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Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/10/05)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Arlington Classic hero Purim -- the only horse with a chance to sweep Arlington's Mid-America Triple this year -- breezed an easy four furlongs in :49.40 over the local turf course Sunday morning in a positive move toward the next leg of Arlington's historic series.

"That was the first time I've seen him work on the grass in the morning," said owner E. J. Sukley shortly after the Sunday move. "I brought my son-in-law, Mark Testa, here to see the work and the track. We're still looking at the next race (American Derby), but it's Tom's (trainer Proctor) call."

Arlington's Mid-America Triple schedule this year began when Purim dominated rivals in the Grade III Arlington Classic, presented by Woodford Reserve July 2; continues with the Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's July 23; and concludes with the Grade I Secretariat as part of the International Festival of Racing Aug. 13 on Arlington Million Day.

"He just went an easy half," said Proctor of Purim's move, the only turf work accomplished during Sunday morning training hours. "He was just stretching his legs. I don't even know what he went in."

"The dogs were well out from the rail, and he was going very easily," said Bobby Belpedio, head clocker for the Illinois Racing Board. "He galloped out five-eighths in 1:03 over a firm turf course."

Robert Schaedle III's Honor Glide was the most recent horse to sweep the Mid-America Triple, accomplishing the rare feat eight years ago.

Powhatan's Tom Rolfe in 1965, and Ogden Phipps' Buckpasser in 1966 are the only other 3-year-olds to sweep the Arlington series, and they did so three decades earlier when all races in the troika were run on the main course.


"Im Spartacus" is slated to go to the post against five other sophomores in Sunday's Grade III Lexington Stakes at nine furlongs over Belmont's inner grass course.

"Im Spartacus" is set to meet older rivals in Belmont's Grade II Bowling Green Handicap this Saturday at a mile and three-eighths over the Long Island lawn.

"Im Spartacus" is being pointed toward the Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's, as the second leg of Arlington Park's Mid-America Triple a week from Saturday at a mile and three-sixteenths over Chicago's world famous turf course.

Will the real "Im Spartacus," please stand up? Stop. They all are. Im Spartacus is a horse. A 3-year-old British-bred gelding owned by The Regulate Partnership and trained by David Flood, and according to the International Racing Bureau Ltd., all three of those races are on his projected dance card.

Im Spartacus last went to the post at Ireland's The Curragh May 22, when the son of Namaqualand won his second straight race with a nose tally in a minor stakes on the afternoon program that included the Group I Boylesports Irish 1000 Guineas.

Making the Atlantic crossing along with Im Spartacus for Sunday's race is Irish jockey Jamie Spencer, who was first under the wire in last summer's Arlington Million aboard Mrs. John Magnier's Powerscourt before that European invader was subsequently disqualified.

Arlington's upcoming American Derby, a prep race for Arlington's Grade I Secretariat Stakes, will be contested July 23 as part of Million Preview Day, which also includes the Grade III Arlington Handicap as a prep race for Arlington Million XXIII and the Grade III Modesty Handicap, a prep for the Grade I Beverly D. Handicap.

The $400,000 Secretariat, final leg of the Mid-America Triple, the Million and the $750,000 Beverly D., Illinois' only three Grade I races conducted on an annual basis, make up Arlington's International Festival of Racing Aug. 13.


Arlington defending trainer champion Frank Kirby and jockey James Graham each won two races Saturday, and combined their talents with those of S. J. Stables LLC's Stormy Impact to capture Saturday's featured Dr. Fager Stakes at a mile and an eighth.

Would Kirby be pointing Stormy Impact for a run in Arlington's upcoming Grade II Washington Park Handicap July 30?

"We hope so," said Kirby to Arlington television personality Christine Gabriel in post race comments. "He's doing well right now and I thought the jockey rode a masterful race."

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