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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/27/05)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
Christine Janks, Arlington's trainer of the month for May one year ago, is making a significant bid to repeat that honor. She saddled two winners Wednesday to move into a tie for second in the Arlington standings, and was asked to assess her chances to challenge for leading trainer honors at the end of the meeting.
"Probably about the same as last year," said Janks, who set a torrid pace in the opening days of the 2004 season and continued willingly throughout the summer to finish sixth in the standings. "I feel very fortunate to have all these nice young horses who are doing so well right now, but if you don't claim a lot of horses -- which my stable doesn't -- you don't have the turnover you need to stay in contention throughout the summer.
"I would love it if we were fortunate enough to remain in a position to challenge later in the season," Janks said, "but my goal is to win each race we are in that day, and let other things take care of themselves. Winning a title is not the primary focus of our stable."
Turf Express Inc. & Darrell and Evelyn Yates' Kalahari Cat may be a tepid choice in the wagering in Sunday's first division of the $40,000 Reluctant Guest Stakes, and Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.'s Humorous Miss is a possible post time favorite in the second division two races later, but both ends of the split one-mile turf test for fillies and mares appear as wide-open co-features.
In the first division of the Reluctant Guest, slated as Sunday's sixth race, Kalahari Cat is sure to draw support based on her last race. In that May 2 outing, the 5-year-old daughter of Cape Town came from off the pace in a one-mile grass race at Hawthorne to tally by three and a quarter lengths.
Humorous Miss, one of likely leaders in the second division, scheduled as Sunday's eighth race, has an impressive graded stakes resume that includes a sixth-place finish in Keeneland's Grade I Queen Elizabeth II Cup last October as well as a fourth in the Grade III Pucker Up at Arlington a month earlier. She also won Arlington's Hatoof Stakes last August.
There are several worthy challengers to Kalahari Cat in Sunday's sixth race, including William Lydon, Nancy and Vince Letto & Carson Springs Farm's Sunset Kisses. That 5-year-old Sky Classic mare has won four straight, including a front-running three and a half-length tally in Hawthorne's Nicole Stakes in her last start May 8.
Jaguar On The Run Stable Ltd.'s Jaguar City was six and a half-lengths in front going under the wire in Hawthorne's Peach Of It Stakes in her last trip to the post April 30, but was subsequently disqualified and placed eighth for an errant departure from the gate.
Joi Nelson & Jeremiah Stable's Code of Ethics was second to Humorous Miss in last summer's Hatoof Stakes here, and later second by a head in Fair Grounds' Pago Hop Stakes.
Arthur Appleton's Atlantic Frost was on the board in all three of her starts over the turf at Tampa Bay Downs this winter, including a solid third-place finish in her most recent start April 4 despite being bumped in the late stages.
Riding assignments among those leaders have Shane Laviolette aboard Kalahari Cat, James Graham riding Jaguar City, Chris Emigh up on Sunset Kisses, Jesse Campbell astride Code of Ethics, and Larry Sterling Jr. named for Atlantic Frost.
Completing the first half of the Reluctant Guest is Charles Sigrist's Samantha B., Carlos H. Marquez Jr.; Thomas & Emily Tabb's No Llores Catita, Shaun Bridgmohan; Mark Nickolas' Ladoma, Greta Kuntzweiler; Richard Rudolph & Michael Vranich's Cashmere Miss, Carlos Montalvo; Get In The Picture Stable's Teller Line, Joel Campbell; and Stonerside Stable's Native Annie, Eddie Razo Jr.
Capable of providing strong competition for Humorous Miss in the second half of the Reluctant Guest is Hussar Racing Stable's Lighthouse Lil, absent 11 months now since winning the Lincoln Heritage Stakes here during June's Prairie State Festival Day last year.
Jer-Mar Stables LLC's Ghostly Gate, third in Hawthorne's Grade III Sixty Sails Handicap April 23 but a winner of the Mary Colleen Stakes there before that, cannot be discounted.
Riding assignments in the second division of Sunday's stakes are as follows: Humorous Miss, James Graham; Lighthouse Lil, Carlos H. Marquez Jr.; Ghostly Gate, Earlie Fires; William Congleton's Bolshoi Ballet, Jesse Campbell; Bob & Nancy Bartels' Stormybdancing, Randy Meier; William Lydon & Carson Springs Farm's Ms. Lydonia, Chris Emigh; Ben Barnow's Dharma Girl, Carlos Silva; Casa De Caballos' Beautiful Bets, Tim Thornton; John C. Oxley's Eccellenza, Shaun Bridgmohan; and Barbara Serio's Vitamin Bag, E. T. Baird.
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