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Arlington Park stakes recap (8/21/04)

Contact: David Zenner


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 21, 2004) -- Stonerside Stable LLC's Catboat overcame a slow start to finish the $150,000 Arlington Breeders' Cup Oaks on even terms with Richard Otto Stables Inc.'s Lovely Afternoon, the first dead-heat for a win in Arlington's Grade III race for 3-year-old fillies on the main track. Eddie Martin Jr. rode Catboat while James Graham was astride Lovely Afternoon. The pair was clocked in 1:51.06 for the mile and an eighth over a fast track.

The Oaks was the second victory of the year for Lovely Afternoon, a Tony Mitchell-trained daughter of Afternoon Deelites whose other win this year was also a nine-furlong main track affair. She earned $60,000 to push her bankroll to $150,076. The Oaks also gave recently-turned journeyman James Graham his first graded stakes score.

For Catboat, a daughter of Tale of the Cat trained by Bernie Flint, the Oaks was her fifth trip to the winner's circle in nine starts this year. With the $60,000 picked up here, her earnings now stand at $146,319.

Favored Fly Away Angel set the pace in the race through three-quarters of a mile in 1:13.07 before fading in the stretch to finish fourth. While Lovely Afternoon stalked the pacesetter from the outside, Catboat was hugging the rail saving ground at mid pack after the sluggish start.

"I was hoping to get a good break and dictate the pace but she swung her head a little bit at the break and got off horribly," Martin said. "At that point, I just decided to rate her and save all the ground on the fence the entire way. She ran a fantastic race and she showed a lot of guts."

Mitchell indicated his filly would point toward the Grade III $200,000 Pucker Up Stakes at a mile and an eighth on the turf to be raced here Sept. 18 while Flint said he would plot Catboat's next move with representatives from Stonerside Stable.

My Time Now finished third in the 10-horse field, followed by pacesetting favorite Fly Away Angel, Platinum Ballet, Miss Moses, Touch of Victory, Teenage Temper, Flashy and Chancey Light.

Lovely Afternoon, dispatched at odds of 17-1, paid $16, $15.20 and $8.60. Catboat, sent off at 9-2, returned $6.20, $7.20 and $5.80. My Time Now paid $10.60.

Interestingly enough, the Oaks was the second dead-heat for win on Saturday's card. Earlier in the day, Rey Aguirre's Never Give In and J. David Banks' Orphan Cartwright finished on even terms in the fourth race.

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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