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Arlington Park Stakes Advance: Arlington Classic

Contact: David Zenner


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (June 30, 2005) -- Team Valor Stables' Guillaume Tell points his arrow toward Arlington Park where he is the 2-1 morning line favorite for Saturday's $150,000 Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve.

The Grade III race for 3-year-olds at a mile and a sixteenth over Arlington's world famous turf course serves as the first leg of Arlington's Mid-America Triple. That series continues July 23 with the Grade II $250,000 American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's, and concludes with the Grade I $400,000 Secretariat Stakes on August 13.

An Irish-bred son of Rossini, Guillaume Tell is looking for his first win in 2005 in the Arlington Classic. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the chestnut colt has been competitive in graded stakes competition, finishing second beaten a nose in the Grade III Transylvania Stakes at Keeneland in April and reporting home third in the Grade III American Turf at Churchill Downs on May 6. Racing in Europe as a 2-year-old, Guillaume Tell was beaten a nose when finishing second in the Group II Prix Thomas Byron at Saint Cloud.

He will be ridden Saturday by Arlington's leading jockey Shaun Bridgmohan.

Al & Saundra S. Kirkwood's Southern Africa returns to the grass for Saturday's headliner after an early-season sophomore campaign on the main track. Since coming to North America late last year, the son of Cape Town captured the $100,000 Borderland Derby at Sunland Park and the Grade III $300,000 Lone Star Derby at that Grand Prairie, Texas, oval. Last time out, the Mike Puhich trainee ran eighth in the Grade I Belmont Stakes in New York. His regular rider, Jon Court, has the mount Saturday.

Gabe Grossberg's Cosmic Kris is back on his home turf after scoring a 1 -length victory in the $50,000 Come Summer Stakes on the lawn at Canterbury Park. Prior to his Minnesota jaunt, the son of Storm Creek was beaten as the favorite in a second-level allowance over this course, finishing second by a head to Kid Grindstone. E. T. Baird, who made the trip to Minnesota last out, gets a return call from trainer Frank Springer.

Other locally-based runners in the Arlington Classic are John C. Oxley's Gold Minister (Eusebio Razo Jr.), an easy winner in a first-level allowance race on June 3; and Vinery Stables' Ready Ruler (Larry Sterling Jr.) , third in the $42,250 Awad Stakes on June 4.

The remaining invaders for the Classic are: Donald Dizney & R. Farm's Hole in the Head (Mike Luzzi), third in the $100,000 Jersey Derby at Monmouth in his last start; Major League Partnership's Major League (C. H. Marquez Jr.), fifth in the $200,000 USA Stakes at Lone Star Park on May 30 and victor of a second-level allowance over the Texas turf earlier that month; E. J. Sukley's Purim (Mark Guidry) , unbeaten in his only two trips to the post; and Dogwood Stables's United, winner of the restricted Peppy Addy Stakes at Philadelphia Park on June 11.

Arlington Park -- the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. -- is running a 94-day meet in 2005 from Friday, May 13 through Sunday, Sept. 18. 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 Lucky's featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at

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