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Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/26/05)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


No Llores Catita, a Chilean-bred gray mare that won five races during 20 starts in Chile -- all on the main track -- is likely to be overlooked when she runs in Sunday's featured $40,000 Reluctant Guest Stakes, restricted to fillies and mares at one mile over the Arlington turf course. The 5-year-old was sent to trainer Dave Kassen during the winter and has now made three starts in North America.

"That owner (Thomas Tabb) bought several horses down there and sent a couple of them to me in early December," said Kassen, an Arlington trainer who was preparing for his winter campaign at Gulfstream at the time. "She was one of them.

"It's been hard to find races for her (No Llores Catita)," said Kassen. "In her first race for me, she was checked at the break and didn't run much, so after that, I put her in again in a race on the grass even though she'd never won on it."

Dismissed at 24-1 by the Gulfstream fans in that March 27 outing, No Llores Catita was wide most of the way but closed willingly to finish third, beaten a neck for all of it.

"She should have won that race," said Kassen of the mare's first outing over the lawn. "She didn't get the best of trips -- the jock lost an iron in the gate -- but she was coming on strong at the end and if the race had been a little longer she would have got there. The mare that won that race (Miss Victory, a 6-year-old bred in Argentina) went on to win a stake at Gulfstream (the Bob Slater) later in the meeting.

"Then I sent her to Keeneland and she came up empty in the stretch in a one-mile race on the grass, but I'd missed some works with her and she came up a little short that day," said Kassen of the April 24 race in Lexington. "She also came back with a gash on one ankle."


Veteran Illinois jockey Chris Emigh, far in front as Chicago's leading reinsman this year at the conclusion of the Southside season, made his presence at Arlington Wednesday with a riding triple during the afternoon, moving him up to a tie for third in the local standings.

Two of Emigh's wins came aboard horses conditioned by Christine Janks, and her training double leapfrogged her into a tie for the runner-up spot among the leading local horsemen.

Janks saddled Carson Springs Farm's Modjadji, with Emigh aboard, to win the second half of the daily double, and came back to take the sixth with the undefeated Pretty Jenny, owned by William Lydon, Arbaway Farm & Carson Springs Farm, with Emigh in the irons once again.

Emigh later made a third trip to the winner's circle astride Brown, Beckford, Bigelow & Blink On Bye Stable's Sharp Breeze following Wednesday's finale. That win was Emigh's eighth during the young Arlington season, tying him with James Graham for third. Leading rider Shaun Bridgmohan has ridden 15 local winners, and Eddie Razo Jr., with two winners Wednesday, remains clear in the runner-up spot with a total of 10 victories.

Wayne Catalano, Arlington's leading trainer three of the last five years, has posed in the Arlington winner's circle eight times so far this season, three more times than Janks and Steve Hobby.

Pretty Jenny, an Illinois-bred daughter of Poineering out of the Distinctive mare Catching a Buzz, broke in stride to make the pace in the sixth race and continued willingly when hooked in the stretch run to hold on for a nose tally. The bay sophomore broke her maiden by six and three-quarters at first asking April 8 at Hawthorne and came back April 30 to win the Lady Hallie Stakes there.

Pretty Jenny's undefeated status will make her one of the leading candidates for Arlington's Purple Violet Stakes, one of six stakes restricted to horses in the Illinois program that make up Arlington's Prairie State Festival Day on June 25.


Chicago Thoroughbred racing fans are reminded that there will be no "live" racing at Arlington Park next Wednesday, June 1, due to Arlington's special Monday "live" racing program this Memorial Day.

However, Trackside Arlington Park will offer a special $1 admission for seniors (55 and over) next Wednesday.

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