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Arlington Park stakes recap (9/18/04)

Contact: David Zenner


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (September 18, 2004) -- Jim Ford Inc., Daron Pearson & Jack Sweesy's Ticker Tape, runner-up as the 2-1 favorite in the Grade I Del Mar Oaks in California in her last start, amended that defeat with an emphatic 2-length victory in the $200,000 Grade III Pucker Up Stakes on Saturday at Arlington Park.

Kent Desormeaux, who earlier this summer was aboard Kicken Kris, the adjudged victor in the Grade I Arlington Million, made a return trip to Chicago to guide the James Cassidy-trained daughter of Royal Applause who covered the mile and an eighth over firm turf in a meet-fastest 1:48.63.

For Ticker Tape, the Pucker Up was her fourth victory in an eight-race campaign that also included a win in the Grade I American Oaks at Hollywood Park in July. She earned $120,000 here to push her bankroll close to the million-dollar mark at $997,426.

Desormeaux kept his filly well off the early pace and began to make his move with about a half-mile to run in the race, getting the jump on Spotlight who was co-favored with Ticker Tape in the Pucker Up.

"At the half- mile pole, I was just sitting behind horses and I didn't do anything but let her go," Desormeaux said. "I always think about (not moving too soon), especially after getting nipped at the wire last time. It was such a tough, hard beat. She did everything the same today. She didn't give way and kept on coming. She really takes off when I let her go. Every time this filly goes out there, she runs her race."

Cassidy indicated that Ticker Tape would be pointed to the Grade I $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup on Oct. 16 at Keeneland, which would likely be the final start of her sophomore season.

Spotlight, far back early, made a rally in the stretch to overtake Sister Swank for the second spot in the 11-horse field.

"I had a good trip," said Rene Douglas, who rode the runner-up. "I was just on the second best horse. I followed the other filly around and then when I tried to move against her she just drew away from me. That's why she's the best."

"My filly was a little anxious early," said Frank Lovato Jr., the jockey aboard Sister Swank. "She settled nicely up the backside and we were clear turning for home and she gave the winner a run for it. I think it was a huge effort by my filly."

Humorous Miss, Bonanza Jellybean, Skip Poker, Erhu, Dancing Liebling, Ms. Lydonia, Code of Ethics and Unbridled Echo completed the order of finish.

Ticker Tape paid $4.40, $2.40 and $2.40. Spotlight paid $2.60 and $2.80 (prices OK). Sister Swank returned $5.40.

Also on Saturday, Jerrold Schwartz' Cloudy's Knight rallied three-wide in the stretch to get up for the win in the final strides of the $44,500 John Henry Stakes. Rene Douglas was aboard the Frank Kirby-trained son of Lord Avie, who went a mile and a sixteenth over firm turf in 1:42.57 and paid $12.60, $5.40 and $3.

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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