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Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/9/05)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Nancy Vanier & Cartwright Thoroughbreds LLC's Straight Line, who led between calls in the stretch run of the Grade II Ohio Derby July 2, may try to make amends for that defeat in Arlington's $100,000 Round Table Stakes July 16.

Chicago's traditional sophomore fixture will be observing its 41st renewal and will be contested on the main track at the nine-furlong distance.

"I'm not a hundred percent sure I'm running in it," said trainer Brian Williamson Friday afternoon of Straight Line in the Round Table, "but as long as he keeps going like he is now, I think he'll go. As of now, I'd say he's going to run."

Straight Line ended up fifth in that most recent Northern Ohio outing, beaten four and half-lengths after being forced to steady.

"Chris (jockey Emigh) told me he thought he was going to win it," said Williamson, "but suddenly he just ran out of horse. I'm not making any excuses for him, but it was a funny racetrack that day; it was kind of a dead track."

Straight Line's previous start prior to the Ohio Derby came at Arlington June 4, and he took command shortly after the start and increased the margin to four lengths at the wire while less than fully extended. In his first start this year, the Kentucky-bred was eased in Gulfstream's Grade II Swale Stakes March 5.

A son of Claiborne's recently pensioned stallion Boundary, Straight Line is out of the Strawberry Road mare Zanti and concluded his juvenile campaign with a five-length win in Churchill's Grade III Iroquois Stakes Nov. 6. The colt won Arlington's Honest Pleasure Stakes last summer, was second by a neck in the Grade III Arlington-Washington Breeders' Cup Futurity on closing day Sept. 19, and fourth in Keeneland's Grade I Lane's End Breeders' Futurity Oct. 9.


Iron County Farms Inc.'s Apache Point, the highly regarded sophomore conditioned by defending Arlington trainer champion Frank Kirby, remains under consideration for Arlington Park's $100,000 Round Table Stakes at a mile and an eighth July 16.

A son of 1990 Breeders' Cup Mile champion Royal Academy, Apache Point was the runner-up in the $250,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows in his last start July 1, beaten a length for all of it despite being brushed in the late going.

"I'm looking at the Round Table a little bit," said Kirby Saturday morning during training hours when asked about Arlington's upcoming 3-year-old main track fixture. "I'll probably make a decision about where he makes his next start in the first part of the week."

Kirby's long-range plans for the homebred include a grass career, and toward that end Apache Point made a turf appearance at Churchill Downs June 10, where he finished third despite being bumped in the late stages.

"I don't think I'll be putting him back on the grass for his next start," Kirby said.


Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires, Arlington Park's all-time leading rider, made two trips to the winner's circle Friday to become the only jockey in Arlington's current top 10 list with less than 100 mounts during the meeting.

Fires, with 12 wins from 93 mounts through Friday, has posed in the Arlington winner's circle 38 different summers, has been Arlington's jockey champion six times, and has the distinction of being Arlington's leading rider in three different decades.

During Friday's twilight session, Fires won the sixth race with Sarvady Stable LLC's Forever Regal for trainer Roy Houghton, and came back to the winner's circle in the eighth on James Messineo's Slew Slayer for trainer Ed Beam.

Jockey James Graham, winner of Arlington's "Rising Star Award" last season, regained the fourth spot in the 2005 standings with a "bookend" riding double on the late Friday program.

Graham won the opener aboard 100% Racing Stable LLC's Olympic City for trainer Austin Smith and then came back in Friday's finale astride Panic Stable LLC's Littlebitakris for conditioner Tom Amoss.

Amoss posted his second victory for the afternoon with that winner after saddling Courtney & Telle's Kisses for Bertie to win the third race of the day under jockey Eddie Razo Jr.

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