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Arlington Park Barn Notes (5/30/05)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Arthur Appleton's Atlantic Frost, who drowned her rivals in Sunday's first division of the Reluctant Guest Stakes, appears ready to face bigger fish.

"She ran a big race, and she came back very good," said trainer Mickey Goldfine on Monday morning. "The others weren't pressing her too much at the end, which I really liked. Larry Sterling rode an excellent race."

Atlantic Frost, a 4-year-old daughter of Stormy Atlantic out of a Frosty the Snowman mare, was allowed to settle early in Sunday's one-mile turf test, commenced a rally when set down for the drive and drew off late to score by an ever-widening three lengths.

The facile nature of Sunday's score begged the question of what might be next for the Appleton homebred, and Goldfine was ready for it.

"Now I'm going to ask her to make another step up," said Goldfine. "I'm assuming there will be a prep for the Modesty coming up soon. That would be my next spot. If she were to run well in that, the Modesty would be next. I hope she's good enough for that."

The Grade III Modesty Handicap, for fillies and mares at a mile and three-sixteenths on the Arlington lawn, will be run July 23.

"She's a joy to train, but difficult to train at the same time," said Goldfine of Atlantic Frost. "Obviously, she likes the grass. She wants to work fast all the time but I won't let her. I like to think I have her figured out now. I like to think I have her number."


Barbara Serio's Vitamin Bag pressed the pace briefly before taking command in the run down the backstretch in Sunday's second division of the Reluctant Guest and then held sway the rest of the way to win by a half-length.

"She ran a very good race," said trainer Greg Geier of his Louisiana-bred mare, who surprised with an $82 win payoff. "She ran the race she should have run. In her previous race (a ninth-place finish in Fair Grounds' Red Camelia Handicap March 27), she got caught in a speed duel early and had nothing left at the end. "But she has a big heart when she's on the lead by herself," Geier said. "When she gets out there and looks around and no one else is running with her, her heart gets to pumping, and when that happens she's real tough to beat. She just doesn't want to let anyone get by. E. T. (jockey Baird) rode a perfect race. "I don't know yet what might be next for her," said Geier. "We'll see what comes up in the book here before we look at anything else. We'd like to stay around here if we can. With all that's going on at some of the other tracks in the country, we'd rather not have to ship somewhere else." Owner-breeders Barbara and Frank Serio are residents of Bossier City, Louisiana, and own a feed company there.


Jockey Uriel Lopez, a veteran Illinois reinsman who has had limited opportunities so far this season, is making the most of them with four wins from 43 mounts.

"The horses are just running good for me right now," said Lopez, a 38-year-old native of Luis Potosi, Mexico, who only rode seven winners at Arlington during the entire 2004 season. "Everything I ride, I ride hard," said Lopez. "That's all I can do, but I feel truly blessed. I'm just very happy with the way things are going for me right now.


A pair of season-high payoffs was posted late Sunday afternoon when Arlington's ninth and final race of the day was made official.

In addition to a late daily double payoff of $1,214.40 based on a $2 wager, the last Pick 4 payoff of the day lit up the tote board with a $13,448.20. That return was based on a $1 wager.

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