6:30 p.m. separation between daytime and nighttime cards.

What this means is that guests will now have only one button to push when selecting the tracks that bridge the 6:30 p.m. separation.


Illinois racing fans are reminded that for the next two Saturdays "Horsin' Around TV" will air its show earlier than usual. This Saturday's second airing will be at 10:30 a.m. instead of 11 a.m. on Fox Sports Net Chicago, although the initial airing remains at 5:30 a.m.

Next Saturday's show -- a one-hour special covering Super Night at Balmoral, recapping Arlington's 2004 season and previewing the upcoming Hawthorne meeting -- will have its second airing at 10 a.m.

A special "Get In The Game" seminar this Sunday in Arlington Park's Starting Gate Theatre will feature nationally advertised handicapper Jim Quinn.

Also on Sunday during Pepsi Family Day activities at Arlington will be a puppet show entitled "Arlington Arnold Goes Back to School," performed by "The Puppet Place." Based on the tale of Peter Rabbit, the three show times will be at 1, 2, and 3 p.m.

Sunday's "Junior Jockey Club" also has a "Back to School" theme, and the first 300 Junior Jockey Club members will receive a Junior Jockey Club Pencil.

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