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Arlington Park stakes recap (6/27/04)

Contact: David Zenner


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 27, 2004) -- When trainer Gerald Bennett ran Avid Skier to a seventh-place finish in the Grade II Ohio Derby at Thistledown 15 days ago, it was a back-up plan after a 1,000-mile van ride from Great Lakes to Mountaineer Park and back resulted in no race for the 3-year-old. An easier trip to Chicago led to a three-length victory as the longest shot on the board on the $41,500 Native Dancer Stakes at Arlington Park on Sunday.

"When I ran him in the Ohio Derby," Bennett explained, "I first had taken him to Mountaineer Park and they changed their rules. He had a little toe grab on his shoe so they scratched him. So it was 1,000 miles down and back. I took him all the way back to Great Lakes. He was there a day and then they wanted me to enter him in the Ohio Derby. So I hauled him another 400 miles to Cleveland. He traveled 1,500 miles in two days and still led for a mile in the Ohio Derby."

Now at Arlington and officially under the tutelage of trainer Dale Bennett, Gerald's son, Avid Skier jointly set the pace in the one-mile race with Canadian River with the pair getting the half-mile in a sprightly 45.59 seconds. Avid Skier put away that rival on the turn and hit the three-quarter mile mark in 1:10.31 and he drew off in the stretch to a three-length victory in 1:36.18 under jockey Bobby Lester.

Pure American rallied for the place, 4 lengths to the good of third-place finisher Roll Your Own. Korbyn Gold, the 7-10 favorite, ran fourth in the six-horse field, followed by Marley's Revenge and Canadian River.

The win was the fourth in 10 starts for Avid Skier, who earned $24,900 to boost his career bankroll $85,046. Sent off at 19-1, he paid $40, $20.80 and $12. Pure American returned $8.60 and $7.20. Roll Your Own paid $5.40.

Arlington Park -- the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. -- will run 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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