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Arlington Park Barn Notes (6/18/05)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Arlington television's newest attempt to give its guests additional information got off to a perfect start Friday when a pre-race extra segment by track announcer John G. Dooley pointed the way to the winner of the sixth race.

"Part of Arlington's 'Get In The Game' program involves trying to offer handicappers an additional way to look at the races," said Dooley on the morning after his Arlington Extra debut. "We're trying to be proactive in taking the game to the next level, and when I was handicapping Friday's races I remembered that one of the horses I liked had stumbled in his last race, and I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to introduce our latest segment.

"During the off-season, Arlington built a professional television studio with a giant screen (the same as those used by television weathermen), and we now have the capability of providing a full screen image of anything we choose," Dooley said.

"Now, if I see something worthy of note that happens during a race, I can point it out by showing a replay of that race on the screen behind me the next time the horse runs," Dooley said, "and what makes it much more feasible is that I can tape that segment for airing prior to that horse's race. That way I don't have to leave announcer's booth during that afternoon's races."

In the moments before Friday's sixth race, Dooley's first taped segment of the season had the announcer pointing out exactly when Medallia de Plata had stumbled shortly after the start when finishing third May 15 here. Fortunately, the introductory segment proved prophetic. Ridden by the red-hot Chris Emigh once again, the Steve Hobby-trainee, owned by Richard Boyd, got off to a perfect start, settled off the pace and then rallied courageously in the stretch to win by a head.

"This feature isn't something we're going to do every day or on any specific schedule," said Dooley. "Because of that, we can pick and choose only those races where an incident seems particularly appropriate. We're not pinned down by a schedule that forces us to come up with a minor incident that's not really worthy of mention.

"And what I liked best," said Dooley, "was that the first incident we chose to run gave those that were watching the winner of the race. So we have a perfect record so far."


Vinery Stables' More Than Promised, first under the wire in Calder's Georgia Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders Association Oaks last time before being subsequently disqualified, gets a chance to make amends for her errant ways in Sunday's showcase race at Arlington Park, the $40,000-added Double Delta Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

If the field of nine female sophomores remains intact for the one-mile turf test, the Father's Day featured event will have a gross value of $42,250, with a $25,350 share of that sum going to the owners of the winner.

In that last start May 6 over the Calder lawn at the eight-furlong distance, More Than Promised was allowed to settle early, rallied when set down for the drive but bothered her main rival while eventually finishing a neck in front. Following a review of the stretch run, the daughter of More Than Ready was disqualified and placed second.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, More Than Promised has made six starts in her career, three on the grass and three on the main track, but she seems equally proficient on both surfaces. She broke her maiden over the main course at Lone Star Park, and journeyed from the Grand Prairie oval to New Orleans to exit "non-winners of one other than" company over the turf course at the Fair Grounds. On Sunday she gets the riding services of Larry Sterling Jr.

Capable of providing strong competition for More Than Promised is the intriguing Ascot Dream, owned by Richard Sturgill, John Foley and Peter Bradley. Bred in Ireland, Ascot Dream raced in France as a 2-year-old and made two starts there this year, finishing third in the Prix de la Californie Feb. 12.

The daughter of Pennekamp out of a Secreto mare came to this country, and under the tutelage of trainer Elliott Walden, in time for an appearance in Keeneland's $100,000 Appalachian Stakes April 24. She finished fifth after breaking in the air to lose all chance. Shaun Bridgmohan, Arlington's leading rider this season, is named to handle the reins Sunday.

Completing the field for the Double Delta is Thoroughbred Acadiana LLC's Where's Bailey, Carlos Marquez Jr.; Marguerite Clifford LLC's Shadowy Waters, Chris Emigh; Al & Saundra Kirkwood's Rugula, Jesse Campbell; Hugh Robertson & Homewrecker Racing LLC's The Bohemian Girl, Emanuel Cosme; Wexler Racing Stables Inc.'s Northern Lane, Randy Meier; Michael & Amy Feuerborn's A Classic Life, James Graham; and Coastal Racing LLC's Mrs. Debbie M, Eddie Razo Jr. up. All nine fillies carry 117 pounds.

Of the others, both Where's Bailey and The Bohemian Girl appear competitive after finishing first and second respectively, a head apart, when they raced at this distance over the local oval May 25 over a course rated good.

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