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Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/15/05)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Accomplished horsewoman Sally Schu, who has made her mark as a trainer and as an assistant in past Arlington seasons, is back this summer as the assistant trainer in charge of conditioner John Ward's Chicago string.

It was in her latest capacity that she reported on the welfare of John C. Oxley's Miss Matched, heroine by a head in Saturday's featured $40,000 Ribbon Handicap.

"She's fine today," said Schu. "She really did not have to run that hard in her first race at Gulfstream this year, and I knew she was a better filly than that. Yesterday, she showed us what she could do. When she turned for home that wind hit her right in the face, but she dug right in and showed a lot of heart.

"John (trainer Ward) has already gone back to Kentucky," said Schu, "and I'm not sure exactly what he might be pointing her to for her next start."

After training privately for Roy Monroe and his wife during the 2002-03 Arlington seasons, Schu took last year off when the Monroes got out of the racing end of the business. While on vacation in Colorado last summer, she realized how much she missed being in the business, especially at Arlington Park.

"Arlington's been like a second home to me," Schu said. "I enjoyed my time in Colorado, but now I'm back and ready to go. You could say I've been freshened."

It was while Schu trained for the Monroes that she conditioned Private Son to finish second in the 2002 Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf. That colt went on to finish fourth in the Arlington Handicap that season, but did not run in the Arlington Million that year because he hadn't been nominated.

"Roy and I didn't think he'd turn out to be as good as he was that year," Schu said. "Actually, the horse is back with me now. Roy gave him to me about a month ago. I always told Roy if he didn't want him anymore I'd love to have him, and Roy didn't let me down. I went ahead and cut him as soon as I got him back and I'm going to try and make a pony out of him."

It should also be noted that during her first career as an assistant trainer when working for conditioner Ken McPeek, Schu was largely responsible for the development of the good 2-year-old filly She's a Devil Due. That filly won three races in a row at Arlington Park, including the Top Flight, on her way to a tally in Keeneland's Alcibiades and a third-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

"Bless her heart, she coliced last year and they had to put her down," Schu said of She's a Devil Due. "She was a real sweetheart. She gave you everything you asked of her."


Gary Tanaka's Epalo, third in the 2004 Arlington Million, finished eighth in Sunday's Group I Singapore Airlines International Cup, second leg of this year's World Racing Championship.

Epalo, fourth in the Group I Audemars Piquet Queen Elizabeth II Cup, first leg of the Championship run in Hong Kong April 24, dueled for the early lead in Singapore with G Racing, VanBurger and Vaughn's Star Over the Bay. When that rival, winner of Santa Anita's Grade I Clement L. Hirsch last fall, broke down at the halfway point, Epalo, defending champion in the Singapore Cup, held a clear advantage but had little left when challenged in the stretch.

Earlier, half a world away, Gary Tanaka's Rakti, another Arlington Million possibility, won the Group I Juddmonte Lockinge Stakes by five lengths at Newbury on Saturday, establishing a course record in the process.

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