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|Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/4/05)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
The first two of several equine charter flights bringing European contestants to the United States for Arlington Park's upcoming one-day International Festival of Racing arrive Saturday: one week prior to Arlington Million XXIII.
The 2005 Arlington Million, the $750,000 Beverly D., and the $400,000 Secretariat -- Illinois' only three Grade I races conducted on an annual basis -- serve as the showcase events of Chicago's Thoroughbred racing season Aug. 13, and the troika annually attracts the world's best grass runners in their respective divisions.
Arriving at O'Hare International Airport in the afternoon Saturday will be a KLM charter carrying Godolphin Racing's Sundrop, winner of Great Britain's Group III Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom June 3. The Japanese-bred daughter of 1989 Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Breeders' Cup Classic winner Sunday Silence is a projected starter in the Beverly D., the Arlington Million's sister race won last summer by Godolphin's Crimson Palace.
Like Crimson Palace, Sundrop is trained by Saeed bin Suroor, and following her Princess Elizabeth tally, the 4-year-old was runner-up in the Group II Windsor Forest Stakes during the Royal Ascot-at-York meeting June 15, where she finished a length and three-quarters in front of Soviet Song. That filly went on to capture the Group I Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket July 5.
On Saturday night, an Air France equine charter is due at O'Hare carrying Arlington Million candidates Touch of Land, owned by Gary Tanaka, as well as Alost, who races in the silks of Dominique Bayet.
In his last start on July 20, Touch of Land won the Group III Grand Prix de Vichy-Auvergne over France's Vichy course after finishing fourth in the Group I Prince of Wales's Stakes during the Royal Ascot-at-York meeting June 15.
Alost made his first Atlantic crossing this year to finish fourth, beaten a length for the win, in Belmont's Grade I Manhattan Handicap on Belmont Stakes Day, June 11, before returning to the Continent. Previously he had finished third in France's Group III Prix d'Hedouville at Longchamp on May 9.
Beverly D. possible starter Tarfah, owned by Abdullah al Khalifa and trained by Gerard Butler, is also likely on that Air France manifest, assuming her connections decide to participate in Arlington's primary filly and mare test. The Kentucky-bred daughter of Kingmambo won Newmarket's Group III VC Bet Dahlia Stakes May 1 and then ran fifth in the Windsor Forest.
Saturday's "Get In The Game" session focuses on morning workouts and will feature Arlington Park clocker George Horner as host Joe Kristufek's featured guest.
The "Get In The Game" program will run from 11:30 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. at Arlington's Starting Gate Theatre.
Hundreds of horses are on the Arlington track every morning during training hours, and Saturday's session will help explain how the clockers know who is who, and how they go about collecting accurate workout times.
Horner, 47, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, took out his first trainer's license at 19 and conditioned horses for about 10 years in Northern Ohio before becoming a clocker in 1989. In recent seasons he clocked at Delaware Park most of the year while spending the winter months at Tampa Bay Downs. This is his first season at Arlington Park.
Sunday's Pepsi Family Day, presented by the Daily Herald, will host a Family Sports Day theme, featuring a family long jump, family slalom and other fun-filled Olympic-styled sports in the Park Area.
The afternoon's main attraction is "Rope Warrior," starring Guinness world record holder Dave Fisher and his Ropenastics show at 1, 2 and 3 p.m.
Sunday's Junior Jockey Club session allows JJC members to take a trip to the starting gate to see horses in action as a race begins.
Arlington Park's weekend festivities begin Friday afternoon with the Miller Lite Party In The Park, featuring the Beatles tribute band "British Export," with first race and first song beginning at 3 p.m.
On Friday evening, great rock music from the 50s through the 80s will be played by "The Fairlanes" during Party On The Patio beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Trackside Arlington Park.
On Saturday, during the Bud Light Summer Bash and BBQ, the "Neverly Brothers" will perform acoustic-driven hits from the 50s and 60s, and the day's food special off the Weber grill is an Applewood smoked beef brisket. First race and first song are at 1 p.m.
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