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|Arlington Park stakes recap (9/4/04)
Contact: David Zenner
ADORATION WINS ARLINGTON MATRON HANDICAP
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (September 4, 2004) -- Amerman Racing Stables LLC's Adoration turned back a bid by Tamweel at the top of the stretch and drew off to win the $150,000 Arlington Matron Handicap by two lengths on Saturday at Arlington Park. Victor Espinoza rode the daughter of Honor Grades who went the mile and an eighth over a fast track in 1:49.75.
"She broke very sharp," said Espinoza. "When I got to the first turn, I slowed down the pace a little bit. When she turned for home, she switched leads nicely. I was pretty much in control (of the race) especially because I knew I had the best horse and that made it easier for me. She did everything on her own very easily and opened up turning for home. I didn't want to use her too much. It was just a hand ride."
Adoration, winner of the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff at Santa Anita Park last October, was using the Arlington Matron as a stepping stone to a defense of that victory when this year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships are held at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie on Oct. 30.
"The way she won was very important," noted Hofmans, who indicated the mare would make one more start before the Breeders' Cup. "She was on the lead and relaxed with a horse putting pressure on her the whole way and then being able to finish the way she did off the layoff was pretty good. She's a big, strong filly. I was very proud."
Adoration cut out fractions of 24.71, 48.66, 1:12.72 and 1:37.00 en route to the victory, her third in five starts this year and eighth in 20 starts overall. The $90,000 earned Saturday pushed her career bankroll past the $2 million mark to $2,051,160.
Tamweel was second in the seven horse field, followed by Indy Groove, Julie's Prize, Bare Necessities, Allspice and Hennie's Song to complete the order of finish.
The 11-10 favorite, Adoration paid $4.20, $2.40 and $2.10. Tamweel returned $2.60 and $2.20. Indy Groove paid $3.20.
Earlier Saturday, Barry Golden's On the Course rallied in the stretch after dropping back on the turn to win the $53,800 Rossi Gold Stakes under jockey C. H. Marquez Jr. The Mike Stidham-trained son of Spinning Gold covered the mile and a half over firm turf in 2:33.71 after stalking a pedestrian pace of 26.06, 53.05, 1:18.92, 1:45.12 and 2:10.32. The 7-2 second choice in the race, he paid $9.40, $4 and $3.20.
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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