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Contact: David Zenner
GAME GOLD STORM K.O.'S CHAMPALI TO WIN ARLINGTON BC SPRINT
Texas-Based Trainer Cascio Wins With First Ever Arlington Starter
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 28, 2004) -- Keith McKinney & Jack Sweesy's Gold Storm survived a three-horse speed battle to win the $147,000 Arlington Breeders' Cup Sprint on Saturday at Arlington Park. Larry Taylor rode the son of Seeking the Gold who covered the six furlongs in a stakes record 1:08.65 over a fast racetrack.
The 4-year-old colt broke alertly from the gate and was immediately engaged by longshot Avid Skier and favorite Champali as the trio sped through fractions of 22.62 seconds for the quarter and 45.72 seconds for a half-mile. Gold Storm took a clear advantage in the stretch and had a two-length lead with an eighth of a mile to run, getting the five panels in 57.02. He held off a late charge from 11-1 outsider Super Fuse to prevail by three quarters of a length.
"I knew the horse Douglas (jockey Rene) was on (Champali) had a lot of speed, but Bubba (trainer Cascio) told me to let my horse break and try to slow 'em down," said Taylor, who had travel difficulties and arrived at Arlington just a short time before the race. "I knew my horse had a lot of speed and if he stood up and broke well, they were going to have to chase him for a way."
The Arlington Breeders' Cup Sprint was the third straight victory for the C. W. "Bubba" Cascio trainee, who boosted his overall record to seven wins from 11 starts. The $90,000 earned for the Sprint pushed his bankroll to $206,750.
"I thought Larry rode a magnificent race," said Cascio, who saddled his first starter at Arlington with Gold Storm. "No flaws. He did just exactly what we planned. We'll play it by ear and try to get another good race into him and try to get into the Breeders' Cup (Sprint) if at all possible."
Super Fuse was a clear second in the five-horse field, 5¼ lengths to the good of 3-5 favorite Champali, who battled the pace for a half before giving way late.
"I wanted to take back but the horse on the outside (Avid Skier) put on a lot of pressure and I couldn't take back," said Champali's rider, Rene Douglas. "My horse wouldn't relax and rate for me. At that point I figured I'd better go on rather than fight him. That wasn't my plan but that's racing."
Sent off at odds of 9-1, Gold Storm paid $20, $10.40 and $2.10. Super Fuse returned $10 and $2.10. Champali paid $2.10. Avid Skier and Coach Jimi Lee completed the order of finish.
Also on Saturday, Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.'s Humorous Miss won the $54,000 Hatoof Stakes by a length and a quarter under jockey James Graham. The Frank Springer-trained daughter of Distorted Humor covered the mile and a sixteenth over soft turf in 1:50.09 and paid $10, $4.80 and $3.40.
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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