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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/7/05)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
The wild thing about Make My Heart Sing's victory in Monday's featured $42,500 Possibly Perfect Stakes was the win price of $76.60, and the 4-year-old daughter of King of Kings owned by Oratis Thoroughbreds was still doing well at her Churchill Downs headquarters Thursday, according to trainer Toni Gabriel.
"She's the easiest horse in the world to do anything with around the barn," said Gabriel, "but she's a hard horse to ride. Everything has to go her way, but Jesse Campbell rode her to a 'T' on Monday. She can't get stopped, so I told Jesse to take her outside and if she got beat it would be my fault. He followed my instructions perfectly and everything worked out for us."
Make My Heart Sing rallied boldly on the outside when set down for the drive and finished fastest of all to be best by a half-length in Monday's mile and an eighth turf test, designed as a local prep for Arlington's upcoming Grade III Modesty Stakes July 23, and Gabriel was asked if her filly would be a possible starter in that mile and three-sixteenths grass test.
"That's probably back a bit too soon for her," said Gabriel. "She's kind of small and we have a little trouble keeping weight on her, but that doesn't mean we won't run. I'll have to check with the owner and see how she's doing over the next few days."
Owner Chris Elia, who races in the nom-de-course of Oratis Thoroughbreds, is a retired doctor who lives in California, according to Gabriel. The owner's black silks feature a red heart on the left front side. Was there a connection to the filly's name?
"That's just a coincidence," said Gabriel, a former jockey who has been training horses for about five years. "He had those silks for a long time before this filly came along."
Although born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., the 37-year-old Gabriel has her horses in Kentucky, and makes her home in Louisiana, where her husband breaks the horses she trains.
"He's the Cajun in the family," Gabriel said.
R. A. Williams & L.T.B. Inc.'s Discreet Hero, a winner of his last two, attempts to extend his victory skein to three when he heads a field of six named to Saturday's main event at Arlington Park, the $41,500-added Dr. Fager Stakes at a mile and an eighth.
Discreet Hero, a 7-year-old by Honour and Glory, won Mountaineer's $75,000 Slipton Fell Handicap by six and three-quarter lengths in his last start June 11 after winning an allowance affair by four and three-quarters May 28 at the West Virginia oval. The gelding finished third in Arlington's Grade III Hanshin Cup in 2002.
Capable of providing strong competition in the Dr. Fager is Arbaway Farm, Carson Springs Farm & William Lydon's Nkosi Reigns, conditioned by Christine Janks, currently second in the Arlington trainer standings. Two starts back, Nkosi Reigns finished second by three-quarters of a length in this spring's Hanshin Cup May 26. In his last start June 15, the Out of Place gelding was third, beaten a head for the win, in an allowance race on the turf course.
Leading rider Shaun Bridgmohan will ride Discreet Hero, who is trained by Bernie Flint, while Chris Emigh, currently second in the standings, has the mount on Nkosi Reigns.
Completing the field is Thomas Van Meter II & Doug Hendrickson's Ole Faunty, Shane Laviolette up; Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.'s Home of Stars, James Graham aboard; S J Stables LLC's Stormy Impact, Perry Compton astride; and Darrell & Sadie Brommer's Iosilver, Eddie Razo Jr. in the irons.
Arlington Park announcer John G. Dooley, and Equibase trackman Dwayne Hatch will be the featured guests on Saturday's "Get In The Game" program, beginning at 11:30 a.m. in the Starting Gate Theatre, and Arlington guests can learn how the track announcer and the people who chart races go about their respective jobs.
The upcoming weekend festivities begin Friday at 3 p.m. with the Miller Lite Party In The Park, featuring the band "Foster-Walker Complex" performing modern rock.
Friday evening at 7:30 p.m., Arlington Trackside's "Party On The Patio" features the Beatles tribute band "British Export," a band that includes Arlington communications manager Dave Zenner.
On Saturday, rock 'n' roll by "Tumbleweed" and an appearance by WCKG's Brooke & Scott highlight the Bud Light Summer Bash & BBQ, and this week's food special off the Weber grill is a beer-marinated jumbo bratwurst.
On Sunday, "Christmas in July" is the theme of Pepsi Family Day, sponsored by the Daily Herald, with magician Mike Mauthie presenting shows at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. The Junior Jockey Club theme is a tram ride around the racecourse for a jockey's view of the track.
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