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|Arlington Park stakes recap (7/5/04)
Contact: David Zenner
BEDANKEN WINS POSSIBLY PERFECT STAKES
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 5, 2004) -- Pin Oak Stable LLC's Bedanken rebounded from an off-the-board finish in the Grade III WinStar Distaff Handicap at Lone Star Park to rally from off the pace to win $41,875 Possibly Perfect Stakes by 2¾ lengths before a crowd of 10,681 on Monday at Arlington Park. Don Pettinger rode the daughter of Geri who covered the "about" nine furlongs over yielding turf in 1:55.79.
The victory was her second of the year and 10th in 15 starts overall. The Donnie K. Von Hemel-trained mare captured the Grade III Bayou Breeders' Cup Handicap at the Fair Grounds in February and followed that with a third-place run in the $75,000 Irving Distaff in Texas before turning in a sub-par effort in an eighth-place finish in the WinStar.
"I think she didn't like the firmness of the turf course in Texas," Von Hemel said when explaining her two recent losses. "The yielding turf here wasn't too bad for us. We may run in the (Grade III $150,000) Modesty Handicap if the (racing) secretary is good to us."
Bedanken saved ground mid pack while stalking the pace of Cat's Cat, who led for more than a mile through slow fractions of :24.54, :50 and 1:17.09. She angled out for the drive, took command approaching the sixteenth pole and drew off for the score.
"The pace was slow and I had a handful of horse," Pettinger said. "I was just going to wait until it was time to ask her to kick. I got a seam turning for home and she accelerates real fast. It was all over then."
The winner's share of $25,125 boosted her earnings to $425,449. Sent off as the 19-10 second choice, she paid $5.80, $3 and $3.
Pacesetter Cat's Cat held the place, a half length clear of Delicatessa. Cat's Cat returned $3.80 and $3.60 while Delicatessa paid $5.80. Aud, the 7-5 favorite, ran fourth, followed by Border Blues and Princess Pelona to complete the order of finish.
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 www.arlingtonpark.com.
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