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Arlington Park Barn Notes (9/10/05)

Contact: Graham Ross

In today's notes:


One unique breed of Louisianans -- those that proudly call themselves Cajuns -- is known for coming together in times of need, and Thoroughbred horsemen traditionally have closed their ranks to help one another, but on Friday afternoon, guests at Arlington Park attached themselves to those two groups in a commendable team effort to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Arlington jockeys' wives and trainers' wives -- borrowing from a firemen's tradition -- "passed the boot" throughout the park to Arlington's Thoroughbred racing fans during Friday's twilight racing program, and were quick to express their gratitude to the generous response they received.

"This is going absolutely great," said Debbie Laviolette, Arlington jockey Shane Laviolette's wife, one of those who paused between her endeavors while "passing the boot." Her husband, born in New Orleans, is one of millions of Louisianans who had family displaced by the recent disaster.

"I'm very happy for how positive the response has been to this drive," said Mrs. Laviolette. "Almost everyone has been anxious to contribute, and we're all very grateful."

A total of $1,542 was collected by the small group of horsemen's wives Friday on the first day of their effort, and that effort will continue Saturday and Sunday. Friday's total, and those to follow, will be put into "R. T. C. A. Illinois Horsemen's Relief Fund," established by the horsemen of Illinois to assist the horsemen of Louisiana and their families in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

On Saturday and Sunday, to capitalize on the popularity of the Arlington jockey colony, jockeys will be conducting an autograph session on the west side of the paddock beginning at noon and continuing throughout the day, and on Wednesday jockeys will be collecting donations at the gates from 11:15 a.m. until the third race of the day.


Arlington Park's 4th annual "Riding For A Cure" -- a horsemen-oriented trail ride fundraiser on behalf of cancer research -- will be conducted Monday afternoon and evening, and is scheduled to originate and conclude at the Barrington Hills Riding Center.

Proceeds from the upcoming event, which starts as a 20-mile trail ride during the afternoon but also includes an evening of dinner and dancing following the trail ride, will be donated to "The University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation."

People still wishing to register for this year's "Riding For A Cure" (which has a rain date scheduled for Tuesday) will have an opportunity to do so through Sunday's racing program, and should contact Lindsay Heil in Arlington's marketing department at (847) 385-7796.


Nelson Bunker Hunt's Voz De Colegiala, a Chilean-bred mare who captured Lone Star Park's Fresa Stakes July 1 at a mile and a sixteenth on the Grand Prairie grass, returns to that distance and that ground and may merit a slight edge in Sunday's $40,000-added Flawlessly Stakes for fillies and mares over the Arlington Park lawn.

If all go in Sunday's turf feature for members of the distaff set, the middle distance affair will have a gross value of $41,750 with a $25,050 share of that sum going to the owners of the victress.

Voz De Colegiala will be ridden by Arlington's leading rider Shaun Bridgmohan Sunday, and she is conditioned by Steve Asmussen, the nation's leading trainer in number of wins last year. In her last start Aug. 11, she disappointed when seventh in Saratoga's De La Rose Stakes, but is a veteran of graded stakes company last season and was third, beaten only two lengths, in Lone Star's Grade III WinStar Distaff Handicap three starts back.

Kenowa Stable LLC's Anegada, a winner of her last two while advancing the allowance ranks this August, will be risking her victory skein when she faces a much tougher task in the Flawlessly, but must be considered. Brice Blanc -- one of Arlington's top turf riders -- is slated for the tack aboard the Tony Reinstedler trainee.


After saddling Frank Calabrese's Fitzroyal to win Friday's fifth race, leading trainer Wayne Catalano is two victories away from the record 64 season winners he established during Arlington Park's 2002 racing season, and has two horses entered on Saturday's racing program.

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