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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Arlington Park Barn Notes (6/10/05)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
S J Stables LLC's Cloudy's Knight, beaten a length when third in Arlington's Mister Gus Stakes on Memorial Day -- despite trouble on the second turn -- should rule the choice when he heads a field of nine named to Saturday's featured Mac Diarmida Handicap.
The Mac Diarmida is run at the same mile and a half distance as Saturday's Belmont Stakes from New York, but the local marathon is for 3-year-olds and up and will be run over Arlington's world famous turf course. As such, the Mac Diarmida serves as an excellent prep for Arlington's Grade III Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf, one of the traditional events of Chicago's summer season, which will be run at 12 furlongs over the Arlington grass on July 3.
In the Mister Gus, run at eight furlongs over ground listed as "good," Cloudy's Knight rallied strongly in the late stages after being forced to steady leaving the backstretch. It was his first start of the year. Previously, when going nine furlongs over a "yielding" course in Churchill Downs' Grade III River City Handicap last November, the 5-year-old Lord Avie gelding finished second, beaten a half-length.
Cloudy's Knight, sixth in the 2004 Stars and Stripes, is conditioned by defending Arlington trainer champion Frank Kirby and will share the top impost of 119 pounds Saturday, most of which will be made up jockey Chris Emigh.
Also assigned 119 pounds in Saturday's Arlington headliner is Silverton Hill LLC's Gin and Sin, who finished second by a head to Cloudy's Knight in last year's John Henry Handicap on the penultimate day of the Arlington season. The Go for Gin gelding made the pace in his only start this season at Churchill May 29 when going a mile and a sixteenth, but weakened in the final furlong to finish fourth.
Last fall Gin and Sin posted back-to-back seconds in Hawthorne's Grade III Robert F. Carey Memorial Handicap and Calder's Bonnie Heath Turf Handicap. Larry Sterling Jr. is named to handle the reins.
Completing the Mac Diarmida field is Andrew F. Dowden III's Private Bound, 112, Casey Fusilier; Mary & Rylee Zimmerman and First BB Investments LLC's Dead Ringer, 112, Tim Thornton; Robert E. Ryan's White Buck, 115, Seth Martinez; Jim Davis's Foreign Ruckus, 113, Carlos Marquez Jr.; Al & Saundra Kirkwood's Gwaihir, 115, Jesse Campbell; David Banks' Lord Carmen, 113, Shane Laviolette; and Darrell & Sadie Brommer's Iosilver, 114, Eddie Razo Jr. The last named is entered for "main track only."
Trainer Danny Miller, who saddled his first winner of the Arlington season when Michael Conway & Miller Racing Stable Ltd.'s Editor's Cat took down Wednesday's finale, had to go a roundabout way to get it.
"This one still has a chance to be a legitimate horse," said Miller, 52, a native of Carey, Illinois. "His half-brother made $750,000, but this horse got hurt last summer during his 4-year-old season and I had to give him some time off. I knew that it takes him about three starts to come around after he's been off, and I began to realize I was going to run out of time with him trying to break his maiden.
"I got two starts into him at Hawthorne this spring," said Miller, "but you can't start a 5-year-old maiden at Arlington, so I hauled him to Indiana Downs, had Chris Dorris saddle him down there to break his maiden, and then I brought him back.
"That's a nice little track," said Miller. "It was the first time I'd ever been there. The trip takes a little more than four hours, but it's an easy drive. I took him down there on a Thursday, he ran on a Friday, and I went back down to pick him up that Saturday."
With his maiden win out of the way, Miller was able to start him at Arlington in Wednesday's last race, again on the grass, and Editor's Cat came from just off the pace to rally in the late stages and win by a neck.
Editor's Cat, incidentally, is an altered son of Editor's Note, who won the 1996 edition of Saturday's Belmont Stakes with Rene Douglas aboard prior to that Panamanian reinsman's record four straight riding titles here at Arlington.
Veteran Arlington reinsman Eddie Perez took down both ends of Thursday's opening Daily Double, and fellow local regular Shane Laviolette equaled that feat during Arlington's midday double.
The two wins by the two riders who had shared eighth-place in the local standings remain tied but have now moved up to the seventh spot.
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