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Arlington Park stakes recap (8/14/04)

Contact: David Zenner


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 14, 2004) -- For the second straight summer, the first horse under the wire in Chicago's centerpiece -- the Grade I Arlington Million -- was disqualified from first and placed fourth following a less-than-pristine run, but this season no jockey was unseated or injured as a result of trouble in the mile and a quarter grass event.

In Saturday's Arlington Million XXII, Mrs. John Magnier's Powerscourt, ridden by Irish jockey Jamie Spencer, came from far back to take command in mid-stretch and drew clear for a length and a half-tally. However, he drifted in during his impressive mid-stretch surge to initiate trouble for others in the field.

Following a stewards' inquiry into the stretch run, Powerscourt, who posted a final time of 2:00.08 for the 10 furlongs, was disqualified from first and placed fourth for interference in the stretch run, and Brushwood Stable's Kicken Kris, second under the wire, was declared the 2004 Million's official winner.

Ironically, after 20 years of Arlington Millions without incident, the first horse under the wire in the 2003 Arlington Million was also taken down. In last year's incident, Gainsborough Farm LLC's Storming Home was drawing clear when he swerved suddenly bothering others in the field and eventually unseated his jockey Gary Stevens, who suffered injuries in the spill. Like Powerscourt, Storming Home was also placed fourth.

After being elevated to the win position this year, Kicken Kris returned mutuels of $21.40, $11.20, and $6.60. Last year, on Arlington Million Day, Kicken Kris won the Grade I Secretariat Stakes restricted to 3-year-olds and became the third horse in history to score victories in both races.

Trained by Michael Matz, Kicken Kris was ridden Saturday by jockey Kent Desormeaux. That rider who was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame at Saratoga in ceremonies held Monday.

Originally finishing third but placed second in the 2004 Million was Michael B. Tabor's Magistretti, a European longshot who paid $25 and $11.60. Gary A. Tanaka's Epalo, the German-bred post time favorite, was fourth under the wire after his troubled trip initiated by Powerscourt's actions but was subsequently moved up to third. Epalo paid $4.

Godolphin Racing Inc.'s Vespone made the pace, cutting out fractions of :23.75, :47.49, 1:12.04, and 1:36.60, but weakened in the final furlong to finish fifth.

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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