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Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/2/05)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


Carol & Charles Hammersmith's Miss Terrible, who made the pace in the Grade I Beverly D. Stakes on the grass three weeks ago before tiring in the late stages, gets another chance when she shoulders the top impost of 118 pounds in Saturday's Grade III Arlington Matron Handicap on the main track.

"She's doing very well," said trainer Bradley Ross Friday during training hours. "She's kind of focused today; she seems to know what's ahead of her. I'll take her for a walk this afternoon but she's coming into the race just like I'd want her to.

"In my heart, I really think she should take this," said Ross of his Argentine-bred, who won in Group I company in her native land before coming to North America. "Eddie (jockey Razo) and I have talked it over, and he's not going to hustle her out to the lead right away. That way, we're thinking she won't get so rank. Eddie's watched the way Alex (jockey Solis) rode her (winning Santa Anita's Grade III Las Flores Handicap and Churchill's Grade III WinnerComm Distaff Turf Mile), and Eddie probably knows her better than anybody anyway. He's been working her for about a year now.

"This race tomorrow is very important for me," said Ross. "If she can get the mile and an eighth tomorrow -- and I think she can on the main track -- I'll point her toward the (Grade I) Beldame in New York (Oct. 1) and then think about the Breeders' Cup after that. I'd like to keep her on the main track even though I still think she's just as good on the turf. It's just that her style of running is really not conducive to long races on the turf."

In a related note concerning Saturday's Matron, trainer Christine Janks remained undecided about running William Lydon, Arbaway Farm and Carson Springs Farm's For Gillian in the featured attraction.

"We are still undecided," said Janks Friday morning. "We took her to the track this morning and she still wasn't quite as chipper as she usually is. We'll see how things look tomorrow (Saturday) morning."


S J Stables LLC's Cloudy's Knight, runner-up in the Grade III Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf here at 12 furlongs on the grass course here July 3, looms a strong choice when he faces five rivals in Saturday's co-featured $41,500 Rossi Gold Stakes, also at a mile and a half over the local lawn.

In his most recent trip to the post, Cloudy's Knight closed fast going one mile on the turf at Mountaineer Park Aug. 14 in the West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker's Cup, and before that finished fifth in the Grade III Arlington Handicap July 23 as the final local prep for the Grade I Arlington Million.

Capable of providing strong competition for the $24,900 winner's share of the Rossi Gold is Late Night Stables LLC's Prodigus, who won here July 30 at nine furlongs when racing for a $50,000 tag. The Brazilian-bred ran eighth in last year's Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf when unable to handle the soft going.

Cloudy's Knight, conditioned by last year's Arlington trainer champion Frank Kirby, has Mark Guidry named to handle the reins Saturday, while Prodigus, trained by Helen Pitts, has Chris Emigh astride.

Completing the Rossi Gold field is Nancy Vanier & Charles Nuckols Jr.'s Come On Jazz, trained by Brian Williamson with Shaun Bridgmohan up; Summer Camp Stable's Delafield, Chris Block-trained and Brice Blanc ridden; Eugene & Laura Melnyk's Mellowes, conditioned by Tony Reinstedler and ridden by James Graham; and Silver Wing Stables II's Load a Chronic, trained by Shannon Ritter with Shane Laviolette in the saddle.


Arlington Million winner Powerscourt, owned by Mrs. John Magnier, remains a "possible" starter for Belmont Park's Grade I Man o' War Stakes Sept. 10, according to trainer Aidan O'Brien, with a final decision on his status likely to be announced Saturday.

O'Brien is considering Powerscourt as well as Magnier, Tabor & McCalmont's Ace, runner up in the Group I Prince of Wales's Stakes during the Royal Ascot-at-York meeting in June, for the mile and three-eighths Man o' War, with a final decision likely to be announced Saturday. Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey is slated to ride whichever O'Brien trainee runs.


Jockey Mark Guidry posted a riding triple at Arlington Thursday on the same day he kicked off Arlington's "Hurricane Disaster Relief Fund" for the benefit of victims of Hurricane Katrina. Donations designated as such that are collected at Arlington will be turned over the Horsemen's Bookkeeper for further disbursement through a nationally recognized relief organization.

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