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|Arlington Park stakes recap (8/7/04)
Contact: David Zenner
HERCULATED STRONG IN SEA O' ERIN BREEDERS' CUP MILE VICTORY
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 7, 2004) -- Oak Crest Farm LLC's Herculated ran down pacesetter Warleigh in mid-stretch and drew off to win the $150,000 Sea o' Erin Breeders' Cup Mile by a half-length on Saturday at Arlington Park. The Mike Stidham-trained son of Louis Quatorze was ridden by C. H. Marquez Jr. and covered the mile over turf rated good in 1:36.48.
Never far back, Marquez kept Herculated just off the pace set by Warleigh who set moderate fractions of 24.66, 48.33 and 1:12.43 before fading badly in the final eighth of mile. Herculated found room between horses at the top of the stretch, took command inside the furlong marker and held off the late charge of longshot False Promises.
"The pace was slow and I was kind of in the pocket the whole way," Marquez said. "I was just waiting for some racing room. We turned for home and the horses next to me fanned out. My horse saw daylight and it was over."
Herculated rebounded from a loss as the 7-2 favorite in the Grade II Argent Dixie Stakes at Pimlico in his last start to score the victory here, his sixth in 10 starts. The $90,000 winner's share boosted his earnings to $233,200.
"The turf course that day (at Pimlico) was really hard," Stidham said when asked to explain Herculated's defeat in the Dixie. "It was like a paved road out there. They were breaking track records all day long and we knew we were in trouble. This horse has chronic sore feet. Today, we got him back on a turf course we knew he could handle and he showed what he could do."
The 2-1 second choice in the wagering, Herculated paid $6.60, $5 and $4.20.
False Promises, who had only one horse beat at the top of the lane, rallied through traffic in the stretch and was getting to the winner late. The 16-1 outsider paid $12 and $8.40.
"He tried hard," said Eusebio Razo Jr. "I was following the winner all the way around because I had no place to go. When I finally got clear, it was too late. That's not to take anything away from the winner. That horse ran very well today."
Major Rhythm was third in the 10-horse field and paid $4.
Garesche, Just Gossip, Mr. Krisley, Holy Conflict, favored Warleigh, Intern and Gwaihir completed the order of finish.
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 www.arlingtonpark.com.
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