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Arlington Park stakes recap (9/19/04)

Contact: David Zenner


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (September 19, 2004) -- Locally-based runners outshone the shippers in a pair of graded stakes for 2-year-olds on the closing day program at Arlington Park on Sunday with Three Hour Nap winning the Grade III $200,000 Arlington-Washington Breeders' Cup Futurity and Culinary taking top honors is the Grade III $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie.

Hugh H. Robertson's & Homewrecker Racing LLC's Three Hour Nap prevailed between horses to win the Futurity in a blanket three-horse finish by a neck over Elusive Chris and Straight Line, who dead-heated for second. Eusebio Razo Jr. rode the son of Afternoon Deelites who covered the mile over a fast track in 1:38.56.

Trained by co-owner Robertson, Three Hour Nap is perfect in three trips to the post, all here at Arlington. He earned $120,000 for winning the Futurity to push his bankroll to $158,400.

Rocky River, the 3-5 post time favorite, was rank in the early going while setting a quick pace of :22.99, :45.34, 1:10.78 and 1:24.39 before fading to fourth in the lane. Meanwhile, Razo kept Three Hour Nap about three lengths off the lead on the backstretch before launching his rally turning for home.

"I could see that (Rocky River) was running off and didn't want to relax," Razo said. "I wasn't concerned about him but I was concerned about (Straight Line) turning for home. Once my horse started digging in, I knew he wasn't going to let that horse run by us."

Elusive Chris challenged from the inside late while Straight Line rallied from the outside to finish on even terms for the place spot, eight lengths clear of Rocky River. Santana Springs and Exceptional Ride completed the order of finish.

"He gave me a good run," said John McKee, the jockey aboard Elusive Chris. "We just got beat. But he gave me a strong effort, so I was happy."

"I lost a little momentum when I had to swing wide turning for home but he closed a lot of ground," said Straight Line's jockey C. H. Marquez Jr. "He started to sulk a little when I got up to the other horses so I switched my stick to my left hand to get him off of the other horse because he was pinning his ears like he didn't want to go by him."

Three Hour Nap paid $8.20, $4 and $3.20. Elusive Chris returned $3.60 and $3.80 (prices OK). Straight Line paid $4.80 and $5.60 (prices OK).

Jack Smith Thoroughbreds' Culinary rallied three-wide to overtake frontrunner Mary Alex inside the furlong marker and drew off to win the Lassie by two lengths over Runway Model. Marquez rode the Mike Stidham-trained daughter of El Amante, who covered the mile in 1:36.98, more than a second faster than her male counterparts ran in the Futurity.

"She's been very professional in the morning," said Marquez. "She's been training very well. I told Mr. Stidham that they better bring somebody good if they were going to beat her today."

"We didn't use a prep for this race, we just worked her with some of our better horses in the morning and schooled her," Stidham added. "Carlos got off her in the morning after her last work and said that we have the winner of the Lassie."

With the victory, Culinary remained unbeaten in two starts and the $60,000 winner's share for the Lassie boosted her bankroll to $78,000.

Runway Model, the 2-1 betting choice, rallied from mid-pack to get up for second with Kota finishing third in the eight-horse race, followed by Mary Alex, My Three Sisters, Bubble N Squeak, Patience Pays and Queansco.

Culinary paid $16, $7.80 and $4. Runway Model returned $4.20 and $3. Kota paid $3.

Also on Sunday, Wayne Bessler & Plaine Enterprises, Inc.'s Marley's Revenge set a course record of 1:02.44 for 5 furlongs on the turf when capturing the $44,125 Taylor's Special Stakes. The Dale Bennett-trained son of Concorde's Tune bettered the old mark of 1:02 3/5 set by Chief Sun Dance in 1970. A 21-1 outsider, Marley's Revenge paid $45.20, $14.60 and $6.80.

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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