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ARLINGTON PARK

Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/25/05)

Contact: Graham Ross
graham.ross@arlingtonpark.com

In today's notes:

HANSHIN CHAMP CRAFTY SHAW TO DEFEND SATURDAY

Charles Cella's Crafty Shaw, who drew off in the stretch to win last year's Grade III Hanshin Cup by a length and a quarter, is set to try for a repeat in this year's 53rd running of the one-mile handicap Saturday during Arlington's upcoming extended Memorial Day weekend of Thoroughbred racing.

Other racing highlights of the holiday weekend are Sunday's $40,000 Reluctant Guest Stakes, for fillies and mares at one mile on the grass, and Monday's $40,000 Mister Gus Stakes, for 3-year-olds and up, also over the lawn and also at eight furlongs. However, the $100,000 Hanshin is the first graded stakes event offered at Arlington in 2005, and is being run as an exchange race between Arlington Park and the Japan Racing Association for the 11th time.

Last year, Crafty Shaw came into the Hanshin off a pair of runner-up finishes in Grade III outings at Oaklawn Park during the winter, but this season the 7-year-old chestnut will be making his first start of the year following a second-place finish in last fall's Grade III Turfway Park Fall Championship.

However, Crafty Shaw has run well off a layoff before, and breezed five-eighths in 1:01 at Churchill Downs May 16.

The Pete Vestal trainee, by Crafty Prospector out of an Air Forbes Won mare, will shoulder the starting top impost of 119 pounds in the Hanshin.

Strong competition could come from another Kentucky invader, the Lynn Whiting-conditioned Missme, assigned 117 pounds in the Hanshin. That 6-year-old gelding finished third in Churchill's Alysheba on Kentucky Oaks Day despite being bumped at the start.

ARLINGTON'S MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND INCLUDES MONDAY RACING

The first of three Monday racing programs during Arlington Park's 2005 meeting occurs this weekend as Chicago's Northwest suburban oval celebrates the Memorial Day holiday with four straight days of racing and other festivities.

Friday's twilight-racing program, with a late post time of 3 p.m., kicks off Memorial Day weekend at Arlington, giving Arlington guests a chance to enjoy the Miller Lite Party In The Park atmosphere with the Caribbean music of 'rhumbuzzz' -- featuring Arlington bugler Bonny Brown.

On Saturday morning, the first "Breakfast at Arlington" program of the 2005 season will be conducted, with a breakfast buffet served from 7:30-9:30 a.m. Track announcer John G. Dooley and Arlington television analyst Christine Gabriel host the morning program that allows guests to stay for the races that afternoon.

Arlington chaplain Luis Peralta will conduct a bake sale during the "Breakfast at Arlington" program with proceeds benefiting the Race Track Champlaincy of America (RTCA).

Saturday's "Get in the Game" seminar will take place from 11:30 a.m.--12:45 p.m. in the Starting Gate Theatre with host Joe Kristufek, and will focus on training and equipment. Kristufek will have conditioners Mike Stidham and Michele Boyce as guests for Saturday's session.

Also Saturday, when Arlington's first post reverts to its regular 1 p.m. time slot, the first Bud Light Summer Bash & BBQ will be held in the Park Area, with live blues music by the Matthew Skoller Band as well as an appearance by WXRT morning host Tom Marker. A sirloin beef sandwich will be featured on the Weber grill.

On Sunday this weekend, "Health & Safety" is the theme for Pepsi Family Day, presented by the Daily Herald, where kids combine fun with learning by competing in the "Interactive Trivia Blitz" Game Show complete with lights and buzzers.

The Junior Jockey Club theme Sunday is "Horse of a Different Color," with JJC members meeting in the Paddock at 11:45 a.m. to see all the different colors that Thoroughbreds and other breeds of horses can be.

Pony rides and a petting zoo will also be offered for the younger set Sunday.

On Memorial Day Monday, there will be a "Beanie Baby" giveaway to the first 5,000 paid admissions. Gates will open at 11:15 a.m. with a first post of 1 p.m. There will be Family Day activities in the Park Area including pony rides and a petting zoo. There will also be live music on the band stage by "A Kangaroo Court."

There will also be a bonus weekend "Get in the Game" seminar, with host Joe Kristufek presenting jockeys and trainers that have become some of the "Stars of Arlington" over the years.

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