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Arlington Park stakes recap (7/17/04)

Contact: David Zenner


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 17, 2004) -- An outside draw and a wide trip throughout could not keep favored Cryptograph from getting to the winner's circle following the $100,000 Round Table Stakes Saturday at Arlington Park. Under jockey Don Pettinger, the son of Cryptoclearance ran a mile and an eighth on a fast track in 1:51.53 and paid $3.80, $2.80 and $2.40.

Leaving from post position nine, Cryptograph was carried well wide in the first turn by American Link and couldn't shake clear to move inside at any point in the nine-furlong race. He sat well off the quick pace of 23.39, 46.36 and 1:11.09 set by the dueling Iosilver and Avid Skier.

"I was concerned in the first turn," said Pettinger, who has ridden Cryptograph in every one of his starts. "It wasn't working out the way I wanted it to. We didn't have the best of trips. We didn't have anyone in our way but we were kind of wide. My horse was in the bit a little more than he sometimes is, so I was kind of stuck. When (American Link) let off me on the backside, I had to make a choice to go on around. He was pricking his ears on me late. He was having fun. It wasn't work for him."

The Round Table was the fifth victory in nine career outings for the Pin Oak Stable homebred. The $60,000 winner's share elevated the Donnie K. Von Hemel-trained colt's bankroll to $185,300.

Fantasticat rallied from far back, split rivals in the stretch to put a head in front in the stretch but was unable to hold off the winner. He paid $5.40 and $3.40. It was another five lengths back to third-place finisher Chippewa Trail, who returned $3.40.

"He ran well," said trainer Bobby Barnett of the runner-up. "This colt, when he gets it all together, he'll be okay."

Real Trooper, Avid Skier, Fort Prado, Persuaggle, American Link and Iosilver completed the order of finish.

Earlier in the day, distaffer Nicole's Dream, who races in the colors of the Dare to Dream Stable of Michael and Allen Faber, beat male rivals in the $38,000 Smile Handicap. The Larry Rivelli-trained daughter of Northern Trend covered the five furlongs over firm turf in 57.46 seconds and paid $5, $3.20 and $2.40.

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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