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Arlington Park Barn Notes (7/24/05)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Three years ago, Arlington Handicap winner Falcon Flight moved boldly to challenge in the 20th running of the Arlington Million but had to take up sharply late to lose all chance. Despite his trouble, Gary Tanaka's French-bred was beaten less than a half-length at the wire.

Eleven years ago, Arlington 'Cap hero Fanmore, owned by Juddmonte Farms, and trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Bobby Frankel, lost by three-quarters of a length as runner-up to heavily favored Paradise Creek in the 1994 Arlington Million.

Those are two of the better efforts to date by any Arlington 'Cap winner in the Arlington Million, but Saturday's Grade III Arlington Handicap tally by David Garner's Cool Conductor could change that.

Cool Conductor, second in last year's American Derby and fifth in the 2004 Secretariat, broke in full stride to make all the pace in Saturday's race and was less than fully extended when capturing the final local prep for the Million by three and a quarter lengths.

In his post race interview, Cool Conductor's trainer Ralph Nicks expressed positive thoughts concerning the centerpiece race of the Chicago Thoroughbred racing on Aug. 13.

"If he comes out of this well, we'll see you in three weeks," Nicks told Arlington television personality Christine Gabriel during Arlington 'Cap winner's circle ceremonies.

However, Bloodstock Management Services Inc. & Cheveley Park Stud Ltd.'s Vangelis, clearly the runner-up in the Arlington 'Cap, is not expected to return to competition in the Arlington Million.

"He (Vangelis) ran very good, and he came back good," said trainer Frankel, who has saddled two Million winners since the advent of the new Millennium, "but I think the Arlington Million would be a little too tough for him, especially because it would be asking him to come back in three weeks."

Similarly, James Messineo's Major Rhythm and Diane Perkins' B. A. Way, third and fourth respectively in Saturday's Arlington Handicap, came out of the race in good order and were doing well Sunday morning, but are not expected back for the Arlington Million.

Also, S J Stables LLC's Cloudy's Knight and Sidney Port's Artiste Royal, fifth and sixth respectively, were in fine fettle Sunday morning but not expected back to compete in Arlington Million XXIII.


Although there were no reported physical ailments among the 11 members of the distaff set who ran in Saturday's Grade III Modesty Handicap, not one of the connections of those fillies and mares have said as of yet that they are likely to return for the Grade I Beverly D.

Ken McCarthy, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, conditioner of Modesty winner Noisette, owned by Haras Santa Maria de Aras S. A., said Sunday morning that Noisette came out of the Modesty in good order but that no decision had been made regarding her next trip to the post.

Mitch Shirota, trainer of Modesty runner-up Shaconage, owned by Andrena Van Doren said Sunday, "She came back good, but that race (Beverly D.) will be a tougher race than this one was, so I'm not so sure we'll run in there."


Brant Laue's Gun Salute, hero of Saturday's Grade II American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's as the middle leg of Arlington's Mid-America Triple, came out of the race without problems, according to Ken McCarthy, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, conditioner of the winning sophomore.

"I would think there's an excellent chance the colt will come back for the (Grade I) Secretariat," McCarthy said. "I thought he ran a very good race."

E. J. Sukley's Purim and Eliah & Lisa Kahn's Exceptional Ride, second and third respectively in the American Derby, as well Dr. Michael Smurfit & L.W. Heiligbrodt's Merger, the sixth-place finisher, were all doing well Sunday morning and all were still under consideration for the Secretariat.

"I got my phone call this morning from the boss," said Tom Daly, here with the Irish invader Merger, trained by Ireland's all-time leading conditioner Dermot Weld. "He told me to sit tight right here (at Arlington Park) for the next three weeks, and as for the horse, he ate up everything in his tub this morning and was asking for more."

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