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Horse slaughter in Illinois
Festival of Racing 2005
|Arlington Park Stakes Advance: Arlington Handicap
Contact: David Zenner
COOL CONDUCTOR, VANGELIS TOP FIELD OF 8 FOR ARLINGTON HANDICAP
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 21, 2005) -- East Coast invader David E. Garner's Cool Conductor and West Coast-based Vangelis, who races in the colors of Bloodstock Management Services Inc. & Cheveley Park Stud Ltd., square off on neutral turf and face six additional rivals in the $200,000 Arlington Handicap on Saturday at Arlington Park.
The Grade III race, the final local prep for the Grade I Arlington Million, which will be run here August 13, is contested at the Million distance of a mile and a quarter over Arlington's world renowned turf course. The Arlington Handicap is one of three six-figure stakes races on the turf that comprise the track's Million Preview Day program that also includes the Grade III $150,000 Modesty Handicap for fillies and mares and the Grade II $250,000 American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's, for 3-year-olds.
A 4-year-old Stravinsky colt, Cool Conductor comes into Saturday's race off a fourth-place finish in the Grade I United Nations Stakes over a mile and three-eighths at Monmouth on July 2. Earlier this year, the Ralph Nicks trainee captured the Grade II Dixie Handicap at Pimlico by a nose on May 21. As a 3-year-old, Cool Conductor raced in all three legs of Arlington's Mid-America Triple with a runner-up finish in the Grade II American Derby being his best performance in that series before winning the Grade III Hawthorne Derby last fall. Cornelio Velasquez has the mount aboard the 120-pound starting high weight.
Vangelis, unplaced in each of the last two editions of the Arlington Million, returns to Arlington Park off a third-place finish in the Grade I Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap June 1 at Hollywood Park over a mile and a quarter. In his only other start this season, the 6-year-old son of Highest Honor was second in the Grade III Jim Murray Memorial Handicap at Hollywood May 9. Trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Bobby Frankel, Vangelis has been assigned 119 pounds by racing secretary Frank Gabriel Jr. and will be ridden by Ramon Dominguez.
Slated to face the top duo (with jockey and weight assignment listed) are: Sidney L. Post's Artiste Royal (Brice Blanc, 118 pounds); S J Stables LLC's Cloudy's Knight (Chris Emigh, 116); Diane Perkins' B. A. Way (James Graham, 115); James Messineo's Major Rhythm (Earlie Fires, 115); Kenneth E. Hoffman's Demeteor (Mark Guidry, 114) and Juddmonte Farms Inc.'s Diplomatic Agent (Eusebio Razo Jr., 112).
Of these, Artiste Royal is sure to garner support at the betting windows off his European form including a victory in the Group III La Coupe Stakes at Longchamp June 16 and a fourth-place finish in the Group III Prix d'Hedouville also at Longchamp one month earlier. The 4-year-old son of Danehill is now based in Southern California with trainer Laura de Seroux.
Locally-based Cloudy's Knight turns back in distance for the Arlington Handicap after a solid second-place finish in the Grade III Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf over a mile and a half here July 3. Earlier this season, the Frank Kirby-trained son of Lord Avie was an easy victor in the $40,000 Mac Diarmida Handicap also at 12 furlongs over this course.
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 www.arlingtonpark.com.
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