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Horse slaughter in Illinois
|Arlington Park Barn Notes (8/18/05)
Contact: Graham Ross
In today's notes:
No one knows the way to the winner's circle in the Arlington Oaks as well as trainer Carl Nafzger. The 63-year-old Texas native -- the nation's Eclipse Award winning conditioner in 1990 -- has won four previous renewals of Arlington's main event for 3-year-old fillies, and the only other trainer that has won it more than once -- the late Harry Trotsek -- is now in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame at Saratoga.
So Arlington's Saturday guests might want to consider Nafzger's Oaks entry of Jim Tafel LLC's Ritzy and that owner's Easily, dismissed at 15-1 in the Arlington Oaks morning line.
"Both fillies have ability," said Nafzger Thursday morning during training hours. "Ritzy is getting very good right now, and Easily is coming along. I like her (Easily) a lot better in the long run because she's not mature yet, but she is getting better."
Ritzy, a daughter of Storm Boot out of a Time for a Change mare, comes into Saturday's Arlington Oaks off a winning allowance race at Arlington July 22 at the one-turn mile distance after being second in that same kind of company here June 29 when going the two turns of the mile and an eighth route.
Easily, a daughter of Vicar out of a Whitesburg mare, was sixth in an Arlington allowance race July 27, but bobbled at the start. Previously, she was third in the same kind of company at Churchill June 16, but had a sluggish start that day during her maturation process.
"The (Arlington) Oaks has always been a nice race for honest fillies that may not be ready for a Grade I race like the Alabama, which we were fortunate enough to win with Banshee Breeze," Nafzger said. "It's a good race, and I ran third in it last year. This year, I'd love it if I could make it five wins."
Nafzger saddled his first Oaks winner 22 years ago with Frances A. Genter Stable's Choose A Partner, came back in 1989 with Tadahito Hotehama's Confirmed Dancer, posed in the local winner's circle two years after that with James Tafel's Til Forbid and won his fourth and most recent Oaks a decade ago with Russell L. Reineman Stables' Niner's Home.
Martin Schwartz's Angara, heroine of Saturday's Grade I Beverly D. at Arlington, and Michael Bello's Megahertz, who finished as the Beverly D. runner-up a neck behind her, are the latest top two leaders in the Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf Division of the World Thoroughbred Championships Poll published Monday.
British-bred Megahertz is the divisional leader with 97 points, while British-bred Angara assumes the second position with 64 points. T N T Stud's Melhor Ainda, third in the Beverly D. a head behind Megahertz, assumes the fifth spot in the division with 49 points, while Joan & John Phillips' Wonder Again, fourth in the Beverly D. a neck behind Melhor Ainda, is sixth in the latest divisional poll with 45 points. Claiborne Farm's Wend, sixth in the Beverly D. as the sister race to the Grade I Arlington Million, is ninth in the latest divisional rankings with 31 points.
Meanwhile, Mrs. John Magnier's Powerscourt, winner of Arlington Million XXIII Saturday afternoon, moves into third position in the John Deere Turf Division of the WTC Poll, while Million runner-up Kitten's Joy, owned by Ken & Sarah Ramsey, holds down the fourth spot. Bushwood Stables' Better Talk Now, fourth in Saturday's Million, assumes the sixth spot in divisional rankings, while Million third-place finisher Fourty Niners Son, owned by Tom Baxter, gets into the 10th spot in divisional rankings based on that latest effort.
Leading trainer Wayne Catalano, the only conditioner at Arlington Park to register any training triples this season, recorded his fourth three-bagger of the meeting Wednesday.
Catalano saddled Frank Calabrese's Top Countess to win the second half of the Daily Double with jockey Jerry La Sala aboard, took the fourth with Calabrese's Dollar for Dollar with Mark Guidry up, and came back in the seventh race with Carmy Cat Racing Stable's Peekaboo Cat with leading rider Shaun Bridgmohan astride.
Patricia Owens' Canyons Sister, third behind Top Countess in the Wednesday's second race while trained by Mark Cristel and ridden by Miguel Mena, registered a season high record show price of $32 based on a $2 wager.
The season's previous high show price was $20.
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