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Arlington Park news release

Contact: David Zenner


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 19, 2004) -- One hundred and two different horses have been nominated to the six stakes races that comprise the June 26 Prairie State Festival including four horses that have been cross-nominated to multiple stakes races.

The six $75,000 races that make up the Prairie State Festival are:

  • The Purple Violet Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at one mile
  • The Springfield Stakes for 3-year-olds at one mile
  • The Isaac Murphy Handicap for fillies & mares, 3-year-olds & upward at six furlongs
  • The White Oak Handicap for 3-year-olds & upward at six furlongs
  • The Lincoln Heritage Handicap for fillies & mares 3-year-olds & upward at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf
  • The Cardinal Handicap for 3-year-olds & upward at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf

Most prominent among the 102 state-bred horses nominated to the Prairie State Festival is reigning Illinois Horse of the Year Richard Otto Stables Inc.'s Summer Mis, who is expected to defend her title in the Isaac Murphy Handicap. Trained by Tony Mitchell, a two-time winner in Prairie State Festival races, Summer Mis is seven for 11 over the Arlington surface and she also captured the $100,000 Governor's Lady Handicap at Hawthorne Race Course on that track's Illinois Champions Day program.

Others nominated to the Isaac Murphy include Gregory J. Fraterrigo's Ravalli Girl and Richard Rudolph & Michael Vranich's Cashmere Miss, the two-three finishers in the Governor's Lady.

Pacella, Rizza and Schwed's Wiggins and Irish Acres Farm's Colorful Tour, champion 3-year-old male and champion older male respectively in 2003, have both been cross-nominated to the Cardinal Handicap and the White Oak Handicap.

The Tony Granitz-trained Wiggins, who captured the $86,800 Springfield Stakes last year, also won the $100,000 Round Table Stakes against open company rivals here and the $100,000 Robert F. Carey II Memorial Handicap against fellow state breds at Hawthorne last fall.

Colorful Tour, trained by P. Noel Hickey, is a multiple graded stakes winning son of Tour d'Or. Last year as a 4-year-old, Colorful Tour took top honors in the Grade III Essex Handicap and the Grade III Razorback Handicap, both at Oaklawn Park.

Among those joining Wiggins and Colorful Tour on the list of Cardinal noms are: Team Block's Mystery Giver, the 2002 Illinois Horse of the Year who earlier this year won the Grade II Mervyn Muniz Handicap at the Fair Grounds; defending Cardinal hero R'n R Breeders II Act of War; and Carolyn K. Friedberg's Minor Wisdom, a graded stakes winner with more than half a million dollars in career earnings.

Others nominated to the White Oak include: Asiel Stable's Shandy, victor of the $100,000 Chicagoland Handicap at Hawthorne on April 10; and Richard F. Rudolph's San Pedro, winner of the $45,000 Play Fellow Handicap here last summer.

Seventeen distaffers were nominated to the grassy Lincoln Heritage Handicap including J. C. Racing Stables' Gumbo Love, a recent winner over the Arlington turf who numbers the 2003 $100,000 Violet Stakes at Hawthorne as her biggest score.

Jaguar on the Run Stable's Jaguar Friend heads the 21 sophomores nominated to the Springfield Stakes. The Frank Springer-trained son of Crafty Friend won the $100,000 Sun Power Stakes at Hawthorne as a juvenile and ran second in the $100,000 Land of Lincoln Stakes there earlier this year.

Others nominated to the Springfield include: Asiel Stable's Prairie King, winner of the Land of Lincoln; and Persuaggle, a recent double-digit victor here and runner-up in the $100,000 Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity at Hawthorne last fall.

The Everest Stables, Inc.-owned duo of Slewville and Wish for Gold, the one-two finishers in the $100,000 Lady Hallie Stakes at Hawthorne in April; and Sharon Morgan's Defuhr, runner-up in the Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante last fall and third against open company foes in the $50,000 Panthers Stakes at Prairie Meadows, are prominent among the 17 3-year-old fillies nominated to the Purple Violet Stakes.

Arlington Park, the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill., is running a 96-day meet in 2004 from Friday, May 14 through Sunday, Sept. 19. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates eight off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities - Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Chicago, Trackside McHenry, Trackside Rockford, Trackside South Beloit, Trackside Waukegan and Longshots featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at

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